Monday, December 22, 2008


A friend mentioned the movie "Crash" to me the other day.  I mistakenly assumed it was the 2004 Oscar winning film; she was actually referencing the 1996 cerebral horror film based on the book of the same title by J.G. Ballard.  Thanks to the internet, I was able to get a copy of the book before I could locate the movie.

I have yet to decide if Crash is an excellent commentary on the role to the car in our lives, or a rather niche piece of fetish literature.  One one hand it draws some interesting connections between cars, sexuality and consumerism.  On the other, it gets pretty raw.  This isn't a particularly fun read, nor a particularly good one, and so I'd have a hard time recommending it.  I certainly won't be reading it again any time soon.

As a side note, thematically it is considered a forerunner of cyberpunk.  Or so the literature kids tell me.  I suppose this is true, but as a history kid, I think the two are fairly distinct.

Robert Alverson


1 comment:

solipsistnation said...

It's both a commentary on the role of the car in our lives AND a niche piece of fetish literature, assuming that's the kind of thing you get off on. If not, focus on the first bit.

One of the main themes of what became cyberpunk was the role of technology in our lives, and how that effects how we view our identity and how it shapes our society-- in that sense, "Crash" is definitely proto-cyberpunk, in much the same way as John Brunner's "Shockwave Rider" and "The Sheep Look Up" and some others I'm not thinking of at the moment. (Also good reads if you can dig them up. Ask and I'll bring them in for you sometime...) There's a pretty distinct vein of nihilism running through "Crash," though, that turns it into something else.