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Fleeing the excesses of ’90s cyberculture, a young researcher sets out to systematically analyse the obsessive themes of a writer who prophesied our disorienting future: cult author J.G. Ballard, voluptuary of the car crash, surgeon of the pathological virtualities pulsing beneath reality's surface. Defeated by obsessive fears and the stultifying tedium of academia, yet cer Fleeing the excesses of ’90s cyberculture, a young researcher sets out to systematically analyse the obsessive themes of a writer who prophesied our disorienting future: cult author J.G. Ballard, voluptuary of the car crash, surgeon of the pathological virtualities pulsing beneath reality's surface. Defeated by obsessive fears and the stultifying tedium of academia, yet certain that everything connects to Ballard, his thesis collapses into a series of delirious travelogues, deranged speculations and tormented meditations on time, memory, and loss. Renouncing all scholarly distance, he finally accepts the deep assignment that has plagued him throughout his life and embarks on a rogue fieldwork project: Applied Ballardianism. Only the darkest impulses and the most apocalyptic paranoia can uncover the technological mutations of inner space...


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Fleeing the excesses of ’90s cyberculture, a young researcher sets out to systematically analyse the obsessive themes of a writer who prophesied our disorienting future: cult author J.G. Ballard, voluptuary of the car crash, surgeon of the pathological virtualities pulsing beneath reality's surface. Defeated by obsessive fears and the stultifying tedium of academia, yet cer Fleeing the excesses of ’90s cyberculture, a young researcher sets out to systematically analyse the obsessive themes of a writer who prophesied our disorienting future: cult author J.G. Ballard, voluptuary of the car crash, surgeon of the pathological virtualities pulsing beneath reality's surface. Defeated by obsessive fears and the stultifying tedium of academia, yet certain that everything connects to Ballard, his thesis collapses into a series of delirious travelogues, deranged speculations and tormented meditations on time, memory, and loss. Renouncing all scholarly distance, he finally accepts the deep assignment that has plagued him throughout his life and embarks on a rogue fieldwork project: Applied Ballardianism. Only the darkest impulses and the most apocalyptic paranoia can uncover the technological mutations of inner space...

57 review for Applied Ballardianism: Memoir From a Parallel Universe

  1. 4 out of 5

    Glaucon

    Following numerous successful attempts at over-elaborating the otherwise succinct and exacting work of J.G. Ballard, our narrator ekes out a life globe-hopping and pontificating all while not really enjoying himself. Early on, our narrator attempts to give a talk on Ballard in front of a legion of in-vogue defacto gatekeeper academics and the most dull and thoughtless rabble of a Ballard sci-fi fandom. Does this star-wars-cosplaying, theory-hating, shallow Ballard fandom even exist, or are they t Following numerous successful attempts at over-elaborating the otherwise succinct and exacting work of J.G. Ballard, our narrator ekes out a life globe-hopping and pontificating all while not really enjoying himself. Early on, our narrator attempts to give a talk on Ballard in front of a legion of in-vogue defacto gatekeeper academics and the most dull and thoughtless rabble of a Ballard sci-fi fandom. Does this star-wars-cosplaying, theory-hating, shallow Ballard fandom even exist, or are they there to illustrate a point about the supposed lack of critical attention that Sellars sees in scifi's fans? I've never seen any evidence of the former. We do spend some time on Ballardian cybersexual-fetishists, but Sellars seems to imply that even they don't get Ballard's nuanced accelerated displaced desire. Anyway, our narrator (unnamed, but of course boringly and typically Sellars himself) gives a talk on Ballard that is . . . surprisingly cohesive and insightful, despite its off-the cuff tone and allusions to Oprah Winfrey. But, his holy academics leave him in a gust of their collective eye-rolls and the nerds jeer and boo him. This is the impetus for Sellars to ditch academia once and for all and leave his thesis, and his subliminal penis envy behind. Yet Ballard seems to haunt Sellars endlessly. If we are to believe this is an experiment on the form of memoir, this is an entirely oedipal project! Which is not a problem at all if the work itself didn't seem so oblivious to itself in this regard. All of the self-criticism is always glazed with a sleek, snide undertone of self-righteousness. Every invocation of Ballard, Marker, Verhoeven, Virilio, and the rest of Sellars' favorite men is done with a flourish of academic appreciation that cradles their ideas like untouched newborns that only he can provide the fecund bosom from which they are given suck. Hmm, what was that about your denouncing academia? What person besides an aspiring-academic makes the outrageous claim that you're bored by a Rembrandt but rendered breathless by a Mondrian (and then publishes the sentiment in a book with Urbanomic)? I was really looking forward to this book! Especially after Extreme Metaphors turned out to be a vindicating and extensive collection of Ballard's singular ideas and prophecies. I suppose my biggest problem is that J.G. Ballard existed outside of the world that the likes of Virilio and Baudrillard did, and that was essential to his work. His novels are also unabashedly venomous towards the wealthy and satirical of any strain of ivory tower erudition. Ballard was also good at imbibing his ideas in his work, even when the work wasn't that good. I think they spoke full force and will continue to do so to countless other fans of his work. If you never intend to read Ballard, or at least never more than one novel, perhaps this would be a good substitute, because besides recalling his unique accelerationism Sellars doesn't appear to have much more to say. (But maybe I'm totally wrong, I couldn't finish it.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    RobPalindrome

