Read Exterminator! by William S. Burroughs Online

exterminator

Conspirators plot to explode a train carrying nerve gas. A perfect servant suddenly reveals himself to be the insidious Dr. Fu Manchu. Science - fantasy wars, racism, corporate capitalism, drug addiction, and various medical and psychiatric horrors all play their parts in this mosaiclike, experimental novel. Here is William S. Burroughs at his coruscating and hilarious besConspirators plot to explode a train carrying nerve gas. A perfect servant suddenly reveals himself to be the insidious Dr. Fu Manchu. Science - fantasy wars, racism, corporate capitalism, drug addiction, and various medical and psychiatric horrors all play their parts in this mosaiclike, experimental novel. Here is William S. Burroughs at his coruscating and hilarious best....

Title : Exterminator!
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9777113
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 168 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Exterminator! Reviews

  • RandomAnthony
    2019-02-01 17:53

    By the time I hit 21 my impressions of William S. Burroughs included:1. Al Jorgensen was a fan. I remember a picture of the two together.2. Heroin.3. Short guy with a hat.4. Burroughs killing his wife while trying to shoot an apple off her head.I’m not sure from where these impressions emerged. Ok, #1 can probably be attributed to a picture on the Wax Trax walls, if my memory serves me well, but the others impressions’ origins are lost. I didn’t add to my Burroughs schema until my folksinger brother mentioned his name in the same breath as Ginsberg. Now, I fucking hate Howl, or at least I did when I had to read the book in Debra Bruce’s godawful poetry class at Northeastern Illinois University in, oh, I’m going to say 1991. And the heroin guys I knew were dark and scary so I wasn’t attracted to shooting up. Ministry had gone all loud by then and everybody in Chicago knew Jorgensen was a prick. I had nothing against short guys in suits and had no opinion on the wife/apple incident. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure that story was true.So I stayed away from Burroughs for a couple decades until Tadpole and a couple others mentioned his work in a positive light. And then I saw Exterminator! on the shelves of a used bookstore in the Chicago suburbs. And then I read Exterminator! over a couple cold January days. I’m glad I did. Exterminator! is a good book.I should qualify the last sentence. Exterminator! is a good book is 1) you don’t mind a writer who sometimes seems to hate women (angry lesbians show up every few pages), 2) you don’t mind tons of drug and young gay sex references, and 3) you don’t mind reading sentences like “Billy turns bright red he is fucking teeth bare bleeding this smell billow out his asshole.”No typos in that last quote. I checked.So why is The Exterminator! a good book? Well, I could see someone trying to imitate Burroughs by stringing together nonsense and curse words but Burroughs is much smarter and more controlled than any imitators. His prose contains startling windows of insight often in small, insignificant observations about how, for example, a mandrill might run for president or how one handles a room’s small objects can expand into a philosophy. Burroughs (and I’m not a Burroughs scholar here, so don’t yell at me) seems to live best on the line between quiet observation and braying, psychotic visions. So while a couple pages can pass with what seem like disjointed recurring images of Clancy the cop, someone named Audrey, and the number 23, after wading through the mire the reader is rewarded with a surprisingly and unexpected pulling together of seemingly loose ends. And while experimental fiction (I guess I would call this “experimental fiction”) is often dull and dreary Burroughs can be flat-out funny, especially when he takes on the voice of a straight man trying to figure out the surrounding world. Also, these pieces were published in the late sixties. There’s something very cool about Burroughs publishing these crazyass stories in the middle of the tie-dye era. Take that, hippies!Oh, this book is technically a novel, according to the cover, but…um…maybe. I found The Exterminator! to be more of a loosely connected collection of stories encompassing political commentary, hallucinatory fantasies, and mental illness in full bloom. From what I understand The Exterminator! is not one of Burroughs’ major works, so I’m curious as to what, for example, Naked Lunch is like. I’ll check that out next.

  • Hakim
    2019-01-21 22:44

    Exterminator! was a very rewarding read. Stepping into the labyrinth that is William S. Burroughs' imagination, memories and mind is a truly unique experience. Rarely have I read stories so beautifully written, so original and thrilling (Wind die. You die. We die., Twilight's Last Gleamings, The Coming of the Purple Better One, Seeing Red, They Do Not Always Remember), so weird (The Lemon Kid, Short Trip Home, Davy Jones, The Perfect Servant, Reddies), so thought-provoking (Astronaut's return, Johnny 23, The Discipline of DE, Friends, The End) and so moving (The "Priest They Called Him). What fascinates me most is the way the author makes this experimental novel autobiographical. I would not recommend this book to anyone, only to the adventurous reader with a particular bent (no pun intended) for the weird and the experimental.

