J.G. Ballard: Closely Observed Trains
Don Watson, New Musical Express, 26 October 1985
He never listens to music but he inspired the writing of 'Warm Leatherette' and Magazine's 'Motorcade', his trilogy of Crash, High Rise and Concrete Island provided the definitive picture of the landscape of Britain in the '70s, opening the way for industrial romanticists like Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle and Clock DVA. Now, after 20 years, J G Ballard is a best-selling author, with his partly autobiographical novel of wartime Shanghai, Empire Of The Sun, reckoned the moral winner of the Booker prize, now released in paperback. Don Watson takes a train to Shepperton to meet a hero and talk of TV, World War III and other modern jokes in the comedy of terrors.
Total word count of piece: 4093