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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — The Drowned World by J. The Drowned World by J. First published inJ.

Ballard’s mesmerizing and ferociously prescient novel imagines a terrifying future in which solar radiation and global warming have melted the polar ice caps and Triassic-era jungles have overrun a submerged and tropical London.

Set during the yearthe novel follows biologist Dr. Robert Kerans and his team of scientists as they confront First published inJ. Robert Kerans and his team of scientists as they confront a surreal cityscape populated by giant iguanas, albino alligators, and endless swarms of malarial insects.

Nature has swallowed all but a few remnants of human civilization, and, slowly, Kerans and his companions are transformed–both physically and psychologically–by this prehistoric environment.

Echoing Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness–complete with a mad white hunter and his hordes of native soldiers–this “powerful and beautifully clear” Brian Aldiss work becomes a thrilling adventure and a haunting examination of the effects of environmental collapse on the human mind.

El Mundo Sumergido

Paperback50th Anniversarypages. Published May 20th by Liveright first published June 30th Alan BodkinLieutenant Hardman London, England United Kingdom. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Drowned Worldplease sign up.

I quite liked High Rise and the short story that was bound with it at the end an added extra for the edition I bought and, although I had issues with it I DID overall enjoy it. I take the racism and anit-women themes as to be significant of the time in which he wrote them. OR maybe he’s just a racist woman hater who I should avoid?

I guess I just wonder if I should bother reading this? Is it worth my time?

The women in his stories are mysterious, capable and often less deluded than the men. But almost all of his books have depictions of violence towards women. He is also prone to sleaziness and to signposting gender, like “a woman doctor” instead of just doctor. As for racism the case is the same. Non-white characters are usually side characters who don’t often appear. His writing in The Drowned World uses the language of British colonial writing seemingly to critique it but still indulging in racializalisition.

Do you think this is a Dystopian book? I started reading it because i saw it in a list of the best dystopian stories. But i don’t categorize it as one. Am i the only one thinking this? Kate Dystopian and Post Apocalyptic often get blended together nowadays, usually because the post apocalyptic world is quite unpleasant. The human …more Dystopian and Post Apocalyptic often get blended together nowadays, usually because the post apocalyptic world is quite unpleasant.


The human population seems to have been greatly reduced to a comparatively low number, and if London which currently is not known for hot weather is a barely habitable jungle, what would you think the world south of the city would be like?

Humans have basically are confined to one small colonized area in the north, and chances are that won’t be habitable in the long run either. See all 4 questions about The Drowned World…. Lists with This Book. Ballard is perhaps better known as the author of two books which became major films—Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun and Cronenberg’s Crash —he was first praised for a quaternity of post-apocalyptic novels published in the early ’60’s.

The world is warming due to an atmospheric erosion caused by events in the sun, and a heat-wave, accompanied by floods, is moving slowly toward the poles. With the heat comes a luxuriance of tropical vegetation, reminscent of the Jurassic period; it seems the Heart of Darkness has come to Old England, not the other way round.

The plot is merely serviceable, the character development sketchy, but plot and character are beside the point. What is important here is setting and theme, perfectly realized by Ballard’s precise yet poetic prose.

His descriptions–of the pitiless sky, of a ghostly submerged observatory, of the flooded streets of London rife with gargantuan plants, and of a collective nightmare where iguana calls to iguana through an eternal tropical forest–remain in memory long after the book is done. Of course, for those enlightened enough to believe in global warming, this is scary stuff, and close attention to Ballard’s themes make it into something even scarier.

He postulates a world where extreme climate change may act not only upon our superficial behaviors but also upon the neurological structures of the brain. Could the heat and wetness of an atavistic jungle awake the ancient reptile within? Are the iguanas of our dreams calling to each other?

Or are they calling to us? View all 29 comments. By noon, less than four hours away, the water would seem to burn. These cities have become tropical lagoons with only the upper floors of the tallest building sticking up out of the water and silt. Flora and fauna baked by radiation have grown to enormous sizes reminiscent of the Triassic era.

A team of scientists have come to investigate and analyze the changes that have occurred in London since humans were forced to flee North. Some of the members of the team start to have strange, primordial dreams. Last night was the delta jungles. She has found an exquisite apartment that with the help of a generator still has air conditioning and ice.

El mundo sumergido : J. G. Ballard :

She has a sexual relationship with Dr. Robert Kerans, but she seems rather apathetic about her lover. Of course, it could be the heat. Temperatures climb to degrees by midday. I wonder if the Max Ernst painting was something like this. As the day approaches that they will have to leave, Robert and Beatrice become more convinced that they are going to stay. Within a matter of months they would be out of fuel to drive the air conditioning and food would begin to be a problem, but the desire to stay and become part of their jungle dreams clutters their thoughts.


This novel has a Conradian feel, specifically one of my favorite books Heart of Darknessso Ballard had my attention from the very first page. Ballard was obsessed with the worlds that are created by the chaos of destruction. The characters in this novel go against the norm for post-apocalyptic novels. They are intent on joining it. The novel becomes even stranger when some scavengers show up led by the pale, thin man aptly named Strangman.

Ballard explores the urges that are normally repressed by civilized human beings. The call of the wild is in our DNA. When we are dipped in the primordial soup of a tropical lagoon, we feel the need to escape the bondages of civilization.

Something on a cellular level is telling us that we are missing the fundamental purposes of life. Kerans is intent on escaping the clutches of all that is trying to bind him and head South into the uncertainty sumefgido a new world. View all 38 comments.

Apr 06, Fabian rated it really liked it. Oh, what’s left to be said about J. If you have yet to enter his cult, his realm–please do so soon. The man is dead, and so his sea of work is a limited lake–of placid doom, of absolute apocalypse. He is often imitated–M.

The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard

Oh, this dude is inspiring. I Oh, what’s left to be said about J. Ballard brilliantly forms for us are just so staggeringly real, that I hate the fact that this is not a screenplay.

I wholly love “Crash,” “High-Rise,” “Empire of the Sun” which seems to me the most apocalyptic of all his novels, although it’s set in W. IIand consider his complete short story collection to be one of the best of all time its entire or so pages. There is a heftiness of prose here, and the description is so cinematic that, like I mentioned, I found the medium to be more suitable for a rip-roarin’ script. The environment is so lush that it reminds one of “Fantasia,” or “Jurassic Park”, or other cool concoctions of the child-like imagination.

It will remain in your subconscious as a worthwhile deposit.

As a glorious cancer made of amethyst Let’s just get this dude up on his deserved pedestal. And yet almost entirely saved by some great descriptive work in painting ballqrd submerged world.

View all 14 comments. Mar 17, Apatt rated it really liked it. Ballard, what an interesting author, they broke the mold when they made him.