J. G. Ballard: The Crystal World

(1544 words)
  • Jeannette Baxter (Anglia Ruskin University)

Set in an isolated corner of the Cameroon Republic, The Crystal World is widely considered to be one of Ballard’s most mesmerising and haunting works. The novel opens on a note of frustration: a passenger steamer which is carrying Dr Sanders (a leprosy specialist), Father Balthus (a Catholic priest) and Ventress (an architect) amongst its passengers is prevented from docking at the former colonial outpost of Port Matarre. Through the penumbral glow that bathes the distant shore, the passengers observe heavy military and police activity yet no reason is ever given for the boat’s delay. Instead, the characters are left to ruminate over these enigmatic events, and they (along with the reader) start to question their own a…

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Baxter, Jeannette. "The Crystal World". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 October 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1140, accessed 01 July 2015.]