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The Crystal World

Critique • Quotes

The Crystal World first edition, 1966First edition
By J.G. Ballard
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication

Literature form

Science fiction

Writing language

Author's country

Approx. 56,500 words

Notable lines

Above all, the  darkness of the river was what impressed Dr. Sanders as he looked out for the first time across the open mouth of the Matarre estuary. After many delays, the small passenger steamer was at last approaching the line of jetties, but although it was ten o'clock the surface of the water was still gray and sluggish, leaching away the somber tinctures of the collapsing vegetation along the banks.

— First lines

"The light—have you noticed it? Is there an eclipse expected? The sun seems unable to make up its mind."


Ventress nodded sagely. "A large question, Doctor. To answer it I would need—literally, I fear—all the time in the world—"
Before Sanders could question him the door opened and one of the African youths he had seen by the car outside entered. A quick glance passed between himself and Ventress, and the youth slipped out again.
With a short bow at Sanders, Ventress turned and pulled his crocodile-skin suitcase from the booth behind Sanders. He paused on his way out and whispered at Sanders: "All the time in the world… remember that, Doctor!"


"It's so easy to be more frightened of one's feelings than of the things that prompt them. The forest isn't like that—I've accepted it, and all the fears that go with them."


Her eyes hidden by the sunglasses, she watched Sanders without waving as the boat sped on up the deserted river.

— Last line


Critique • Quotes