    What a weird and wonderful book! Part homage to JG Ballard, part summary of his life and academic critique of his work, (large) part 'gonzo' style travelogue and, at times, part imitation/exploration of the 'ballardian' aesthetic. Ballard is infamous for the duality of his life - writing graphic and shocking extracts of The Atrocity Exhibition in between dropping off and collecting his children from school and carrying out mundane housework, for instance - and Sellars's parallel universe seems to What a weird and wonderful book! Part homage to JG Ballard, part summary of his life and academic critique of his work, (large) part 'gonzo' style travelogue and, at times, part imitation/exploration of the 'ballardian' aesthetic. Ballard is infamous for the duality of his life - writing graphic and shocking extracts of The Atrocity Exhibition in between dropping off and collecting his children from school and carrying out mundane housework, for instance - and Sellars's parallel universe seems to work in a similar way. At times I was really left questioning which parts of the book were autobiographical, and which were pure fiction, much in the way one wonders how much of the central character in Empire of the Sun or Miracles of Life is JG Ballard (or how much of the 'Ballard' in Crash is the authorial James Graham Ballard). At other points, it's quite clear that it's pure fiction... There is an ambiguity and enigmatic quality to the work that is at times really captivating. I found this a thoroughly enjoying experience, but then I am also fairly obsessed with Ballard's oeuvre and with what Sellars has dubbed 'applied ballardianism'. While reading I kept questioning how the book might be received by someone less interested in (or even aware of) Ballard's work. Ballard's influence remains present throughout the book, yet as a 'page turner' and a book focused on travel, the difficulties of academia, and even the paranormal (!), I believe there is more than enough here to engage readers less enthusiastic about the protagonist's central obsession. Read this if you are at all interested in Ballard, obsession (or perhaps more accurately, an obsession with obsessions), 'gonzo' style writing, and the self-doubt and mania one can encounter when working on a PhD. Don't read it if you are expecting an academic study of Ballard (there a plenty other more suitable options that have been published in the last 10 years), or if you are about to start work on a doctorate...