  • Mat
    2019-01-29 23:32

    When I first sunk my teeth into this book, I was not so sure it was going to be a good 'un. The first few 'vignettes' / short stories in Exterminator! are not that great actually but the book gets better and better and better.I would give the first 5-10 vignettes only about 3 stars on average but then somewhere along the line, bang! we are suddenly graced with the brilliance of WSB's presence and his great sardonic humour is as acerbic, witty and brilliant as ever here! I do get the feeling though, like some other reviewers of Burroughs' work have pointed out before, that he was immensely pessimistic (some might argue realistic?) about mankind, to the point of becoming "le misanthrope" redolent of Moliere.There are also early signs even here during a relatively early work of Burroughs of his latter-day environmentalism and humanism, which is celebrated in novels such as Ghost of Chance and The Cat Inside, two books, incidentally, which I read just last month and hence still fresh in my mind. There are moments when Burroughs comes across as abrasively repetitive such as the 'nigger-hating sheriff' character who seems to make an appearance in almost every Burroughs novel. I felt like saying, "ok William, we get the point". While I was reading Exterminator! I caught myself wondering whether some Americans might not be offended by the grotesque picaresque send-ups of American society which Burroughs creates in these short stories. Or do they see his sardonic humour as a grave warning of impending danger? And to give credit where it is due, Burroughs is quite right and quite justified in sounding the alarm. If anything, times have gotten worse. Remember that back in 1962 at the height of Cuban missile crisis, we were only moments away from possible nuclear disaster.One of the funniest moments in this book is when a Burroughs' character says that "we need to watch the commies. or else our children will all be speaking Chinese". At the time, this was an accurate portrayal of American political paranoia and hysteria. These days I hate to say, it might be slightly more 'real', well for me at least as I sit in an office in Tokyo and write this. In summary, some of the short stories in here present nothing all that new that we haven't seen before from Burroughs but there are a few real diamonds to be found here.

  • Tosh
    2019-01-28 22:53

    The closest to a short story collection by the cranky and hysterical William S. Burroughs. And the fact that he once had a job as rat and insect Exterminator is something like crazy. Who in their right mind would allow this guy into their home?

  • Ian Mathers
    2019-02-04 00:39

    I used to have this down as a five star book. I went to reread it, and it was a lot worse than I remembered. Part of this is just context, in more than one way; the first time I read Exterminator! was basically all in one go late at night in a tent while camping. I read it in a (non-literal) fever, gulping the whole thing down. Re-reading it now, which I did over the course of a few days commuting on the subway and bus, I didn't get as caught up in it as before (and before Burroughs or anyone else insinuates that I'm more in the grip of Control now, or something, I should add that I was much more so back then anyway, both in terms of what I did for work and my own personal politics/understanding of the world). Somehow that first time through my brain was able to just shove aside and ignore my abhorrence of all the anti-Semitism, misogyny, rape, child sexualization (it's not like I enjoyed the repeated phrase "young boys need it special" that first time through, but how did I not just spit out the whole book), racism and so on throughout. I guess maybe on some level I bought into the bullshit Burroughs spreads here about "subversive" art (which, honestly, even if some of this was at the time, it's possible to outlive your context, you know?), but I'm sure even then I was aware there's a big gap between censorship and thinking it's fine and dandy to normalize fucking kids. Also, while I did know about Burroughs murdering his wife Joan Vollmer, I didn't know about a lot of the other shit he and Ginsberg got up to. And yes, I think that is a valid part of how I feel about this and Burroughs' other books; another writer's Burroughs references actually prompted me to write about it recently, and I stand by what I say there.So why two stars? Well, the parts that aren't horrifying for the wrong reasons here are really fucking good! You can't give zero stars here, and Exterminator! is legitimately more worthwhile than books that are just as awful but more poorly written. The bit on the discipline of DE begged to be expanded on, the language is often startlingly vivid (even in the shitty sections, of course) and I was still stopped in my tracks by "Do you begin to see there is no face there in the tarnished mirror?" Nobody's saying Burroughs had to be a saint or only write about nice things to write good books or be worth reading, it's actually a pretty fucking low bar for him to meet. And he doesn't come remotely close to meeting it. I'm not reluctantly pretending I dislike it for external reasons; it's genuinely, authentically cringe inducing and awful.

