Super-Cannes A Novel

J. G. Ballard




Trade Paperback

400 Pages



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Winner of the 2001 Eurasian Regional Commonwealth Writers Prize

Long-regarded as one of the true visionary writers of the twentieth century, J.G. Ballard was one of the first British writers of the post-war period to begin to see, and to map out in his fiction, the future course of our civilization. For forty years his unflinching eye has turned to the point where the advancing edge of our technological progress has worn away our inner humanity.

Eden-Olympia is more than just a multinational business park, it is a virtual city-state in itself, with the latest in services and facilities for the most elite high-tech industries. Isolated and secure, overlooking the luxurious French Riviera, the residents lack nothing. Yet one day Dr. Greenwood from Eden-Olympia's clinic goes on a suicidal shooting spree. Dr. Jane Sinclair is hired as his replacement, and she and her husband, Paul, are given Dr. Greenwood's house as a residence.

Unable to work while recovering from an accident, Paul spends his days taking a
close look at the house where Dr. Greenwood shot himself and three hostages. He discovers clues in the house that lead him to question Eden-Olympia's official account of the killings. Drawn into investigating the activities of the park's leading citizens, while Jane is lured deeper into Eden-Olympia's inner workings, Paul uncovers the dangerous psychological vents that maintain Eden-Olympia's smoothly running surface. An experiment is underway at Eden-Olympia, an experiment in power and brutality. Soon Paul finds himself in a race to save himself and his wife before they are crushed by forces that may be beyond anyone's control.


Praise for Super-Cannes

"Ballard's prose is seductive and pellucid and his stories compelling . . . Spiked with . . . gnomic dialogue and black, black humor, this book is also a captivating Chandlerian mystery."—The Washington Post Book World

"Each page, and this is a page-turner, might have the mind's knees knocking, the mind's flesh horripilating. Super-Cannes . . . confirms J. G. Ballard's substantial place in contemporary fiction."—The Washington Times

"Ballard's fictional world [is] like no one else's."—Atlantic Monthly

"Ballard is our poet laureate of Modernism's dead zones . . . [Super-Cannes] achieves a brilliant, thorny ambiguity—the kind that lodges splinterlike in your imagination, and refuses to come loose."—L.A. Weekly

"Rarely has his vision been so total, his creation so complete. Super-Cannes is as good as anything that Ballard has done before, and considering the work which that bland statement encompasses, it's the highest possible praise."—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Super-Cannes is the first great work of social theory of the twenty-first century."—Portland Mercury

"One of his finest."—The San Francisco Chronicle

"Ballard is a writer for whom anything is possible—a prose surrealist drawn to extremity and stylized representations of modernity, in which ordinary experience is never what it seems: it is always capable of being transformed into something remarkable."—The Times (London)

"Ballard loves to go that bit further out than anyone else; to nose around the outer limits of human behavior and to rub up against the inconceivable . . . Super-Cannes is prime Ballard—weighty, potent and extraordinary."—The Evening Standard (London)

"One of the most important, intelligent voices in contemporary fiction."—Susan Sontag

"Persuasive and gripping . . . Ballard quickly and effectively makes the point that corporatism has crushed our souls."—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

"A magical hybrid that belongs to no known genre, a masterpiece of the surrealist imagination."—New Statesman (London)

"More than any other writer Ballard understands the transformation technology may effect on human desire. This is his most potent statement yet of the outcome of that transformation, an elegant nightmare with all the internal coherence of an Escher engraving or a Calvino fable."—The Observer (London)

"From the febrile mind and pen of J.G. Ballard, instigator of perhaps the only project in post-war British fiction to fully engage with the modern age in all its blasted glory."—Time Out London

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Chapter One The first person I met at Eden-Olympia was a psychiatrist, and in many ways it seems only too apt that my guide to this `intelligent' city in the hills above Cannes should have been a specialist in mental disorders. I realize now that a kind of waiting madness, like a state of undeclared war, haunted the office buildings of the business park. For most of us, Dr Wilder Penrose was our amiable Prospero, the psychopomp who steered our darkest dreams towards the daylight. I remember his eager smile when we greeted each other, and the evasive eyes that warned me away from his outstretched
Read the full excerpt


  • J. G. Ballard

  • J.G. Ballard was the author of numerous books, including Empire of the Sun, the underground classic Crash, and The Kindness of Women. He was revered as one of the most important writers of fiction to address the consequences of twentieth-century technology.
  • J. G. Ballard Copyright Jerry Bauer
    J. G. Ballard