I don't know if I'm just getting tired of Ballard's parallel explorations of post-apocalyptic landscapes and his character's inner physiological landscapes, whether the particular theme used in this book just didn't resonate with me, or whether this was just one of his poorer efforts. Whatever the case it's lead me to the conclusion that I've read enough Ballard to be going on with for a while.
The American Dream has collapsed after depleting all its natural resources and suffering severe environmental catastrophe but lives on in the minds of certain individuals, a century later, as they attempt to explore this near abandoned continent. Can America be restored to its former glory with our protagonist Wayne as its new president? Can his hopes and dreams for America be reconciled with those he is travelling with and those he meets along the way?
I found the author's ideas somewhat preposterous and the plot and character developments felt shoehorned into narrative. Ballard knew what he what story he wanted to tell but not really how to tell it, or that's how it seemed to me anyway. It had it's moments and wasn't a complete failure but overall it fell flat.