  • Laoirse
    2019-01-28 18:54

    I liked this book much more than Burrough's "Naked Lunch". Firstly, it's not written in that airtihgt vocabuLary wich is understandable only to author and a few drug addicts. It has a pretty decent fable in a form of short stories. We can see, as we progress through the book, that the characters are pretty much the same, although with different names. But what I liked the most about the book is the way Burroughs speaks about humanity and revolution. He says so much with such simple terms its like his language is guided by the principle less is more, but with many naturalistic poetic images that can't leave anyone resigned. Reader is at least shocked with his apocalyptic images of a man decomposing into its animalistic nature. Revolution is welcomed as a whole new concept, removed from political influences and watched through the prism of a way people act in desperation. Short stories, seemingly unrelated but with same motives, put in a different time and space. One of the best literal (layman) critics of modern society without much philosophizing. Burroughs really captured the cruel reality of people real motives and multiplied that with images of potentized horror that will make you nauseus but also aware of his thoughts.

  • Raegan Butcher
    2019-02-10 00:47

    Excellent collection of short stories showcasing some of the author's best work. My favorites, " Wind Die, You die, We die" and my all-time favorite, " They Do Not Always Remember."

  • Kevin Cole
    2019-01-28 18:37

    Manageable, entertaining Burroughs hallucinations. Amazing what organizing into chapters does.

  • Effie
    2019-02-15 21:36

    Χρόνια είχα να διαβασω ενα βιβλίο, το οποίο να μου προξενήσει τόσα αντιφατικά συναισθήματα. Με τραβούσε σαν μαγνήτης, ενώ με απωθούσε ταυτόχρονα. Μου έδινε την εντύπωση ότι ο συγγραφέας ήταν ένας "πολίτης του κόσμου" την μια στιγμή, ενω την αμέσως επόμενη ενας εξαρτημένος από ουσίες τύπος, ο οποίος απλά κυνηγουσε τον χρόνο κάνοντας ταξίδια. Μου προκαλούσε αποφορά η περιγραφή κάποιων εικόνων, αλλά δεν μπορούσα να σταματήσω την αναγνωση παρ'ολ'αυτά.Δεν ξέρω πόσα αστέρια θέλω να βάλω. Ενα ή τέσσερα;Δεν ξέρω εαν μου άρεσε ή όχι.Ξέρω ότι με κέρδισε ο μπάσταρδος ο Burroughs. όπως με κέρδισε και στο "γυμνό του γευμα". Θα βάλω τρια αστεράκια, γιατί είναι εξαρτητική η σχέση μου με τον συγγραφέα από την μία και γιατί κατάφερα να το διαβάσω αλώβητη συναισθηματικά από την άλλη.

  • Roof Beam Reader (Adam)
    2019-01-29 17:54

    Exterminator! by William S. BurroughsFinal Verdict: 3.25 out of 4.0YTD: 37 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------Plot/Story:3 – Plot/Story is interesting & believable.Exterminator! is a loosely-related collection of 30 short stories, all neurotically obsessed with the American human condition before & during the 1960s. Like many of his other works, these stories are threaded with themes of “Control” (the American government over-reaching its power and invading privacy, commanding blind obedience and assimilation to “normalcy”), Drugs, Violence, and Sexuality. In this collection, a boy named Audrey makes repeated appearances. Audrey is the writer or, perhaps more appropriately, the creator – and one can assume that he is ultimately the narrator who is ultimately Burroughs. There is a deep sadness to these stories, and also a great sense of strength. Though the stories are bleak – offering little hope for or admiration of humanity, particularly America- they also assert the hope, however bizarrely, that people will discover and maintain their own unique individualities. Burroughs (or the narrator) of course identifies with seedier elements which most would hardly call admirable – the pederast, the junky, the rioter, the terrorist; yet, the extreme personas are meant to be obvious, “in your face” examples of the variety of mankind. Burroughs always romantics the unromantic, sexualizes the unsexy, and glorifies the unholy – Exterminators! is no exception to this tradition.Read the full review at: www.roofbeamreader.net

  • Logan Doyle
    2019-02-12 16:50

    2.5/5No spoilers.. I don't know what I just read. I can only give it 2.5/5 becaues I only could follow 50% of the book. Probably the most awkward book I have ever read.Puposeful ignorance of all punctuation. Creating very confusing paragraph structure as he will switch character's/scenes mid-'sentence'. The writing style changes almost every short story. I began to wonder if I had any intellect while reading this because I would stop at the end of the paragraph and have forgotten everything I had just read only seconds ago. It's like the words on the page turn into ants and scatter in all directions that you can't retain what you just read , you're mind is just running around like someone stepped on an ant hill. The literary style is complete confusion and chaos. The parts I could follow and retain were at times very poetic and often graphic. This was my first foray into Burroughs... honestly it was a painful one.

