In parched Port-la-Nouvelle in central Africa, Dr Mallory watches his clinic fail as constant warfare between a ragged band of guerrillas and the local chief of police causes the tribal residents to flee. In this drought-plagued and poverty-ridden country he dreams of discovering a third Nile tributary to make the Sahara bloom. During his search for water an ancient tree stump is accidentally uprooted and water wells up, spreading until it becomes an enormous river.
Naming the river after himself, Mallory becomes obsessed with his creation. But almost as soon as he has discovered it he resolves to destroy it. With the once-arid land now abounding in birds and beasts, he forges up-river in an old car ferry, clashing with hostile factions in a dangerous quest to find the source of his own creation.
A mesmerising tale from a master storyteller, this is a spellbinding fable for our times.
J. G. Ballard was born in 1930, in Shanghai, where his father was a businessman. After internment in a civilian prison camp, he and his family returned to England in 1946. He published his first novel, The Drowned World, in 1961. His 1984 best seller Empire of the Sun won the Guardian Fiction Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was later filmed by Steven Spielberg. His memoir Miracles of Life was published in 2008. J.G. Ballard died in 2009.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By franjangle on 06-01-16
Poetic and Wierd
A dream within Africa, a strange odessey, I never quite grasped where it was heading, and certainly not why. Obsessive to listen to, hypnotic, with a pump of helicopter blades in the mist.
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