  3. 4 out of 5

    pierlapo quimby

    Cronaca cyberpunk di un collasso apofenico di un Ballard-nerd/geek/freak. Ballardissimo! Innanzitutto ricomposi la mia biblioteca ballardiana: diciannove romanzi, il mastodontico volume dei racconti completi, un archivio di fotocopie di esperimenti e bizzarrie assortite. Poi presi una lametta e iniziai a separare meticolosamente ogni pagina dalla rilegatura. Alla fine avevo 5951 pagine singole. Passai allo scanner e digitalizzai ogni parola, fino a che non mi trovai con un archivio delle 2.015.085 Cronaca cyberpunk di un collasso apofenico di un Ballard-nerd/geek/freak. Ballardissimo! Innanzitutto ricomposi la mia biblioteca ballardiana: diciannove romanzi, il mastodontico volume dei racconti completi, un archivio di fotocopie di esperimenti e bizzarrie assortite. Poi presi una lametta e iniziai a separare meticolosamente ogni pagina dalla rilegatura. Alla fine avevo 5951 pagine singole. Passai allo scanner e digitalizzai ogni parola, fino a che non mi trovai con un archivio delle 2.015.085 parole usate dal maestro. Per ultimo, mi lanciai in una scriteriata missione cerca-e-distruggi: isolai scrupolosamente tutte le similitudini – 5875 in totale. Le riunii in un documento di circa 100 pagine ordinate per temi. Tracciai quindi il tessuto connettivo – tunnel e passaggi che andavano da una similitudine all’altra – annotando osservazioni e commenti sulla solidità e la fragilità dei collegamenti. Una volta individuate le connessioni più solide, stampai le similitudini più importanti e le archiviai in cartelline colorate, poi le annotai e le combinai con tentacoli di tratti di biro e di evidenziatore. Riempii centinaia di pagine di appunti e incollai centinaia di similitudini sulle pareti del mio appartamento, nel tentativo di dare un senso a quella selva domestica di diagrammi e simboli. Il progetto mi impegnò per un mese, durante il quale a malapena uscii di casa. Mangiavo solo cibo da asporto. La mia pelle si fece giallastra e si gonfiò. [...] Seduto nell’appartamento, circondato dai detriti della mia pazzia, assediato dalle montagne di carta strappata e dalle similitudini isolate che coprivano il pavimento – uno spettacolo che mi ricordava le discariche delle edgelands in cui avevo passato così tanto tempo – capii che ciò che avevo stampato era solo un encefalogramma del mio io in rovina.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Intortetor

    aiuto: definire cos'è esattamente "ballardismo applicato" è praticamente impossibile. non è un romanzo, o almeno non è al 100% un romanzo; e anche se lo fosse la trama è assai sfuggente e quantomeno non facile da riassumere. non è un saggio critico sull'opera di james ballard, per quanto ci siano parecchie riflessioni sul grande e compianto scrittore britannico che sicuramente susciteranno dibattiti tra gli appassionati dell'autore di "crash" e "condominium". non è un'autobiografia, o almeno mi aug aiuto: definire cos'è esattamente "ballardismo applicato" è praticamente impossibile. non è un romanzo, o almeno non è al 100% un romanzo; e anche se lo fosse la trama è assai sfuggente e quantomeno non facile da riassumere. non è un saggio critico sull'opera di james ballard, per quanto ci siano parecchie riflessioni sul grande e compianto scrittore britannico che sicuramente susciteranno dibattiti tra gli appassionati dell'autore di "crash" e "condominium". non è un'autobiografia, o almeno mi auguro per l'autore che non sia del tutto la sua autobiografia (e non solo per il finale scioccante) , sebbene i dati trovati in rete su simon sellars fanno emergere diverse cose in comune tra il protagonista dell'opera e il suo autore: me lo auguro perchè è praticamente una discesa verso una forma di pazzia (anzi, verso una forma specifica di psicosi, ma di questo leggerete sul libro al momento opportuno) e ci si trova ad avere per il protagonista un mix di apprensione per lui e di paura verso di lui. forse è un mix tra queste tre cose, forse è altro, di certo è qualcosa se non di inedito quantomeno di difficile da trovare in giro: non sono sicuro possa piacere a tutti, anzi ho il serio dubbio che saranno in tanti a mollarlo vinti dall'ennesimo momento difficile da decifrare e parecchi resteranno interdetti da un finale che invece di chiarire incasina ancora di più il senso di quello che fino ad allora si è letto. quello di cui sono sicuro è che "ballardismo applicato" è un libro denso: denso di idee, di riflessioni, di luoghi, di suggerimenti artistico/culturali (scusate l'ennesima parentesi ma sentivo il bisogno di scrivere a questo proposito che mi ha fatto piacere veder spuntare tra le pagine la musica di alan lamb, vecchio culto dei lettori di blow up quando ancora era la guida italiana alla musica più sperimentale), tanto che arrivati alla lista finale di riferimenti culturali citati vien quasi voglia di lanciarsi alla ricerca di tutto quello che è apparso nel libro, così come vien voglia di armarsi di macchina fotografica e lanciarsi all'esplorazione delle edgelands della propria città. oltre a riprendere in mano i classici di james ballard, ovviamente. forse non il libro che mi aspettavo di leggere, ma decisamente uno dei libri più particolari letti negli ultimi anni.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kate Sherrod