  • Thomas Hale
    2019-02-12 18:43

    My first Burroughs, but given his reputation I had a good idea of what to expect, and I was proven mostly right. Frenetic, jumbled, paranoid and gleefully profane. Apparently an "experimental novel", though it reads more like a collection of vaguely-connected short stories with a vague sense of progression. It was a very fun read, and full of surprises - a guide for efficient life habits, pornography that explodes the faces of FBI agents, police brutality at a student protest and gay youths transforming into wolves. Also a plot about an exterminator and heroin I think. I'm not sure, and I don't really mind. It was good.

  • Robert
    2019-01-17 21:55

    Not a fan. I didn't realize that this would be an experimental novel when I picked it up. It was a hodge podge of various threads and stream-of-conscious writing that was very hard to follow and pull out a coherent narrative. There were chapters that had sparks of narrative brilliance, but these were the exception rather than the rule. It read much more like poetry to me than it did a novel. I guess Burroughs's writing was too smart for me to figure out overall. I appreciate poetry when I know its poetry, but when I sit down to read a novel, I expect coherent narrative.

  • George Huxley
    2019-02-05 00:31

    Mosaic-like novel, eh? Well, this has been an interesting voyage back into the world of Burroughs. It was more like short stories honestly, some of them coherent and which I really liked, some of them a heroin filled, shape-shifting, intergalactic, junky nightmare, (which I still liked in a weird and incoherent way). Not as good as junky but better than Naked Lunch, thanks for another wild ride Mr. Burroughs. I look forward to our next encounter? Maybe? Not sure. But either way, I'm sure it'll prove to be interesting!

  • Matt Piechocinski
    2019-01-31 20:36

    I wasn't sure whether to give this 2 or 3 stars, it's really 2.5, based on Burrough's output I've read previously. I have to say, I was a little disappointed, in that, what I thought was a novella was actually loosely connected vignettes, that at times made little to no sense. However, some of them were quite good, and I like how Burroughs writes about his time in Chicago.

  • tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE
    2019-01-16 22:40

    Full of the usual Burroughsian revolutionary vitriol. Thank words that Burroughs wrote so much.

  • TK421
    2019-01-17 17:39

    A fantastic fever-dream...

  • Brandon Montgomery
    2019-01-25 00:49

    A sort of Twilight Zone of paranoia, surveillance, violence, heroin, unreality, reality, disease, the FBI, sex, cops, heroin, America, Americans, presidential candidates, heroin, and someone named Audrey who just pops up here and there.Many reviewers have pointed out the flagrant racism (and general ugliness) in this book and cited it as their reason to the give the book one star, or to give up on it, and that's completely valid. Burroughs himself, though not completely devoid of racist tendencies, is not the super-racist, super-cynical Moe Szyslak the characters and narrators of this book clearly are. Where was I going with this?Well, anyway, I think the point is to amplify and confront us with all of our society's ugly flaws, and it does that rather well, with some ugly humor just to make sure things weren't ugly enough. Is it a good book? Yes, but dear god is it ugly. Go for it if you're up for it, but if you think it's not your thing, you're probably right.

  • Kim Clarke
    2019-01-18 23:56

    Okay, this book was seriously confusing and I had to force myself through it.Going from the blurb on the book (and knowing nothing of the writer) I was expecting a terrorist plot with some other under-stories. What I got.....was something else. Clearly I misunderstood the term "experimental novel" and it contained rather more sodomy than I was prepared for.In my defence, I studied science and not a literature and I am sure that others find this book to be a work of literary genius, but I am not that person. However I think it isn't William S. Burroughs fault so much as mine, reading stuff way above my literary level. I will grant there were a few lines here an there which did evoke a response, but mostly just "WTF"

  • Joe Cloyd
    2019-01-24 17:38

    William Burroughs was a crazy man who believed crazy things, but when I read his books, I can actually hear his voice. Exterminator! is not quite a novel as it is a bunch of vignettes strung together, some of them connect to other pieces while others have an apparent quality of random absurdity. There are no heroes in Burroughs' books. The plot does not unfold. Instead, we get a snippet here, a snippet there, and they might be chronological, and the might not. It's difficult to say for sure. The key is not to get too hung up in the grand details. The approach to take is as follows: Read each chapter as a piece of prose poetry. Things have a way of kinda falling into place.

