"Crash" by J.G. Ballard (1973)
"Without thinking, I visualized a series of imaginary pictures I might take of her: in various sexual acts, her legs supported by complex sections of machine tools, pulleys and trestles; with her physical education instructor, coaxing this conventional young man into the new parameters of her body, developing a sexual expertise that would be an exact analogue of the other skills created by the multiplying technologies of the twentieth century."
J.G. Ballard was an English novelist who passed away in 2009. He began his writing career as an author of science fiction, and later moved into the "serious literature" category with "Crash," "Empire of the Sun," and other novels. This novel, "Crash," inspired a movie of the same name by director David Cronenberg, and "Empire of the Sun" was given a cinematic treatment by none other than Steven Spielberg.
In "Crash," the author develops a sexual fixation on automobiles following a traffic accident. In so doing he crosses paths with the enigmatic Vaughan, a man attempting to engineer the death of Elizabeth Taylor. All of the characters in this novel are extremely promiscuous, obsessed with sex, and completely amoral.
As transgressive fiction goes, this novel is extremely well written, and never grows dull. It can, however, be a little nauseating at times. The author spares no end of detail with regard to his sexual liaisons, the car crashes he views, and the various bodily fluids they elicit, and "Crash" at times resembles a cross between a medical textbook and and an automobile owner's manual. It's a good book, but reading it requires a strong stomach.
Anyone who enjoyed "American Psycho" or "White Noise" will find a lot to like in this short novel. It says a lot about our relationship with technology, and despite being 41 years old it still feels like it could have been written yesterday.