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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Friday, September 05, 2003
    Millennium People
     
    A review of his latest novel, Millennium People got me thinking it was about time I started reading J.G. Ballard rather than reading about him. "Violent rebellion comes to London's middle classes in the extraordinary new novel from the author of Cocaine Nights and Super-Cannes." says the publishers' blurb. He's widely celebrated as being a contemporary prophet of sorts. This book seems to suggest why.

    In the New Statesman today John Gray wrote:
      "Millennium People is a dark, comic study of middle-class nihilism. The book's coolly detached narrator, David Markham, sums up the sense of emptiness that drives these improbable - and yet oddly credible - rebels against modern life. "The absence of rational motive," he observes, "carries a significance of its own."
    It's tough but beautifully-observed reading (Heathrow Airport is "a beached sky-city, half space station and half shantytown". Dust on a coffee table is "a nimbus that seemed like an ectoplasmic presence, a parallel world with its own memories and regrets".).

    And - whaaat??!! - it's not yet available. I know because - exercising my middle-class prerogitive - I phoned Waterstones to check. Now that's frustrating. Enough to make a rebel out of one.