  • Çağatay Boz
    2019-02-16 19:38

    Otuz öykü, birkaçı okunmaya değer. Postmodernizm ile hiçbir sıkıntım yok, lâkin burada postmodernizm çatısı altında bariz bir "boku çıkma" durumu mevcut. İçerik açısından bir sıkıntım yok, yazar şiddeti, uyuşturucu kullanımını, toplum tarafından uç olarak görülebilecek cinsel deneyimleri, çocuk istismarını vs. konu alabilir, bütün bunlara ek olarak dilde de son derece özgür davranabilir. Ama bu kadar "özgür" davranmasa fena olmazmış ve tekrardan okunmaya değer bir kitap olabilirmiş bu. Deneysel dil? Kalsın.Mevcut hâliyle çaydanlığın altına falan koyabilirsiniz. Arka kapak yazısının sizi yanıltmasına izin vermeyin.

  • Emiliano Gomez
    2019-01-30 19:43

    "There is something wrong with the whole concept of money. It takes always more and more to buy less and less. Money is like junk. A dose that fixes on Monday won't fix on Friday. Any platform that does not propose the basic changes necessary to correct these glaring failures is a farce. The lies are obvious. The machinery is laid bare." -1973

  • DNF with Jack Mack
    2019-01-31 18:52

    2 edgy 4 me, Billy-boy.

  • Maja Shinigami
    2019-01-31 18:38

    Daj mi, Williame, to što trošiš.

  • Rob Bliss
    2019-02-11 19:39

    A series of sometimes-connected stories by Burroughs. The title story was used by Chronenburg for his film of "Naked Lunch". Its good to read Burroughs to cleanse the palate of crap. Hes first and foremost a satirist, and if his writing is seen as such, its very understandable. He's like a more convoluted Vonnegut. The obscenity, drugs, homosexuality wouldve gotten him banned and misunderstood in the 50s and 60s, but now it has ebbed and one can see that its there for satiric purposes. Perhaps more appropriate than a Vonnegut, Burroughs is a Pynchon. Or Pynchon is a Burroughs. One wonders if Pynchon stole something from 'Exterminator!' for "gravity's Rainbow". At the end of Burroughs' book, one is told that all the stories the reader has been reading is actually a film that the reader has been watching, thus the disjointed aspect to Burroughs' writing (which is his style). At the end of Pynchon's work we see a missile land through a movie theatre where the audience is watching a movie (of the novel?) and that the missile ends the film and the lives of the characters and the reader. Burroughs published first, Pynchon's masterpiece came 7 years later, and both of them write in a disjointed, postmodern style. There must be a connection!There are some excellent stories in this, my fav being the ape president who spouts conservative values, wanting to kill hippies and saying marijuana is worse than heroin and America is great and must destory all countries it invades, especially Vietnam and China. Theres some non-fiction here too, I assume, when Burroughs meets Jean Genet in Chicago during a riot, and Burroughs mentions his opinion about big questions America must answer: Vietnam, China, youth culture rebelling, the black issue.Funny as hell. And Burroughs writing was postmodern very early, before the term was coined. Which helps a writer and reader remember that plot, character, setting, theme, etc can be played with.A writer who plays and transforms writing is a writer one can learn from. Many writers today have learned from Burroughs. Dont let the sex, drugs, and Algerian pederasty distract you from excellent writing.It makes me want to go back and read everything of Burroughs Ive already read, and then get all the stuff I havent read of his.Read him. Now!

