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Millennium People (2003)

Author: • Sep 5th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, psychology, terrorism, urban decay, urban revolt

Ballardian: Millennium People

OPENING LINE:
“A small revolution was taking place, so modest and well behaved that almost no one had noticed.”

From the 2003 Flamingo edition:

Violent rebellion comes to London’s middle classes in the extraordinary new novel from the author of Cocaine Nights and Super-Cannes.

When a bomb goes off at Heathrow it looks like another random act of violence to psychologist David Markham. But then he discovers that his ex-wife Laura is among the victims. Acting on police suspicions, he starts to investigate London’s fringe protest movements, falling in with a shadowy group based in the comfortable Thames-side estate of Chelsea Marina. Led by a charismatic doctor, the group aims to rouse the docile middle classes to anger and violence, to freem them from both the self-imposed burdens of civic responsibility and the trappings of a consumer society — private schools, foreign nannies, health insurance and overpriced housing. Markham, seeking the truth behind Laura’s death, is swept up in a campaign that spirals rapidly out of control. Every certainty in his life is questioned as the cornerstones of middle England become targets and growing panic grips the capital…

Compelling, disturbing and typically acute, Millennium People is J.G. Ballard’s most remarkable novel yet. Its shockingly plausible vision of a society in collapse is proof that this most original and influential of authors is at the peak of his powers.”

Millennium People is witty, life-affirming, sharp as a blade — and highly topical, continuing to resonate into the 21st century. K-punk captured the tenor precisely:

Gould is an elegant and eloquent salesman of the Deleuze-Guattari ‘line of abolition’, the Fascist drive to destruction which is ultimately a drive towards self-destruction. Ballard, who, to his credit has always refused to endorse facile moralizing, would no doubt object to that characterization, since to in any way condemn or censure Gould would be to confirm the very securocratic values he seeks to undermine.

However, the most compelling aspect of Millennium People, politically speaking, is not the in many ways familiar asignifying violence, but its PUNK THEORY OF CLASS REVOLT.”

k-punk. ‘What are the politics of boredom?’

This is hard-core. From now on ordering an olive ciabatta is a political act.”

J.G. Ballard. Millennium People.

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  1. […] J.G. Ballard. Millennium People. ———————————————————- // this ensures coComment gets the […]

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