"''High-rise"'' is a 1975 novel by J. G. Ballard. It was published in New York by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in 1977 with ISBN 0030206510. It takes place in an ultra-modern, luxury high-rise building. A http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0462335/ film version, directed by Vincenzo Natali is scheduled to be released in 2006 (for speculation on the film and some quotes from Natali, see http://www.ballardian.com/vincenzo-natali-still-to-direct-high-rise here).
The building seems to give its well-established tenants all the conveniences and commodities that modern life has to offer: swimming-pools, its own school, a supermarket, high-speed elevators. But at the same time, the building seems to be designed to isolate the occupants from the larger world outside, allowing for the possibility to create their own closed environment.
Life in the high-rise begins to degenerate quickly, as minor power failures and petty annoyances over neighbours begin to escalate into an orgy of violence. The high-rise occupants divide themselves into the classic three groups of Western society: the lower, middle, and upper class, but here the terms are literal, as the lower class are those living...