  • Rob
    2019-02-14 17:34

    This is a collection of short stories put together in 1973, when Burroughs' position as cool Beat uncle to the hippies had been pretty well cemented. At times spy and waspish, at others lackadaisically psychedelic, there's an undeniable energy in these short pieces, and a gleefully transgressive irony that he uses as a counterweight to the zany moments.Some of his cut-up style descriptions shunt along with an exhilarating rhythm, while his barbs for mindless followers are scattered throughout. His political satires are sometimes a little thin (we get Chicago '68), as is his Scientology-influenced section (and this from someone who has just spent quite some time reading about Scientology from several sources). However, Burroughs' ability to skip through a set-up and a description without dragging his knuckles on the page, touching just enough pressure points and laying down some suitable narrative tension is a great case study. Why be exhaustive and ponderous? Often the spark in his writerly eye is a cliché subverted by a single unexpected image. He takes on detective stories, body-changing fantasies, English inflections draped in colonialism, Southern inflections from his own primordial ooze, film treatment stylings… Fun, occasionally a little dull, probably inessential, but a handy collection from a deft agent provocateur with his sights set on shifted horizons. Heaven forbid anyone should make this their first Burroughs, though. For now I'd say start with Junky (I started with Naked Lunch). And take it from there.

  • Harry Casey-Woodward
    2019-01-23 23:38

    This is a typical Burroughs book, although compared to 'Naked Lunch' and 'Soft Machine' some of the text is more literate. This includes the opening text 'Exterminator!' which felt more biographical compared to the other stories as Burroughs talks about a job in pest control which I think he did at one point in his life. This would explain his obsession with chemicals and bugs that runs through his writings. The best thing about this book is the genuinely funny satire that Burroughs manages, whereas that satire was somewhat obscured by the non-linear style and plain weirdness of 'Naked Lunch' and the Nova trilogy. There are a lot of stabs at the police and authority figures in general. There's also lots of violence and sex, enforcing Burroughs' cynical view of humans exploiting each other for kicks and profit. It's best to approach this book (as most Burroughs books) as a series of short stories/poetry/fragments that jump through a bewildering range of people and characters. It doesn't quite match the majesty of 'Naked Lunch' but it's still enjoyable. So if you're a Burroughs fan or you don't mind things making sense all the time, grab an exploding ticket and get sucked into the nightmarish, rebellious imagination of a truly unique writer. P.S. For Nirvana fans, this book contains a text called 'the Priest they called him' which I think is the one Burroughs read aloud over some squalling guitar played by Kurt Cobain on a track they released under the same name.

  • Joe M
    2019-02-02 18:29

    Described as "an experimental novel", though it reads more like short stories or sketches, only linked together by the resurfacing of key words and phrases placed in new contexts. Fans of Burroughs' style--virtuosic, uninhibited, experimental, apocalyptic, and as politically incorrect as can be--will find several gems here. The title story is about the work of an insect exterminator who narrates his tale with the razor-cold feel of a noir detective, knocking on every door with his verbal calling card, "Exterminator! You need the service?" In "Johnny 23", a most sensitive doctor decides that he dislikes the world and its inhabitants so much, that the best course of action is to turn everyone into himself by means of a virus ("he called it 'the beautiful disease'"). "The Discipline of DE" ('DE' meaning 'Do Easy') is an enjoyable satirical piece ostensibly directed at Scientology, and "The Coming of the Purple Better One" is a surreal political commentary. "Twilight's Last Gleamings" is classic Burroughs, juxtaposing insane levels of violence with his deadpan wit. (originally written May 10, 2008)

  • Mat
    2019-01-22 23:38

    Another Burroughs book written using the cut-up technique. This is one of his lesser known works but still worth checking out for various reasons...1) it's short - you can read it an evening2) it's fascinating3) it does not have the usual level of grotesque or erotic imagery in it a la Burroughs (which may or may not be a good thing depending on what you are looking for)I was not that sure what this book was about but it was intriguing. It's a book about cutups written in the style of the cutups. More specifically, it's about why 'the word' (i.e. English in the massmedia) needs to be cut up, the lines need to be cut up and redrawn so that language habits do not gain control over our brains. That's the best I can describe it. Fascinating theory, slightly crackpot, but hey that's Burroughs down to a frickin' T man. And you gotta love him for it. Worth checking out but not one of his major works.

  • Terri
    2019-02-03 00:27

    It is rare that I will not find something positive to say about a book but if this book had been any longer I wouldn't have bothered finishing it. It was only 168 pages which I would normally finish in a day but this one took me 3-4 days, I fell asleep reading it 3 times! I didn't know anything about the author when I picked it up, it was in the fantasy section of the library and the blurb made it sound interesting. When I started to read it and found it incredibly confussing I did a bit of research and found that the author was aparrently an additic which if true explains why it jumps around doesn't finish thing it starts and overall just confussed me and due to that made the points it appeared to be getting across lose a lot in the translation.May it is me as according to the review on the back of the book he is a genius but I just found the book strange and confusing.