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In the 80s, Burroughs was back in New York, appearing in Laurie Anderson songs, and writing his last trilogy of strange and garbled not exactly sci fi novels And this fragmented western, starring Denton Welch according to Burroughs introduction for In Youth is Pleasure what would Welch have thought of this I see the connection, but Welch s subversion and antisocial impulses are deliciously subtle, Burroughs billboarded constantly but anyway, this fragmented postmodern western was the In the 80s, Burroughs was back in New York, appearing in Laurie Anderson songs, and writing his last trilogy of strange and garbled not exactly sci fi novels And this fragmented western, starring Denton Welch according to Burroughs introduction for In Youth is Pleasure what would Welch have thought of this I see the connection, but Welch s subversion and antisocial impulses are deliciously subtle, Burroughs billboarded constantly but anyway, this fragmented postmodern western was the middle volume Back to Welch and the subtlety of his subversion Burroughs definitely does not subvert subtly Here, he subverts in broadcasts and direct address, in best crank mode railing against gun control, the government, women albeit mostly they re just ignored as irrelevant to his mostly gay world , alien mind control Whether or not Burroughs was a crazy person, he writes like one Often he writes like a crazy person who might be objectionable, were his vision not so wholly fantastical though not to deny the satiric targets here either Often, he writes like a crazy person beautifully There are stretches of this where bizarre scenes just spill out in hypervivid details eliding between locations, scenes, realities, grabbing full attention That said, compared to Naked Lunch, there s an essentially linear progression here on which to pin the swirling variations, holding the variations somewhat the story of one shootist on his path out of society and across the world, time, the universe, and back to an inescapable meeting Some of the book writing like a crazy person breaks up into catalogs of weapons, deaths, ways to die But then some of the best bits towards the end are incredible catalogues of addictions and diseases The sequence involving the search for the origins of language, and the ensuing epidemic of The Yacks is possibly the most wholly inspired here, but it amounts to a few pages hanging barely connected to the rest These lurching fragments, these thematic riffs, tantalizing as they are, also give a sense that the book ie the interior of Burroughs head, it seems runs on endlessly, endlessly offering up grotesque and brilliant vignettes Which makes it hard to get a sense of pacing here, at least after the first part or so Does it matter The book continues until it ends As must this review, which, infected, also doesn t seem to have any true sense of purpose or pacing William Burroughs comes in at least three stages I would recommend reading his books in order, because in a sense one gets a narrative history of the Avant Garde writing via his works This is his last great period in literature Here he s an old man commenting on the Western of sorts A place where a liberated man could do his own thing withhout anyone bothering him The ultimate libertarian, Burroughs is actually very conservative soul which may surprise people But again what makes him great William Burroughs comes in at least three stages I would recommend reading his books in order, because in a sense one gets a narrative history of the Avant Garde writing via his works This is his last great period in literature Here he s an old man commenting on the Western of sorts A place where a liberated man could do his own thing withhout anyone bothering him The ultimate libertarian, Burroughs is actually very conservative soul which may surprise people But again what makes him great is his voice which is super funny He s a kook, but a kook you would like to have a drink with This book is garbage nonsense and Burroughs is a terrible author glad I double checked those facts and don t have to again A totally awesome novel, the best I have read so far in 2014 Burroughs is one of my favourite writers and I feel he actually improved as he got older His later books have all the outrageous flights of fancy of hisexperimental work but they are expressed in muchtightly controlled prose The Place of Dead Roads is an ironic psychedelic Western but it s also a prime example of lateral science fiction and the ideas and conceits it shoots off have enough potential energy and promise to A totally awesome novel, the best I have read so far in 2014 Burroughs is one of my favourite writers and I feel he actually improved as he got older His later books have all the outrageous flights of fancy of hisexperimental work but they are expressed in muchtightly controlled prose The Place of Dead Roads is an ironic psychedelic Western but it s also a prime example of lateral science fiction and the ideas and conceits it shoots off have enough potential energy and promise to fuel dozens of ordinary SF and fantasy novels Burroughs is a writer with an extremely generous mind who can afford to scatter dozens or hundreds of amazing and unique ideas throughout a text, any single one of which would form the basis for an entire novel by an ordinary writer.The core of a Burroughs text is the routine , when a casual word or image or idea triggers an extended tall tale or skit, usually comic and grotesque and very odd, that goes off at tangents to the main story, which itself is an interlocking mesh composed entirely of tangents The Burroughs style routine has been a big influence on me I find it a funny, enthralling and satisfying technique Burroughs is the absolute master at its deployment This book is real