Cocaine Nights by J. G. Ballard

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J. G. Ballard once again reveals his visionary mastery in this warped tale of the unexpected.. From the author of Crash and Empire of the Sun , this is a taut, introspective novel that stays true to its authors transgressive and dangerous vision. Cocaine Nights is set in the tiny resort community of Estrella de Mar, where Charles Prentice has just arrived from London to save his brother. Frank Prentice is languishing in a Spanish jail, having confessed to a murder he did not commit. As Charles launches his own investigation into the crime, he uncovers a vast network of drugs, pornography, and theft. Probing the darker side of human nature, Cocaine Nights explores disturbing connections between crime and community, freedom and resignation. One of Englands most influential novelists, J.G. Ballard is a writer most comfortable in the land of extremes. The borders of his vast literary territory are defined by the mesmerizing violence of Crash and the lyricism of his semi-autobiographical Empire of the Sun . Ballard sees beyond the present into a bleak and dangerous future, yet his nihilistic world is always viewed through the lens of convention.In Cocaine Nights, Ballard stretches the taut canvas of his transgressive vision over the framework of an old-fashioned mystery. The setting is the Costa del Sol and the stylish resort of Estrella de Mar where young retirees from Europes chillier climes bask in a lifestyle of endless leisure. Into the queasy beauty of this artificial environment steps Charles Prentice, a travel writer from London who has come to visit his brother Frank, manager of the resorts Club Nautico--tennis and swim club by day, coked-up discotheque by night.Frank is in jail, having confessed to setting an explosive fire that has taken five lives. Certain that the confession was coerced, Charles wants to launch his own investigation. But Frank isnt interested in salvation, and the Spanish police dont want their open-and-shut case corrupted by a meddling Brit. But Charles insists on continuing his crusade, though his life is threatened. As he allows himself to be drawn further into Estrella de Mars dark underworld, this explosive novel accelerates toward a disturbing climax and Ballard once again reveals his visionary mastery in this warped tale of the unexpected.

About J. G. Ballard

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Born in Shanghai in 1930, J. G. Ballard is the author of sixteen novels, including Empire of the Sun, The Drowned World, and Crash. He lives in London.
Published September 19, 1996 by Flamingo. 336 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Crime. Fiction

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Classic mystery questions, all, but knowing readers who can see that Ballard is less interested in solving the mystery than in using it as a parable of the modern social contract won’t be surprised when Charles, instead of closing in on the solution, finds himself insensibly sliding into the comf...

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Charles Prentice arrives in this strange community to discover just why his brother Frank, manager of the local sports club as confessed to a charge of murdering five people in a house fire!

Sep 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Cocaine Nights

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