The Drowned World

  • by J. G. Ballard
  • Narrated by Julian Elfer
  • 5 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A new generation discovers "the most original English writer of the last century" (China Miéville, The Nation).
Appearing in audio for the first time, this neglected Ballardian masterpiece promises to be a touchstone for environmentalists the world over.
First published in 1962, J.G. Ballard’s mesmerizing and ferociously imaginative novel not only gained him widespread critical acclaim but also established his reputation as one of the finest writers of a generation. The Drowned World imagines a terrifying world in which global warming has melted the ice caps and primordial jungles have overrun a tropical London. Set during the year 2145, this novel follows biologist Dr. Robert Kearns and his team of scientists as they confront a cityscape in which nature is on the rampage and giant lizards, dragonflies, and insects fiercely compete for domination. Both an unmatched biological mystery and a brilliant retelling of Heart of Darkness - complete with a mad white hunter and his hordes of native soldiers - this “powerful and beautifully clear” (Brian Aldiss) work becomes a thrilling adventure with “an oppressive power reminiscent of Conrad” (Kingsley Amis).


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


This is the kind of book most editors and academia love. Nothing wrong with that, but if your just a regular Joe like me, you would like a plot. The language is beautiful and it is fun to daydream about this type of world. The first hour fulfilled that and it was great. To go from a poem to a novel, I need characters, a plot and something happening. This book had none of that. It was just a reaction to the watered world.
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- Jim "The Impatient"

Prophetic story about climate change

One of Ballard's smaller-scale novels, though I believe it is linked to a series of books with similar, environmentally themed stories. Amazing that he foresaw how important climate change would be, years before most people had even heard of the idea.

The writing of this thoughtful, psychological novel is very high quality, and I enjoyed listening to it, especially as read by the narrator. His pace and inflection are perfect, and the accents that he created for the dialogue are amazing. It's really a performance, not just a reading.
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- Michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-25-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios