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Submitted Literature

Cocaine Nights

By J.G. Ballard

Review

Madness is a stock theme in Ballard's work, appearing in virtually all of his non-science fiction work.  Thematically, the novels listed here range from pathological sexual obsession ("Crash") to one man’s desire to escape the civilised world and challenge himself, and his sanity, to a battle against nature ("Concrete Island"). Notions of hysteria and collective, infectious madness have been long-term interests of Ballard's, and are demonstrated most clearly in "High Rise", a cautionary tale about the psychological dangers of physical and mental isolation and the pressures of capitalism.  His most recent four novels – "Cocaine Nights", "Super-Cannes", "Millennium People" and "Kingdom Come" explore the impact upon psychological health of modern phenomena such as expansive shopping malls, gated communities and the paradoxical pressures of excessive leisure.     

Key Themes:

  • Addiction
  • Psychosis
  • Revealing Reads
  • Societal Pressure
  • Violence

Reference: J.G., Ballard. 1996. Cocaine Nights. London: Flamingo, 1997

Reviewer

- Charley Baker
Date Review Submitted: Friday 20th March 2009