With a new introduction by Deborah Levy and a striking new cover design by the artist Stanley Donwood, Ballard's final novel sees consumerism evolve into something even more sinister.
A gunman opens fire in a shopping mall. Not a terrorist, apparently, but a madman with a rifle. Or not, as he is mysteriously (and quickly) set free without charge.
One of the victims is the father of Richard Pearson, unemployed advertising executive and life-long rebel. Now he is driving out to Brooklands, the apparently peaceful town on the M25 which has at its heart the very shiny shoppers' paradise where the shooting happened - the Metro-Centre.
Then the main suspect is released - thanks to the testimony of self-styled pillars of the community like the doctor who treated Richard's father on his deathbed. Richard, determined to unravel the mystery, starts to believe that something deeply sinister lurks behind the pristine facades of the labyrinthine mall, its 24-hour cable TV and sports club...
J. G. Ballard was born in 1930 in Shanghai. After internment in a civilian prison camp, his family returned to England in 1946. His 1984 bestseller `Empire of the Sun' won the Guardian Fiction Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. His controversial novel `Crash' was made into a film by David Cronenberg. His autobiography `Miracles of Life' was published in 2008, and a collection of interviews with the author, `Extreme Metaphors', was published in 2012. J. G. Ballard passed away in 2009.