Alternative title: "THIS is why we can't have nice things"*******************************************************Okay, having collected my thoughts, here are the points I think worth mentioning. *I loved the book. Just fucking LOVED the book. As in, "I will read everything this author ever wrote" loved the book. My first impression was that this is Lord of the Flies for adults. I enjoyed this a lot more than I did Golding's book.From here on out, the whole thing is pretty much one big spoiler. So if you haven't read the book, you'll need to go do that now. I'll wait.*If I had one complaint though, it would be this: From page one, there was never any doubt that this breakdown of established societal norms would happen. There is nothing special about this particular high-rise or these particular people. This all seemed to happen by sheer dint of modern high-rise design. So the assumption must have been that this is the inevitable consequence of high-rise living. Even in 1975, when the book was written, we knew better. So for me, it would have worked better to put in some kind of catalyst to explain the phenomenon.*The gender roles were really interesting. Ballard focuses on three men: one each from the three "classes" of tenants. People seemed to revert quite quickly to hunter/gatherer roles, but in the end, the women triumph. I'd have liked to have read more of this from the female perspective to figure out how this happened.*I liked the tribalism of the floor numbers -people scrawling their floor number on walls, wearing them written on their foreheads etc. I was surprised that these new tribes didn't last very long. I'm not sure why this happened, and what Ballard's assumptions were on this point.*The voyeurism was a nice touch, with people taking polaroids and film of violent events, to the extent that negatives were littering the floors. I liked this quote in particular, "What depraved species of electric flora would spring to life from the garbage-strewn carpets of the corridors in response to this new source of light?"* "Even their insistence on educating their children, the last reflex of any exploited group before it sank into submission, marked the end of their resistance." This is an interesting point, particularly given the destruction of so many aboriginal cultures here in Australia. I know a lot of communities see educating their kids in English as the way to save their communities, but while acknowledging the loss of culture that this entails. In a way, it is a form of submission.*Also, I love that in the future people will have vinyl records and polaroids again. That makes me very happy. "Let the psychotics take over. They alone understood what was happening." Words to live by.