Super-Cannes by J. G. Ballard
A Novel

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Long-regarded as one of the true visionary writers of the twentieth century, J.G. Ballard was one of the first British writers of the post-war period to begin to see, and to map out in his fiction, the future course of our civilization. For forty years his unflinching eye has turned to the point where the advancing edge of our technological progress has worn away our inner humanity.

Eden-Olympia is more than just a multinational business park, it is a virtual city-state in itself, with the latest in services and facilities for the most elite high-tech industries. Isolated and secure, overlooking the luxurious French Riviera, the residents lack nothing. Yet one day Dr. Greenwood from Eden-Olympia's clinic goes on a suicidal shooting spree. Dr. Jane Sinclair is hired as his replacement, and she and her husband, Paul, are given Dr. Greenwood's house as a residence.

Unable to work while recovering from an accident, Paul spends his days taking a

close look at the house where Dr. Greenwood shot himself and three hostages. He discovers clues in the house lead him to question Eden-Olympia's official account of the killings. Drawn into investigating the activities of the park's leading citizens, while Jane is lured deeper into Eden-Olympia's inner workings, Paul uncovers the dangerous psychological vents that maintain Eden-Olympia's smoothly running surface. An experiment is underway at Eden-Olympia, an experiment in power and brutality. Soon Paul finds himself in race to save himself and his wife before they are crushed by forces that may be beyond anyone's control.


About J. G. Ballard

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J.G. Ballard was born in Shanghai in 1930 and lived in England from 1946 until his death in London in 2009. He is the author of nineteen novels, including Empire of the Sun, The Drought, and Crash, with many of them made into major films.
Published April 1, 2010 by Picador. 404 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Super-Cannes

Kirkus Reviews

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The answers, Paul realizes when he supplements his mordant observations about the Eden-Olympia lifestyle with the conversations he’s had with everyone from the complex’s shadowy guards to Greenwood’s ex-lover Frances Baring, involve decadent consumerism, corporate megalomania, apocalyptic violenc...

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The New York Times

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The novel does contain, however, plenty of the trademark prose that Ballard fans have come to expect: ''Across La Napoule Bay the evening mist veiled the Croisette, and the black breasts of La Belle Otero seemed to float above the Carlton Hotel, like gifts from one pasha to another borne on a cus...

Nov 25 2001 | Read Full Review of Super-Cannes: A Novel

The Guardian

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In his 1982 book Myths of the Near Future, Ballard was already asking the question that he here has Penrose answer: 'Perhaps violence, like pornography, is some kind of evolutionary stand-by system,' he wrote, 'a last-resort device for throwing a wild joker into the game?' The wild joker Penr...

Sep 03 2000 | Read Full Review of Super-Cannes: A Novel

The Guardian

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By the time he has uncovered the serious programme of violence designed by Penrose to counteract executive stress - a leather- jacketed "bowling club" whose forays into the outside world leave Arab pimps and Senegalese trinket merchants bleeding in the gutters - Sinclair is as compromised as he...

Sep 09 2000 | Read Full Review of Super-Cannes: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Paul's collision course with the psychopathic Penrose is a new twist on Ballard's weird neo-romanticism, whereby our self-defining ""latent psychopathy"" is put to use to save society rather than to revel in hedonistic defiance of it ( la Crash).

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AV Club

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But when Ballard sets his imagination to a corporate wonderland run amok, where effete executives are turned into fascist thugs and secret perversions lurk behind every door, Super-Cannes skewers its target with a chilly elegance that's unmistakably his own.

Apr 19 2002 | Read Full Review of Super-Cannes: A Novel

London Review of Books

He went on: The ten thousand inhabitants in their high-tech apartments and offices will serve as an ‘ideas laboratory’ for the cities of the future, where ‘technology will be placed at the service of conviviality’.

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