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Publisher's Summary

When a class war erupts inside a luxurious apartment block, modern elevators become violent battlegrounds and cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on “enemy” floors. In this visionary tale, human society slips into violent reverse as once-peaceful residents, driven by primal urges, re-create a world ruled by the laws of the jungle.

©1975 J. G. Ballard (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Harsh and ingenious! High Rise is an intense and vivid bestiary, which lingers unsettlingly in the mind." (Martin Amis, New Statesman)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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Ballard deserves a more competent narrator

the narration seriously distracts from the story. when he tries to do British, the reader is merely affected. when he tries to do women, he is laughable. this is unfortunate, to say the least. I was looking forward to a Ballard novel, but I sure the author would be rolling in his grave - or at least in the aisles - if he heard this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow!

On so many levels. Ballard's poetic prose hit me in the gut. I listened to this on a road trip from Boston, MA to Jacksonville, NC. Thought provoking and intelligent exploring the irony on civilized society. Loved this book!

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  • Performance
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Good, but I was expecting more.

No spoilers

I was so excited to see this come out as audio. I just put this on my list a few months ago and it sounded really exciting. That being said, it was good, but fell a little short of my expectations.

I was expecting chaos and EPIC life and death struggle within this high rise building. I'm a student of psychology and sociology. We all know what can happen when individuals meld into a group, when it gets violent, when we revert back to our base animal instincts.

All of that DID happen, but this story reads more like a documentary. As in here's what happened... and that took some of the umph away. It's extremely well written and well done. I read/listen to lots of crazy stuff so...

High Rise: 1000 apts, over 2000 souls, grocery stores, pools, restaurants, fitness centers, banks. You never have to leave. 40 floors. The richest live on the top 5 floors. The middle class floors 20ish-35. The lower classes 1-18ish. However, it's not class that starts the conflict (not entirely), It's just petty pet peeves that happen when you have that many people crammed together.

The main characters: In the 1st sentence, we meet Langley the doctor (Floor 35) roasting a dog to eat over a fire of burning phone books and are plunged into the chaos before the author takes us back to Langley 3 months before when all was well.

We meet Wilder of Floor 2, a film maker type.

And finally we meet R (forgot his name) of floor 40. The architect of the high rise.

Do I recommend this. Yes!

One last thing. There is no fancy wrap up to the situation. So if you like finished packages.....

Narration is acceptable, unremarkable.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Thrilling and Disturbing

“Later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr. Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building during the previous three months.”
The first line from J.G. Ballard’s novel, High-Rise. The film adaptation, which is set to begin production this summer (for an anticipated release in 2015), stars Tom Hiddleston as the anti-hero, Dr. Robert Laing. (via hiddleston-daily)

1 of 5 people found this review helpful