    I'll have a full review up at Skiffy and Fanty, but in brief, this fictionalized autobiography is part meditation on how our everyday world has become indistinguishable from science fiction and part cautionary tale against letting one writer -- especially one as pathologically fascinating, prescient and disturbing as J.G. Ballard -- so completely colonize your imagination that you find yourself transformed into one of that writer's protagonists without the benefit of the writer's guiding hand on I'll have a full review up at Skiffy and Fanty, but in brief, this fictionalized autobiography is part meditation on how our everyday world has become indistinguishable from science fiction and part cautionary tale against letting one writer -- especially one as pathologically fascinating, prescient and disturbing as J.G. Ballard -- so completely colonize your imagination that you find yourself transformed into one of that writer's protagonists without the benefit of the writer's guiding hand on the "plot" of your life. A passage at the end offers the reader a chance to interpret all that came before -- encounters with telepaths, UFO sightings, muggings and random violence on many continents and not one but two failed attempts at a PhD -- as symptoms of a disease we don't yet know or side effects of a treatment we haven't yet developed, and that might make this book More Ballard Than Ballard. I'd be very, very interested to see what people who are unfamiliar with J.G. Ballard make of this book, and how it might color their experience of reading Ballard afterward -- which anyone who does take this up will surely want to do!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hugo

    A fictionalised memoir treatise—worthy enough in its subject and approach—but crippled by a cyclic structure which repeats over and over, as the protagonist fails at life, love, work, and academia, travels—encountering fringe philosophers or street violence, sometimes both at once—viewing, framing, and/or understanding everything through the works of J.G.Ballard, and the circuit starts again, becoming a self-pitying and -mythologising accretion of aggrandisements wearying to trudge through.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Antonio Vena

    Lalalalaaaaaaaaaaaa Sellars travalica generi, fa una metafiction, un Cut-Up creativo e immersivo delle metafore estreme ballardiane, celebra la nostra contemporaneità davvero adesso diventata ballardiana ovunque. L'ho letto lentamente, godendomi la bellezza di capitoli pieni di rimandi e citazioni e sempre, maledettamente, creativi. Per l'operazione, la qualità dell'esecuzione, le parole chiave svolte beh, questo è il più bel romanzo, la migliore fiction non fiction, che ho letto da molto tempo. Lalalalaaaaaaaaaaaa Sellars travalica generi, fa una metafiction, un Cut-Up creativo e immersivo delle metafore estreme ballardiane, celebra la nostra contemporaneità davvero adesso diventata ballardiana ovunque. L'ho letto lentamente, godendomi la bellezza di capitoli pieni di rimandi e citazioni e sempre, maledettamente, creativi. Per l'operazione, la qualità dell'esecuzione, le parole chiave svolte beh, questo è il più bel romanzo, la migliore fiction non fiction, che ho letto da molto tempo.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mat Ranson

    You're reading this because you love Ballard. However, beware. Ceci n'est pas une Ballard. Essential reading. You're reading this because you love Ballard. However, beware. Ceci n'est pas une Ballard. Essential reading.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karl M.

    Ballardian LARPing more like it. If Ballardian fanfic on steroids is your thing, then, by all means try it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    3.5 stars--a difficult book to assess. I appreciated Sellars' many insightful observations about Ballard and was intrigued by the conceit of the project (a quasi-academic treatise embedded in a memoir, or vice-versa), but found myself growing increasingly impatient with the narrator's unrelenting sadsack apocalypticism. To his credit, Sellars' narrator frequently voices self-criticisms, often through the mouths of acquaintances, co-workers, etc, but invariably responds by doubling down on Ballar 3.5 stars--a difficult book to assess. I appreciated Sellars' many insightful observations about Ballard and was intrigued by the conceit of the project (a quasi-academic treatise embedded in a memoir, or vice-versa), but found myself growing increasingly impatient with the narrator's unrelenting sadsack apocalypticism. To his credit, Sellars' narrator frequently voices self-criticisms, often through the mouths of acquaintances, co-workers, etc, but invariably responds by doubling down on Ballardian gloom. Modernity is conceived, naively, I should think, as an all-or-nothing proposition: one is either a sell-out or, should one reject the programming, a pariah. But it seems to me that the notion of an "authentic life" over and against the simulacra of modernity, is itself one of Ballard's targets. That is to say, the terms of "Sellars'" resistance (or his narrator's, rather) are themselves products (symptoms) of modernity. I feel like I'm not being entirely fair to the book, though; it felt throughout that I was reading against a shifting set of expectations, theoretical and/or fictional, and as a result, the book never really satisfied. I've certainly thought about it quite a bit, though, which is always a good measure of any book's worth. There are also a number of positives I should note: the writing itself is quite good, perhaps less on its own terms than as a pastiche of Ballardian style; and again, as mentioned above, Sellars displays an impressive command of Ballard's work (with emphasis on the mid- to late novels).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Benedetta Ventrella (rienva)

