Introduction by Hari Kunzru
The irrational, all-pervading violence of the modern world is the subject of this extraordinary tour de force. The central character's dreams are haunted by images of John F Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, dead astronauts and car-crash victims as he traverses the screaming wastes of nervous breakdown. Seeking his sanity, he casts himself in a number of roles: H-bomber pilot, presidential assassin, crash victim, psychopath. Finally, through the black, perverse magic of violence he transcends his psychic turmoils to find the key to a bizarre new sexuality.
When 'The Atrocity Exhibition' was first published in 1970 it was received by an unprepared world with widespread confusion. It soon became a cult book, however, and is now seen as one of this remarkable author's key works, featuring many of the obsessions that recur in later books such as 'Empire Of The Sun', 'High-Rise' and 'Super-Cannes', as well as the seed of his controversial 'Crash'. In this revised edition, J G Ballard has added extensive annotations that help to unlock many of the mysteries of one of the most prophetic and enigmatic works of fiction of the late 20th century.