Supposedly written by Burroughs while he was battling a very strong heroin addiction, the plot jumps forward and back with the dizzying rhythm of machine gun fire, but is fascinating throughout. It begins when we are introduced to The Agent, a drug addict who is on the lam from the cops. During his travels away from the law and toward his next trip, the reader is introduced to myriad bizarre characters. From a hospital with monkeys for nurses to lengthy, graphic and disturbing descriptions of sex acts, to creatures half insect and half inanimate object, the book reads as a dystopian, stream-of-consciousness report of somebody's years of nightmares. Nevertheless, I find that it makes undeniably powerful statements, and provides much insight into the society we live in today.
It has range, like a singer. It goes from grotesque to very strange to philosophical and then has some very touching parts. It's a sprawling, punishing, all-encompassing journey to read, often focusing on, criticizing and satirizing government, religion and organizations of almost any kind. If you are not familiar with William S. Burroughs work, you may find it very surreal, inconsistent, and often nonsensical, coarse and ugly, sexually explicit and grotesque, full of strong language which some may find objectionable. It's very interesting that with its darkness and obscenity, it became one of the more frequently challenged and banned books in its time. That is what attracted me to it.
William S. Burroughs a disturbing genius, living in the theoretical world of his own creation and transcribing what he found there, as what he actually believed.Related Articles
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