The Crystal World/Crash/Concrete Island Author:J. G. Ballard Three books by J.G. Ballard all in one volume. — The Crystal World pits the forces of nature against humanity. Dr. Edward Sanders is lured to Mont Royal in Africa, "a landscape without time" where matter and time are warped, transforming the jungle-and every creature in it-into petrified, crystalline structures pulsating with light. — Crash is the... more » story of a man who embarks on a sexual odyssey of London's motorways with a young widow--until he meets the violent "hoodlum scientist" Vaughan whose bizarre goal is to die in a head-on crash with film star Elizabeth Taylor. Often compared to Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange it is a nightmare marriage of sex and technology which Kirkus Reviews called "a bravura performance with whiplash impact".
In Concrete Island, Ballard again uses the automobile as a symbol for modern life. Robert Maitland becomes a modern-day Robinson Crusoe after his car jumps an embankment and he is thrown into a traffic island beneath three converging highways. Combing the wasteland (which is situated in the middle of London) for food and water, an unjured Maitland meets two outcasts who share his "island" refuge and will do anything for him-except help him escape.« less