Friday 12 April 2024

Mr. F is Mr. F by J.G. Ballard

"I' want to...Pump you up!" - Little Giants

J.G. Ballard has a very twisted mind, that much is certain. I chose this short-story based entirely on the odd title that immediately grabbed my attention. Ballard's titles often carry thematic weight and "Mr. F is Mr. F" is no exception, hinting at the mirror effect, duality, identity crisis and tautology. The "F" stands for Freeman, which is an ironic play on words, since the protagonist is the complete opposite of a free man. He is trapped in a nightmare scenario, aging backwards in a perversely Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I might be inclined to classify this story as a combination of science-fiction and horror. The Ballardian escape from contemporary society shows up again, a race against the clock before subjectivity is erased. This is a disturbing, creepy and suspenseful tale with a twist ending that would probably make O. Henry proud.

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