by Orin, May 25, 2005 12:38 PM
Of Burroughs's many cut-up apocalyptic works, I found this one to be the most cohesive and enjoyable. True, from chapter to chapter, sometimes even from page to page, the characters and action seem entirely different, so one is left wondering if it is one book or many thrown together in a blender. But some characters do resurface later in the action, and the jumps in identity seem to maintain a consistency of archetype. Even though the outer dressing of the story changes the deeper meaning remains, allowing a coherent narrative to emerge. It is a disturbing vision of bio-warfare, pirate utopias, and deviant behavior, that is only the beginning of a trilogy continued in The Place of Dead Roads (also very good!) and concluded in The Western Lands (which I have yet to read).