+ THORACIC DROP: < Deposit > news appropriate to this site.

+ AUTOGEDDON: Subscribe to Ballardian & receive automatic email updates

The Unlimited Dream Company (1979)

Author: • Sep 16th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, flying, sexual politics, Shepperton

Ballardian: The Unlimited Dream Company

“In the first place, why did I steal the aircraft?”

The Unlimited Dream Company is “one of the titles featured in Anthony Burgess’ Ninety-Nine Novels: The Best in English since 1939”.

It’s also one of Ballard’s most surprising and underrated works, and deeply personal, too, given that it takes place in his home town of Shepperton. Substitute the narrator, Blake, for Ballard, then consider Malcolm Bradbury’s insightful review:

For the citizens of Shepperton, Blake performs strange wonders, spinning abundance and exuding sexual energy, drawing them away from their work and into a new world of polymorphous perversity.

From the Triad/Panther edition, 1985:

From the moment Blake crashes his stolen aircraft into the Thames, the unlimited dream company takes over and the town of Shepperton is transformed into an apocalyptic kingdom of desire and stunning imagination ruled over by Blake’s messianic figure. Tropical flora and fauna appear; pan-sexual celebrations occur regularly; and in a final climax of liberation, the townspeople learn to fly.

• Filmography (coming soon)
• Artography (coming soon)


Find all posts by

Older: «

5 Responses »

  1. For those who say Ballard constantly repeated himself, I say look here. One of the best fantasy novels I have ever read made even more poignant since his passing.

  2. I’ve been a committed reader of Ballard for many years, but have only just got around to reading this book.

    Not really what I expected, but a very pleasant surprise. The fantasy element is unusual for Ballard, but he keeps you riveted throughout. The prose is as pungent and dense as the jungle world of the novel.

    What is it? A creation myth? Who cares: I found it ultimately very moving.

  3. Another Sleeper in the Ballard catalog. His imagination is unrivaled. I loved reading this book!

  4. It has all the typical elements of a Ballard novel but written by his hero -Dali. A strange coupling of his early eco-works with the psychosexualism of Crash, it is wholly original in all senses of that term. I kept waiting for the Big Reveal only to discover that that is not the point and not the kind of books he writes anyway. You can describe your dreams (and life) but you can not explain them.

    Probably won’t read it again but I feel it’ll stay with me for a very long time.

    Ironic that I finally read it the same year Ballard died. It is his own eulogy.

  5. […] your case, Mother London, King of the City, and parts of the Cornelius novels; in Ballard’s case The Unlimited Dream Company, Millennium People, Kingdom Come. Yet there are substantial differences between them; it seems to […]

Leave a Reply