    Sebbene a momenti sembri reiterare un dispositivo narrativo troppe volte, e diventi un po' faticoso procedere, il libro di Sellars è un'immersione atipica nella narrativa di Ballard, dalla quale si esce fuori consapevoli della grandezza dell'autore inglese, anticipatore e preveggente come pochi, interessato a temi che, nel 2020, sembrano sempre più cruciali. Sebbene a momenti sembri reiterare un dispositivo narrativo troppe volte, e diventi un po' faticoso procedere, il libro di Sellars è un'immersione atipica nella narrativa di Ballard, dalla quale si esce fuori consapevoli della grandezza dell'autore inglese, anticipatore e preveggente come pochi, interessato a temi che, nel 2020, sembrano sempre più cruciali.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Lambert

    I first read this book in early 2019, on the recommendation of a colleague. I’m not a cultural theorist, nor a philosopher. I am, in fact, an archaeologist, and I can sincerely say that this book has had a very real impact on, not only my research, but that of other colleagues too. If you want to read an academic treatise on Ballard, step away from this book. If you want to read a straightforward, bland and predictable autobiography that touches upon Ballard, step away from this book. If, however, I first read this book in early 2019, on the recommendation of a colleague. I’m not a cultural theorist, nor a philosopher. I am, in fact, an archaeologist, and I can sincerely say that this book has had a very real impact on, not only my research, but that of other colleagues too. If you want to read an academic treatise on Ballard, step away from this book. If you want to read a straightforward, bland and predictable autobiography that touches upon Ballard, step away from this book. If, however, you are open to the idea that we are all following ‘deep assignments’, whether knowingly or not. That time is for sale to the highest bidder. That the temporal, physical, and metaphysical are bound together by seductively dark bindings. That digital ghosts haunt you from within your web browser; latch on to you through your social media platforms, refusing to loosen their hold, then this is the book for you. For me, this is theory fiction at its best. The reader really can’t tell where Sellars ends and the narrator begins, and that’s the beauty, for isn’t that the case for all of us? It certainly is for me. The daily struggle of honing the person we wish to project on to society, whilst constantly battling with the individual that we know ourselves to be. An ongoing, lifelong, inescapable, psychotic episode. In Sellars’ book we see the narrator retreating from an increasingly difficult world for them to navigate, only to fall, willingly, down into a rabbit hole of distortion, glitches, and techno-schizophrenia. All the while desperately trying to grasp on to a thread of ‘hope’ which manifests in the shape of JG Ballard. This isn’t an easy read, and for that I’m grateful. However, it is a book that will stay with you for a long time afterwards, perhaps forever. I slide back into it frequently, especially Zones. However, it’s never as easy to re-emerge. In fact, I wonder if anyone who reads Applied Ballardianism ever truly emerges fully (or with their sanity intact) from Sellars’ Parallel Universe...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ivan Cenzi

