Thursday, April 26, 2012

Top ten books about shopping malls

Ewan Morrison is the author of the novels Distance, Swung, and Ménage as well as the collection of short stories, The Last Book You Read.

For the Guardian, he named a top ten list of books about shopping malls in literature, including:
Kingdom Come by JG Ballard

Ballard's final novel before his death in 2009 depicts a dystopia with rioting football mobs, deluded shoppers and fascist youth fighting to the death for the only thing left to believe in – shopping at the Metro-Centre, a cathedral-like super mall off the M25. "Consumerism is running out of road, and it's trying to mutate. It's tried fascism, but even that isn't primitive enough. The only thing left is out-and-out madness." The plot hangs on one man's attempts to solve the murder of his father by a lone gunman. But unlike the great number of pulp novels about lone gunmen in malls, Ballard goes deeper to answer the underlying question – why in the popular subconscious are the pristine, benign spaces of retail associated with violence and death? The middle classes are behind it all, and their desire for conformism is the true founding act of violence. As with all great Ballard, it is how close his fantasy is to contemporary reality that's truly chilling.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue