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... that is not a criticism as such. Ballard's ideas are best expressed in his novels, and this collection of reviews over the years can be repetitious; however, they are read by Sean Barrett - which, generally, is all an audible book requires to satisfy.
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What made the experience of listening to A User's Guide to the Millennium the most enjoyable?
Great narration that perfectly suited the tone & style of these essays
What did you like best about this story?
This is a collection of essays throughout Ballards career, there is no story as such, however much of what he discusses here appears in his fiction- and often is just as delightfully written & perceived.
In many ways this works as a series of footnotes to all his fiction.
What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
He's so good you can imagine he wrote these himself - or if you knew no better, that his voice is JG Ballards.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
There is a lot humor that infuses all Ballards work & this is no exception. It should certainly make you laugh, while raising often very serious & sometimes terrifying points & plumbing deeply disturbing insights.
Any additional comments?
This is not a audio-book that you could listen to in one sitting.
Ballards work is very rich & specific with its terminology. He will use a few 'resonant' words to paint a large view that many lesser writers will use half a page to envision.
These pieces are all quite short, yet abundant in quirky & penetrating ideas & observation. It's probably best to consider them for a while after listening....Maybe a handful at most in one sitting.
The book is arranged into chapters of related topics- for example 'film & art' to begin with, which includes brilliant essays on Surrealism & Dali - that could be considered his own manifesto. These originally appeared in the 1960's New Worlds Anthology/Books just as he began his more experimental phase. These pieces alone make this a worthwhile listen.
The fact that they share company with so many other brilliant pieces make this essential for anyone who's read most (or all) of Ballards fiction.