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Editor reviews

One of the most revered writers of modern fantasy, J. G. Ballard and his unparalleled imagination is entirely encapsulated in the award-winning, best-selling and unabridged The Complete Short Stories of J. G. Ballard with an outstanding audiobook narration by voice artists Ric Jerron, William Gaminara, Sean Barrett, William Hope and Jeff Harding. This collection of stories fulfills the needs of even the most fanatic of fantasy enthusiasts. The world’s that Ballard creates in his stories are written with such ingenuity it is as if they hang suspended alongside our reality, of equal measure, accessible only through the words on the page. Available now from Audible.

Summary

A collection of 98 enthralling and pulse-quickening stories, spanning five decades, venerates the remarkable imagination of J. G. Ballard. With a body of work unparalleled in 20th-century literature, J. G. Ballard is recognized as one of the greatest and most prophetic writers in the world.

With the much-hailed release of The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard, listeners now have a means to celebrate the unmatched range and mesmerizing cadences of a literary genius. Whether writing about musical orchids, human cannibalism, or the secret history of World War III, Ballard's Complete Stories evokes the hallucinations of Kafka and Borges in its ability to render modern paranoia and fantastical creations on the page.

A Washington Post Best Book of 2009, Boston Globe Best Book, Los Angeles Times Favourite Book, and San Francisco Chronicle Best Book.

©2009 J. G. Ballard (P)2014 Audible Studios

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A Majestic Collection

Ballard was one the most distinctive voices in 20th century literature: weird, disturbing, poetic, provocative and prescient. This collection shows the range of his imagination, from mainstream SF stories to fables to audacious formal experimentation to witty social satires. Superbly read too: some of Ballard's stories present a narrator with considerable challenges which all of the narrators here meet with aplomb. A slight warning: some of Ballard's work does deal with challenging themes and the easily-offended might find material in here to offend them. (If you suspect this may include you I recommend Googling J. G Ballard and Ronald Reagan to find the title of one of his most notorious stories to test.)
For everyone but the most squeamish this represents a major chunk of the output of one of the most important writers of recent years performed impeccably. Unmissable

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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An incredible collection for an incredible price.

It's years since I read a JG Ballard, though I've probably read all the short stories at some time or other. This collection was just too good to resist, and the quality of reading does justice to the stories.

A word of caution though: I'd forgotten just how dark many of his stories could be, so I suggest that you don't listen to the whole collection without a break!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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The Many Haunting Voices of JG Ballard

This is a truly magnificent collection of Ballard's short stories. It gives the listener a sense of his breathtaking scope, his recurring themes, his poignant insights into time, memory and human psychology. It also reminds those unfamiliar with Ballard that, despite the stories for which he is best known due to the film versions of Empire of the Sun and Crash, he was primarily a sci-fi / speculative fiction writer.

I enjoyed hearing variation in the reading voices for the stories, but I must admit I preferred some of them more than others. That being said, none of the narrators take away from the writing.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Rudy
  • Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 05-08-15

Incredible value.

Sixty five hours of masterfully read stories, by the master of the masterfully told story. This is s collection that is simply wonderful.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Short stories , long listening.

Short stories that make you think, easy to listen to one and leave the book for a while and come back.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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The master weaver

Trying to find an odd angle that J.G hasn't used is like trying to find a moral standpoint at a porn convention, it's just not going to happen...the joy comes in watching a master twist, subvert and surprise you with wonderfully crafted tales.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Aron
  • Sidcup, Kent, United Kingdom
  • 26-07-15

Amazing Collection!

Where does The Complete Short Stories rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

it's right near the very top of the list.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Complete Short Stories?

it's difficult to say because there are so many stories that are very good. but if you don't like one of the stories, there are multiple others to choose from.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

because it's so long and such a huge multitude of stories, i find it more enjoyable,to listen to it in parts between other books

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Excellent but badly put together

these short stories of Ballards are really well read and are brilliant as a collection but as an audio book there is no way to navigate around the different stories. They cut off into audio chapters that differ from the stories. For example a chapter may start in the middle of a story and a new story in the middle of a chapter. Very frustrating. In fact has ruined the listening experience totally.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not bad but starting to feel a bit dated

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Average - it's good but not really cutting edge or classic. I know JG Ballard fans won't agree...

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

There were a lot of recurring themes, such as sonics. A lot of it feels quite dated; really good sci fi can stand the test of time ('1984' for instance)

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

I thought the narration was good, easy to listen to

Could you see The Complete Short Stories being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

I think they'd have to do quite a bit of re-writing to bring it up to date enough for a movie

Any additional comments?

Might appeal to people who are already fans of JG Ballard

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Ultimately unsatisfying

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Nearly all the stories start brilliantly, with an intriguing premise that really stimulates the imagination. But it's as if the author does not have the stamina to get to the end and form any kind of conclusion. For the first several, I continued to listen in hope, but I have started to expect to be disappointed.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

A middle and an end

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

most of them are fine, but Ric Jerrom's random vocal modulation are infuriating, almost to the point of being unlistenable.

Was The Complete Short Stories worth the listening time?

I have not quite reached the end, and I'm starting to view them as a bit of chore. I now skip the ones read by Ric Jerrom.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • S. Rowell
  • 26-02-17

Incredible collection but flawed by voice actors

This one actor, Jeff Harding, ruins the stories that he's read in this incredible collection. it's like listening to a badly trained news reporter rambling off the sentences with no concern for the story or for the gravity of Ballard's writing. In stark contrast, the rest of the performances are excellent. What a shame to have to skip over every story that Harding has flattened out.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • anthony
  • 02-09-14

horrid peroid references with blathering.

Would you try another book from J. G. Ballard and/or the narrators?

This was a wasted credit. Hard to listen to. Made my ears bleed. 60 hours of every bad line this guy ever penned.
Narrator was good despite the content. Some of the stories were like poorly contrived twilight zone episodes. The remainder were just rot.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Something by a writer who isn't trying to be witty and turn a bad phrase every other sentence. One that is missing dated references and awful drivel that confounds instead of relaying a thought or idea.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

They took dirt and put it into a bucket. That's all I can say here because the content was poorly written. Dated.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Complete Short Stories?

I would have sent the manuscript back for a burning and a burial at sea. Some things should not be published. The paper could have served a more useful purpose as toilet tissue.

Any additional comments?

I think that about says it all.

6 of 61 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Charles Davis
  • 03-05-16

Too Depressing

What would have made The Complete Short Stories better?

A less cynical author

Has The Complete Short Stories turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. Asimov's short stories were very good.

What aspect of the narrators’s performance would you have changed?

Their choice of subject matter.

What character would you cut from The Complete Short Stories?

All those suffering a depressing end, i.e., many characters.

1 of 19 people found this review helpful