The yellow book

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You would hardly expect the visionary author JG Ballard to pick Around the World in 80 days as the most memorable book of his travels. But would you expect him to have chosen the Los Angeles edition of the Yellow Pages instead? Well, maybe, if you knew a bit about him you would. But when Ballard was asked by The Guardian Review (you have to scroll down a bit, Ballard is the third author on the list) why he had chosen it his answer is a classic bit of Ballardian twistiness:

“What is interesting about the LA Yellow Pages is the picture it gives of real life in os Angeles, so different from the glitzy world of film premieres, stars and directors. There are more psychiatrists listed than plumbers, and more dating bureaus than doctors, and more poodle parlours than vets. Like the classified advertisements in newspapers, which provide a picture of the readership, the Yellow Pages of any great city reveals its true underside. The Los Angeles Yellow Pages is richer in human incident than all the novels of Balzac”

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