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The Crystal World

ISBN13: 9780374520960
ISBN: 0374520968
Binding: Paperback
List Price: $14.0
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published Date:
Pages: 216
Average Goodreads rating: 3.63/5 (2849 ratings)

J. G. Ballard's fourth novel, which established his reputation as a writer of extraordinary talent and imaginative powers, tells the story of a physician specializing in the treatment of leprosy who is invited to a small outpost in the interior of Africa. Finding the roadways blocked, he takes to the river, and embarks on a frightening journey through a strange petrified forest whose area expands daily, affecting not only the physical environment but also its inhabitants.

Through a 'leaking' of time, the West African jungle starts to crystallize. Trees are metamorphosed into enormous jewels. Crocodiles encased in second glittering skins lurch down the river. Pythons with huge blind gemstone eyes rear in heraldic poses.

Fearing this transformation as a herald of the apocalypse, most flee the area in terror, afraid to face a catastrophe they cannot understand. But some, dazzled and strangely entranced, remain to drift through this dreamworld forest. Travelling through this gilded land, the doctor tries to resist its strange allure, while a tribe of lepers search for Paradise…