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Would you listen to The Concrete Island again? Why?
Like an off brand bag of chips that you are still eating for some reason.
The label looked cool on the shelf so you take it home. and then next week there you are buying the strange flavor of chip again. this is J.G. Balard.
The Concrete Island is a "modern" take on Robinson Crusoe, with dashes of 1970s era offensive terms and mindsets for flavor. If you are looking for a Robinsonade to thrill in the protagonist's ingenuity and will to survive, and you want it with a modern twist, go read The Martian. You won't find that story here. Instead, you will see a mildly unpleasant and very self-centered man deteriorate into a person whose actions made me feel physically ill. In spite of the intensity of disgust and frustration aroused by certain moments, for the most part getting through this book is more task than torture. There are moments of lovely prose, and the unrealized promise of a brilliant satire on the deeply outdated ideals that lurk below the surface in any Robinsonade. The final word on this, though, can only be "ehh".
An interesting internal monolouge coupled with a tale of survival and escape with some really interesting characters. personally wasn't a fan of the narration
This is a theory that has been explored by Ballard before. In his first novel 'Drowned World' Ballard peeled back the layers of domesticity to reveal that which we came from in other words delving in to our past through a character that trabelled south to ultimately find his destiny or forge links with that which came beflre humaity. In this book it's a bit like taking off or stripping back the layers of personality to reveal what we'd do to survive going through despeair and madness to the idea of us being a pack animal and learning to dominate before resignation and ultimately death. The Concerte Island is an interesting book from a human study pont of view and short so that the pace doesn't flag. Through robert Maitland we're taken on a journey through the layers or what we are and who we are plus what we'll do to survive when we find ourselves outside our comfort zone to use an awful modern phrase. it reminds me a lot of the early part of 'Ordinary Thunderstorms' (available from audible by william Boyd) and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to read a 'thinking man's' type of short fiction.
I couldn't give the story five stars though because there are some small holes in the plot and some issues with time. Otherwise a good book.