The Day of Creation
by J. G. Ballard

J. G. Ballard is best known for his novel Empire of the Sun, based on his experiences as a child interned in a Japanese prison camp during World War II. It's a fine book, and was made into a good movie as well.

The Day of Creation is an unusual fantasy about a man trying to drill for water in the Sahara who inadvertently creates a river, which he spends most of the rest of the book trying to destroy. It's a strange book, with almost uniformly unsympathetic characters: one never understands, for example, why the protagonist is so bent on destroying the river he has created.

The book has some powerful imagery, but overall, I wasn't that crazy about it. I've always had a prejudice against surreal novels with unsypathetic characters, and that pretty well describes this one. If you don't share my prejudices, you might be more favorably inclined to this book than I was.

I give it **½ (out of ****).


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