Monthly Archives: May 2009

J.G. Ballard, "The Autobiography of J.G.B."

A guy wakes up to find he’s the last person on earth.

(from the New Yorker, May 11, 2009)

On waking one morning, B was surprised to see that Shepperton was deserted. He entered the kitchen at nine o’clock, annoyed to find that neither his post nor the daily newspapers had been delivered, and that a power failure prevented him from preparing his breakfast. He spent an hour staring at the melting ice that dripped from his refrigerator, and then went next door to complain to his neighbor.

This strikes me as an easy story. Easy to think up, easy to write. It’s also the kinda thing I could read all the time. I like apoca-lit. This was short — less than one New Yorker-page long — and very few answers. In fact, it’s got this silly last line that exists only to tease a greater intrigue that will never be sated. But whatever. All the people disappeared. That’s so cool. I would find an RV and drive around.

Read it here, if you have five minutes.