These are real characters and their abilities to cope with the real world Some of the best language I ve read from Burroughs This book has everything I ever wanted in a novel Masterpiece. I read this book, and its prequel, Cities of the Red Night, for the first time when I was in college, and a lot of it went over my head Interestingly and perhaps because of this , I also came out of it convinced that Burroughs was a genius, and that his every word should be taken as the Gospel Truth Looking at it now, I get what he s saying a lot better, and I find that I disagree with him.This book begins as a gay Western, with some sci fi interludes, and gradually becomesbizarr I read this book, and its prequel, Cities of the Red Night, for the first time when I was in college, and a lot of it went over my head Interestingly and perhaps because of this , I also came out of it convinced that Burroughs was a genius, and that his every word should be taken as the Gospel Truth Looking at it now, I get what he s saying a lot better, and I find that I disagree with him.This book begins as a gay Western, with some sci fi interludes, and gradually becomesbizarre and non chronological The protagonist is Kim Carsons, who may or may not be a fictional character from the writings of William Seward Hall, a man who died in a shootout at the turn of the century, and presumably an alter ego for Burroughs himself Carsons is a misfit, a rebel, an expert shootist, and an insatiable homophile We watch Carsons as he develops from a shy but dangerous teenager into the leader of a movement called the Johnson Family, which, Burroughs explains, was a term to designate good bums and thieves, which was elaborated into a code of conduct In the book, it elaborates still further, into a vast international organization fighting authority and preparing humanity for the evolutionary leap it must take to colonize the stars Much of the book is actually propaganda for Burroughs own views regarding sexuality, conformity, the State, space exploration, human transcendence, and gun rights For all that, Burroughs is a skillful artist, who doesn t allow polemic to overwhelm his prose in fact, at times exactly the opposite takes place Burroughs was that rarest of combinations, a poet and a political thinker, and only rarely did he lose sight of the art in his work It is probably for this reason that he remains so influential While in some way each of his books is a rant in favor of his own viewpoint, he never descends to the transparency of an Ayn Rand Burroughs allowed creativity to dominate, which is probably why some of his genius insights into politics seem questionable to me now They are unsystematic, often the result of trying to push a stray thought to its logical conclusion, and intended to beshocking than insightful He is also an expert eroticist, although that will be disturbing to anyone who is unprepared for such explicit scenes of gay sex This was one area I gotout of the second time around.This book is less explicitly misogynist than its predecessor, but there remains a disdain disinterest suspicion of women in the subtext Women characters are rare, and they are often disgusting, evil, and or stupid The exception is Salt Chunk Mary, a de sexualized grande dame of Burroughs imagined underworld She isn t particularly well developed as a character, although the same could be said of many of the male characters At least she never turns out to be part of the alien conspiracy to enslave humanity, which is itself a concession on Burroughs part.For all the criticisms I ve put into this review, it remains a a very enjoyable work of fiction, and earns four stars for being something I m glad I took the time to return to |Download Book ☨ The Place of Dead Roads ⚉ 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 freedomThe Place of Dead Roads is the second novel in the trilogy with Cities of the Red Night and The Western Lands It s Burroughs, what can I say Not really a novel,like a stream of consciousness This was truly word salad, but still interesting and filled with really good quotes I enjoyed it, but can t really give itthan 3 stars Burroughs fans will like this but not recommended for the Burroughs newbie Not his greatest, but really not his worst either 3 stars means I liked it An easy read for Burroughs as well. He s tired and nostalgic and a bit satiated but it s still old Bill. I read this about 15 years ago when my tastes were apparentlycallow than they are now, because flicking through it now I don t like it nearly as much as I did then It reads like the rough sketch for a screenplay or for a comic strip kind of slapstick Burroughs might not be trying to shock all the way through, but I suspect he is yet it s not written well enough to trigger much shock The f word certainly doesn t do it any, and the gory scenes in the book are too unpolished to evo I read this about 15 years ago when my tastes were apparentlycallow than they are now, because flicking through it now I don t like it nearly as much as I did then It reads like the rough sketch for a screenplay or for a comic strip kind of slapstick Burroughs might not be trying to shock all the way through, but I suspect he is yet it s not written well enough to trigger much shock The f word certainly doesn t do it any, and the gory scenes in the book are too unpolished to evoke much Random sample It hits A player is down a broken idiot thing drooling, slobbering, pus oozing from the cataracts that cluster at his dead burnt out eyes He will be left to the terrible urchins who haunt the mask courts p.209 There s just no poetry there For all Burroughs personal ponderousness, this book just reads like a dime store novel and doesn t, for me at least, offer much of a glimpse into the arcane dimension that Burroughs fancied he inhabited