It was written in the early sixties, and it is showing its age. The geophysics is a bit dodgy - the sun is pumping out lots more heat and energy, and yet the climate only gets hotter. There should have been high winds, constant storms from all that warm air expanding. The female character is utterly pointless, having no opinions or ability to think for herself. She's just a device to give the hero something to do. The characters are all very British, with stiff upper lips, having dinner parties for which one is required to dress. In the steaming jungle. Dinner jackets and bow ties. In the steaming fucking jungle.
I stuck with it to the end, hoping something would happen. It didn't. The only other book by Ballard I've read was Cocaine Nights, which left me feeling much the same: nothing happened, and it took a lot of tedious mucking about getting there. James, over at Big Dumb Object, has also reviewed this book recently - he was a (little) bit more forgiving than me, so maybe I just didn't get it.