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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

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The only book of Wolfe's I've read is 'The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test' which seemed too much like Hunter S. Thompson's work. You've convinced me to put 'Bonfire of the Vanities' in my queue, though. The movie wasn't great, but then movie adaptations rarely are.

And in turn I'll compliment Brit JG Ballard, whose last novel 'Kingdom Come' (2006) I'm reading now. It's striking how accurately Ballard predicted current politics. The gist is summed up in a conversation:

"... The new politics is going to be a little like pro rugby. ... Don’t change your style, but now and then surprise them. Show an authoritarian edge, be openly critical of them. Make a sudden emotional appeal. Show your flaws, then demand loyalty. Insist on faith and emotional commitment, without exactly telling them what they’re supposed to believe in. That’s new politics. Remember, people today unconsciously accept that violence is redemptive. And in their hearts they’re convinced that psychopathy is close to sainthood.’

‘Are they right?’

‘Yes. They know that madness is the only freedom left to them.’"

Ballard's semi-autobiographical 'Empire of the Sun' was made into a movie no where near as good as the book.

Bob - I've read several of JG Ballard's books and they are rather good. Empire of the Sun was fantastic I thought.

They're a bit odd, but certainly worth a read.

Cuffleyburgers,

It's hard to imagine living through a childhood like Ballard's in 'Empire of the Sun' and not turning out a little odd. At one point he offered a prize for the best fiction written while under the influence of a hallucinogen.

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