The Wild Boys is a futuristic tale of global warfare in which a guerrilla gang of boys dedicated to freedom battles the organized armies of repressive police states. Making full use of his inimitable humor, wild imagination, and style, Burroughs creates a world that is as terrifying as it is fascinating.
A fascinating mix of autobiographical episodes and extraordinary Egyptian theology, Burroughs's final novel is poignant and melancholic. Blending war films and pornography, and referencing Kafka and Mailer, The Western Lands confirms his status as one of America's greatest writers. The final novel of the trilogy containing Cities of the Red Night and The Place of Dead Roads, this is a profound meditation on morality, loneliness, life and death.
The Soft Machine introduced us to the conditions of a universe where endemic lusts of the mind and body pray upon men, hook them, and turn them into beasts. Nova Express takes William S. Burroughs’s nightmarish futuristic tale one step further. The diabolical Nova Criminals—Sammy The Butcher, Green Tony, Iron Claws, The Brown Artist, Jacky Blue Note, Izzy The Push, to name only a few—have gained control and plan on wreaking untold destruction. It’s up to Inspector Lee of the Nova Police to attack and dismantle the word and imagery machine of these “control addicts” before it’s too late. This surrealist novel is part sci-fi, part Swiftian parody, and always pure Burroughs.
In The Ticket That Exploded, William S. Burroughs’s grand “cut-up” trilogy that starts with The Soft Machine and continues through Nova Express reaches its climax as inspector Lee and the Nova Police engage the Nova Mob in a decisive battle for the planet. Only Burroughs could make such a nightmare vision of scientists and combat troops, of ad men and con men whose deceitful language has spread like an incurable disease be at once so frightening and so enthralling.
While young men wage war against an evil empire of zealous mutants, the population of this modern inferno is afflicted with the epidemic of a radioactive virus. An opium-infused apocalyptic vision from the legendary author of Naked Lunch is the first of the trilogy with The Places of the Dead Roads and his final novel, The Western Plains.
A good old-fashioned shoot-out in the American West of the frontier days serves as the springboard for this hyperkinetic adventure in which gunslingers, led by Kim Carson, fight for galactic freedom. The Place of Dead Roads is the second novel in the trilogy with Cities of the Red Night and The Western Lands.
Acclaimed by Norman Mailer more than twenty years ago as "possibly the only American writer of genius," William S. Burroughs has produced a body of work unique in our time. In these scintillating essays, he writes wittily and wisely about himself, his interests, his influences, his friends and foes. He offers candid and not always flattering assessments of such diverse writers as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Samuel Beckett, and Marcel Proust. He ruminates on science and the often dubious paths into which it seems intent on leading us, whether into outer or inner space. He reviews his reviewers, explains his famous “cut-up” method, and discusses the role coincidence has played in his life and work. As a satirist and parodist, William Burroughs has no peer, as these varied works, written over three decades, amply reveal.
Before his 1959 breakthrough, Naked Lunch, an unknown William S. Burroughs wrote Junky, his first novel. It is a candid eye-witness account of times and places that are now long gone, an unvarnished field report from the American post-war underground. Unafraid to portray himself in 1953 as a confirmed member of two socially-despised under classes (a narcotics addict and a homosexual), Burroughs was writing as a trained anthropologist when he unapologetically described a way of life - in New York, New Orleans, and Mexico City - that by the 1940's was already demonized by the artificial anti-drug hysteria of an opportunistic bureaucracy and a cynical, prostrate media. For this fiftieth-anniversary edition, eminent Burroughs scholar Oliver Harris has painstakingly recreated the author's original text, word by word, from archival typescripts and places the book's contents against a lively historical background in a comprehensive introduction. Here as well, for the first time, are Burroughs' own unpublished introduction and an entire omitted chapter, along with many "lost" passages, as well as auxiliary texts by Allen Ginsberg and others.
The book is structured as a series of loosely connected vignettes. Burroughs stated that the chapters are intended to be read in any order. The reader follows the narration of junkie William Lee, who takes on various aliases, from the U.S. to Mexico, eventually to Tangier and the dreamlike Interzone.
The vignettes are drawn from Burroughs' own experiences in these places and his addiction to drugs (heroin, morphine, and while in Tangier, majoun [a strong hashish confection] as well as a German opioid, brand name Eukodol, of which he wrote frequently).
In Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs revealed his genius. In The Soft Machine he begins an adventure that will take us even further into the dark recesses of his imagination, a region where nothing is sacred, nothing taboo. Continuing his ferocious verbal assault on hatred, hype, poverty, war, bureaucracy, and addiction in all its forms, Burroughs gives us a surreal space odyssey through the wounded galaxies in a book only he could create.