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Running Wild (1988)

Author: • Sep 16th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, CCTV, gated communities, surveillance, urban revolt

Ballardian: Running Wild

OPENING LINE:
25 August, 1988. Where to start?”

This novella is just 87 pages long. Ballard calls it a ‘whydunit’ (rather than a ‘whodunit’), and it’s as uncanny as that implies. The shadow of Columbine hangs over this work (or, rather, vice versa).

The murders happened shortly after 8 o’clock on the morning of 25 June, 1988. Media speculation was rife on the so-called ‘Pangbourne Massacre’, but no-one knew why 32 adult residents of an exclusive housing development had been brutally slain and their children sbducted. In the face of total bafflement and continuing public outrage, the police called in Dr Richard Greville, the Met’s Deputy Psychiatric Adviser. But as Greville sifts the evidence and decides to follow new lines of enquiry he is drawn to a conclusion as appalling as the crime itself…

From the Arrow 1989 edition.

A chilling moral fable for our time.”
William French, Globe & Mail

“The writing is elegant, taut and economical; the story is gripping.”
Sunday Times

“An austere brilliance of style and composition.”
Sydney Morning Herald

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One Response »

  1. […] made me feel better about preferring Hawthorne’s Twice-Told Tales, J.G. Ballard’s Running Wild and Gore Vidal’s Duluth to their more revered […]

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