Thursday, July 22, 2010

"The Assasination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race" by J.G. Ballard

Source: Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast (mp3)
Length: 7 minutes
Reader: Miette

The story: I listened to this story while in Dallas, on a commuter train that passes Dealey Plaza and the Texas School Book Depository on my way to my job next to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where President Kennedy died. So, when I heard the story, I knew the geography intimately, and was aware of the facts surrounding the assassination, having recently attended the Sixth Floor Museum at the Book Depository.

Ballard approaches the JFK assassination with dark humor. The extended metaphor of a downhill race to the murder of a President satirizes the heavy media revisiting of the assassination from every possible angle. The light tone of the story shocks the reader out of his familiarity with the events, paradoxically making Pres. Kennedy's death more disturbing.

Rating: 8/10

The reader: As I've mentioned before, Miette has a wonderful soft voice that I could listen to over and over again. Her lovely British accent doesn't quite fit with the subject matter, but it is undeniably pleasant. Her pacing is slow and her tone is neutral, allowing the listener to decide his own views on this disturbing piece of writing.

1 comment:

miette said...

Thanks for the thoughtful review-- I love Ballard, and if I had my way I might devote myself to his complete works. Glad you liked it, and I love your project.

FYI this story is Ballard's response to this original, by Alfred Jarry (also terrific):

-- Miette