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Cocaine Nights (1996)

Author: • Sep 7th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, consumerism, Iain Sinclair, sport

Ballardian: Cocaine Nights

OPENING LINE:
“Crossing frontiers is my profession.”

From the 1996 Flamingo edition:

“To an outsider, the retired British residents of the Spanish coastal resort of Estrella de Mar belong to an idyllic community, enjoying a lifestyle of constant cultural and sporting activity — based around the thriving Club Nautico. But the image is shattered when five people die in a mysterious housefire during a party attended by members of the club, and the club’s manager, Frank Prentice, is arrested for murder.

Arriving on the scene, his brother Charles is shocked to find that, though not even the police believe him capable of the crime, Frank is determined to plead guilty. If he is to understand his brother’s attitude, Charles senses that he must first unravel the mysteries of Estrella de Mar. For beneath the civilised surface lies a secret world of crime, drugs and illicit sex, orchestrated by a charismatic Pied Piper figure, whose dark influence is spreading with alarming speed.”

“A writer capable of the most amazing narrative feats — but not quite house-broken.”
John Sutherland, Sunday Times

Many saw Cocaine Nights as a return to form after Rushing to Paradise, and it is a smart book. It marked a new, streamlined phase in Ballard’s career, the start of a supposed quadrology (followed by Super-Cannes, Millennium People and Kingdom Come) that took the format of the detective story, and — in Iain Sinclair’s words — “sits and pretends to be a mainstream literary novel. It comes out looking like a literary novel — Cocaine Nights has almost the form of an Agatha Christie novel, it’s comfortable — except that they’re doing stranger things. There’s a much darker kick in it.”

..:: LINKS
+ J.G. Ballard Live In London (features a discussion of Cocaine Nights)

..:: J.G. BALLARD
Bibliography
• Filmography (coming soon)
• Artography (coming soon)

..:: BUY THE BOOK

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2 Responses »

  1. [...] chiefly for a first encounter with the superlative Super Cannes – his companion piece to Cocaine Nights – while just last week I picked up High Rise again, after reading my brother’s [...]

  2. A dreadful book. Fact.

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