High Rise


Well-known member
I've not read High Rise since university, but I stuck on the widely (it seems to me, when I was paying attention to it, justifiably) panned film adaptation of it the other day and it got me thinking about revisiting the book.

The thing is, when I read it at uni I was – despite exhibiting marked hermetic tendencies – in a really sociable environment (uni) and I couldn't really relate to its vision of urban isolation.

Now I'm 36, living more or less alone in the city (in a lockdown too) and I'm totally catered to by these apps (Deliveroo, Uber, etc.) so that I never really have to talk to anyone if I don't want to. I don't know my neighbours. I don't want to know my neighbours. I barely know my housemates. I'm not in a high rise but you don't need to be now to be catered to.

Obviously the social satire aspect of High Rise is important, too, and my class plays into this feeling of being able to live luxuriously and in total isolation.

One thing that's been making me feel really uncomfortable lately is this sense of being served by an army of zero contract workers (most seemingly immigrants) on mopeds while I live in this state of comparative luxury shovelling pizza into my mouth and netflix into my eyes.

Think on.

High Rise ... the story was one of Ballard's better ones.
Possibly in part due to it's timing, in music you had Throbbing G , Genesis and Industrial Music staking out those spaces sometimes upon Ballard's often pretty dark visions.
Didn't see the movie version, it barely came out in the States.

The different periods of JG were striking too, looking back now
the Disaster novels ,
breakthrough @ Atrocity Exhibition,
having his life story made into a Spielberg film in Empire Of The Sun,
Cannes Super Cannes Cocaine Nights series ...
One of the best writers ... ever