    There is a perfect definition, which was originally coined in the context of the so-called New Italian Epic, for experimental books like Applied Ballardianism: UNO, Unidentified Narrative Objects. This particular UNO is, at once: a visionary novel, a semi-autobiographical reportage from a crumbling mind (in the manner of W.S. Burroughs), a series of small essays and ruminations on Ballard's enduring relevance - all seasoned with a dash of social theory/philosophical musings. Many might find it har There is a perfect definition, which was originally coined in the context of the so-called New Italian Epic, for experimental books like Applied Ballardianism: UNO, Unidentified Narrative Objects. This particular UNO is, at once: a visionary novel, a semi-autobiographical reportage from a crumbling mind (in the manner of W.S. Burroughs), a series of small essays and ruminations on Ballard's enduring relevance - all seasoned with a dash of social theory/philosophical musings. Many might find it hard to be seduced by Sellars' obsessive prose, but clearly it is not meant to seduce. The inner landscape described here is a barren, ominous view: the author balances moments of striking visual imagery with a constant sense of paranoia, failure and bitterness. At the same time, there is one vital and dinamic element. Just like the characters in The Atrocity Exhibition tried to decipher and decode the intersections between reality and their own psychopathology, the main character in Applied Ballardianism falls prey to a compulsive drive to scrutinize the surroundings, as well as any occurrence he encounters, through the magnifying/distorting filter of Ballard's works. Investigating the world in such a way alternatively becomes a line of flight, or a damning experience, for the protagonist; and this I believe is the core of the story and perhaps the most striking insight the book has to offer. McLuhan pointed out that we cannot hope to use a tool without it affecting our own, very identity. So you can navigate reality through the eyes of your beloved writer - doesn't really matter if it's Ballard, Sade or Coelho -, but proceed at your own risk. Too serious, complex and emotionally demanding to be labeled "gonzo" literature, this it is a cruel and repetitive book - like all the best pornographic literature. And I suspect Ballard would have loved it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Graham Freestone

    This is a fantastic book. I kept putting off reading it because I hadn't actually read any Ballard but once I dipped in I was totally hooked. Like a bizarre combination of Castaneda and Bukowski (with a smattering of Anton-Wilson), Sellars adventures in the Ballardian world (which is also this one) make for fascinating reading. The Ballard deficit wasn't any problem as Sellars explains the plot and significance of any of the stories he's engaged in at any given point -indeed whilst not a critici This is a fantastic book. I kept putting off reading it because I hadn't actually read any Ballard but once I dipped in I was totally hooked. Like a bizarre combination of Castaneda and Bukowski (with a smattering of Anton-Wilson), Sellars adventures in the Ballardian world (which is also this one) make for fascinating reading. The Ballard deficit wasn't any problem as Sellars explains the plot and significance of any of the stories he's engaged in at any given point -indeed whilst not a criticism, some are so thoroughly explained as to potentially obviate my reading them themselves. Highly recommended for all manner of philosophy/theory crazies, people in need of a reality crack or just a really entertaining (though sometimes disturbing) read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ollamh

    I can't understand what the merit of this book is. It is more like a hype perpetuated by a bunch of white people who are going through identity and midlife crises. It is not that bad, it's a cautionary tale about the novels you shouldn't write or publish because you will feel embarrassed 10 years from now. I can't understand what the merit of this book is. It is more like a hype perpetuated by a bunch of white people who are going through identity and midlife crises. It is not that bad, it's a cautionary tale about the novels you shouldn't write or publish because you will feel embarrassed 10 years from now.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Clayton Hackett

    Kind of an anti-Bildungsroman about a neurotic academic’s attempt to navigate his obsessions and his descent into madness and/or liberation. A deep and abiding appreciation for J.G. Ballard is probably a prerequisite for enjoying this book (not to be obvious, I mean it is right there in the title), but then again YMMV.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Peter Eade

    Possibly favourite book I read in 2018. Works as a novel and builds your understanding of Ballard along the way. Should come with a do-not-try-this-at-home warning though. Descriptions of life in melbourne or as a cyclist on australian roads are brilliant.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hugh Dufour

    Wow. I love this book. It kept me guessing from beginning to end, all the while flashing fascinating insights about Ballard, life, and society. Please read this. I see big things up ahead for this book and Simon Sellars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Massimo

    Good idea but just bad writing. Urbanomic shouldn't publish novels, they are not really good at it. They can say it's theory fiction but that doesn't change the fact that bad writing is always bad. Good idea but just bad writing. Urbanomic shouldn't publish novels, they are not really good at it. They can say it's theory fiction but that doesn't change the fact that bad writing is always bad.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ole Peter

    Strange memoirs of a troubled man stuck in the world of JG Ballard.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Matheny

    Simply brilliant This the best new book I've read in quite some time. I really enjoyed the style and the pacing. Great job. Simply brilliant This the best new book I've read in quite some time. I really enjoyed the style and the pacing. Great job.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Riar

