A Confession about JG Ballard’s Crash


I recently re-read JG Ballard’s Crash after some 10-15 years. I remember liking the book quite a bit, but on this latest re-reading I thought it was absolutely awful. In every way. Lousy writing. Tedious descriptions. In fact, I was bored most of the time. All in all, I found it, almost, well, um…tacky. For those readers that aren’t familiar with Ballard’s book, Crash, the plot is basically this: a character, JG Ballard, and his good friend Vaughn develop a scheme to kill Elizabeth Taylor in an erotic high speed car accident. It’s certainly easy to see the connection, some twenty years after Ballard wrote Crash, with the death of Princess Diana. However, I’m pretty sure Ballard had in mind Jayne Mansfield, who died in a car crash in ’67 or ’68. As the story goes, her boyfriend fell asleep at the wheel and Mansfield was decapitated. I did , however, just find out a fun fact. Mansfield’s daughter, who was sleeping in the backseat, survived the crash unscathed, for the most part. Mansfield’s daughter? Mariska Hargitay of Law and Order SVU fame. For those who haven’t seen the show, Hargitay’s character is a cop that investigates sex crimes. Somehow this seems rather apropos in this context…