J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World, a Quick Review

Like a fever dream, The Drowned World starts in a solid, believable future. The Sun has entered a period of constant flaring that has drastically raised the temperature of the Earth, melting the planet’s ice caps and inundating coastal cities everywhere. Most of the planet has become uninhabitable, and humankind has retreated to the polar regions.
A scientific team works in what was once London, studying the rapid changes taking place in flora and fauna. The season changes, the temperature rises, and the story becomes more and more like a dream, until finally I’m not sure whether the events are real, or the final act of a nightmare.
It’s a book that’s been called prophetic. Though it doesn’t anticipate that our current climate crisis would be self-inflicted, it does depict a frightening situation that could be our world in a hundred years. (Or less?) It’s worthwhile for beautiful writing, and for experiencing how the author gradually and masterfully changes the mood and atmosphere from a seemingly controlled situation to something completely outside the realm of the rational. A fun read.

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