    Possibly my favourite travelogue ever written. Ballardianism resonates with me really hard.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kay Mack

    little gloomy, but I still liked it

  24. 5 out of 5

    Josh Carswell

    Sellars has characterised the book as an exercise in failure, failure of the very idea of applying Ballardianism – at least in the sense his narrator attempts, as an ideal for living. As his life becomes mediatized by the very media warning him against its dangers, the narrator's journey amounts to an exploration of inner space in the term's most restricted sense: as a solipsism, or phenomenology. Now the character sees orbs in the sky, ghosts on airfields, Ballardian ley lines, everywhere. Cast Sellars has characterised the book as an exercise in failure, failure of the very idea of applying Ballardianism – at least in the sense his narrator attempts, as an ideal for living. As his life becomes mediatized by the very media warning him against its dangers, the narrator's journey amounts to an exploration of inner space in the term's most restricted sense: as a solipsism, or phenomenology. Now the character sees orbs in the sky, ghosts on airfields, Ballardian ley lines, everywhere. Cast adrift from the media Events central to Ballard's texts, the narrator's theory-fiction has folded back in on itself, as conspiracy theory. I believe that Sellars is saying, in effect, that dissociation must bottom out somewhere. The ground awaits any such schizoid free-fall, and this ground may resemble any number of things: conspiracist paranoia, hard concrete, hikikomori, windshield glass... Yet, I don't see all theory fiction as bad religion. If we can keep our grounding in sight, we might be able to foresee and avoid what lurks behind the cracks in reality, and at the same time, produce the condition for original thought and expression. [From my essay “Two Questions Concerning Applied Ballardianism”, available here.]

  25. 4 out of 5

    S.C. Hickman

    In Simon Sellars novel the ‘Applied Ballardianism‘ of the title is a misnomer, rather than Ballard’s strange and equivocal survisions being applied to the life of this author or his anti-hero we are given a parallax vision that oscillates between self-laceration and self-diagnosis, a memoir in the sense of fragmentation – slow unraveling of obsessions that parallel the cultural demolition ongoing across the planetary mindscapes. With each vignette we are given an irreal glance of the Real, a cat In Simon Sellars novel the ‘Applied Ballardianism‘ of the title is a misnomer, rather than Ballard’s strange and equivocal survisions being applied to the life of this author or his anti-hero we are given a parallax vision that oscillates between self-laceration and self-diagnosis, a memoir in the sense of fragmentation – slow unraveling of obsessions that parallel the cultural demolition ongoing across the planetary mindscapes. With each vignette we are given an irreal glance of the Real, a cathartic portrayal of our global crash culture. To enter Simon’s narrative is to undergo a mutation, to become the thing one most fears, neither a victim nor a perpetrator of the horrors of modernity, but instead an instigator of a collective metamorphosis that entails total and absolute psychosis. The work does not mirror the world as much as it is the inscape of our dark transports, the shape of futurial becomings that are the very core of our inhuman transformation.

  26. 5 out of 5

    August Bourré

  27. 5 out of 5

    Fabio

  28. 5 out of 5

    Panormino

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rodney

  31. 5 out of 5

    Amelia Mangan

  32. 5 out of 5

    HelYksittainen

  33. 4 out of 5

    v

  34. 5 out of 5

    Manuel

  35. 4 out of 5

    Truls Krane Meby

  36. 5 out of 5

    Nick

  37. 4 out of 5

    Michael Eby

  38. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  39. 5 out of 5

    The

  40. 4 out of 5

    Gregory

  41. 5 out of 5

    Dustin Baxter

  42. 5 out of 5

    henry

  43. 5 out of 5

    Evan

  44. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  45. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  46. 4 out of 5

    Maxwell

  47. 5 out of 5

    Guillermo Fernandez

  48. 5 out of 5

    Gediminas

  49. 4 out of 5

    (:)(:)(:)(::)

  50. 4 out of 5

    Mike Corrao

  51. 5 out of 5

    Jess

  52. 4 out of 5

    Verda

  53. 4 out of 5

    Cedric

  54. 5 out of 5

    Magnus

  55. 5 out of 5

    Eric Aguirre

  56. 5 out of 5

    Michael Bridgman

  57. 5 out of 5

    Leo Vladimirsky

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