Millennium People

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cover of the first edition, published by Flamingo.

Millennium People is a novel by British writer J. G. Ballard, published in 2003.[1] The novel is the story of a rebellion in the middle classes in an enclave of Greater London.

Plot summary[edit]

When a bomb explodes on a baggage carousel at Heathrow Airport, killing his ex-wife, David Markham[1] tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her seemingly pointless death.[2] But with unresolved questions about himself, his job, and his loving but adulterous wife, he soon finds himself immersed in the deeper waters of middle-class revolution originating from the gated community of Chelsea Marina.[3]

When a protest at a cat show turns ugly and he is beaten up by angry cat lovers, then arrested and tried, Markham enlists in the cause of the rebellious Chelseans – imagining he will uncover the persons and causes responsible for his ex-wife's murder. Slowly, he succumbs to the call of subversion and gradually finds himself a terrorist functionary.

Other characters include Markham's wife, who continues to use her arm canes though her leg injuries from an accident with a tram have completely healed; a sociopathic college film studies lecturer-terrorist cell leader who takes Markham for a lover; a troubled priest and his Chinese girlfriend; a former MI5 bombmaker turned revolutionary, and a kindly pediatrician who is a terrorist mastermind. Ultimately, Markham learns the reasons behind his former wife's murder have a very different logic to that which he had imagined.


  1. ^ a b Mars-Jones, Adam (4 October 2003). "Volvo drivers are revolting" – via The Guardian. 
  2. ^ Litt, Toby (19 September 2003). "Having fun with the bourgeoisie" – via The Guardian. 
  3. ^ Menaker, Will. "“Millennium People”: J.G. Ballard’s last hurrah". 

External links[edit]