Crash Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Chapters 1-2

• The novel begins with the death of the narrator James Ballard's friend Dr. Robert Vaughan, a former television personality, in London.

• Vaughan committed suicide by crashing his car off an airport flyover in an unsuccessful attempt to crash into Elizabeth Taylor's limo. Ballard sees Ms. Taylor among the spectators.

• At the time of his death, Vaughan was known by the police for orchestrating car crashes and was wanted for running down a pedestrian.

• Vaughan derived sexual pleasure from these car crashes and helped Ballard come to terms with his own obsession.
• Ballard recalls his own car crash where he was on his way home from a rendezvous with his secretary and lover, Renata. After blowing his tire, Ballard's car hit another car head-on, killing a man who was thrown on Ballard's hood.

• Ballard stared at the dead man's wife, who was still stuck behind the wheel...

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