The Drought Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Drought

For ten years, drought conditions around the planet have been worsening. Dr. Charles Ransom, separated from his wife Judith, has been hanging on in the mountain community of Hamilton as the lake and river dry up and people flee for the ocean. Eventually he joins the exodus, while a few religious and other crazies stay and fight among one another. For another 10 years, people fight and steal from one another at ocean's edge, where the government has set up compounds of water distillation plants, but there's not enough for everyone, salt dunes pile up, and near anarchy reigns. When a wild animal from an inland zoo shows up, there's a wild hope that water has turned up somewhere along the way, and Ransom and a small band of others make their way back up the riverbed to Hamilton, there to make a last stand. This is the third of Ballard's four early (1960s) end-of-the-world-scenario novels, originally titled _The Burning World_.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of The Drought

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 20%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   depressing/sad FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Explore:    -   post environmental/nuclear disaster, fighting MadMax gangs    -   surviving natural elements on planet Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   doctor Age:    -   40's-50's


Terrain    -   Desert    -   Water    -   Mountains Earth setting:    -   near future (later in 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   actual description of sex How much dialogue?    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Drought

J.G. Ballard Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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