Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Book Review: The Job, Interviews with William S. Burroughs

The Job: Interviews with William S. BurroughsThe Job: Interviews with William S. Burroughs by William S. Burroughs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As a Burroughs fan, I was looking forward to reading a book about his writing techniques. Unfortunately that isn't what this book is. While you do get some information about his cutup method and other ideas on writing, most of the book is about the man's philosophy. Special focus is given to the idea of words as a virus, along with some rather overly enthusiastic ideas of using the cutup method in tape recordings for mind control. There are also passages on addiction, government control, anarchism, sex, and much more.
My main problem with this book is that it is, itself, sort of a cutup. The vast majority of the material is from his other works, so if you've read a lot of Burroughs like I have you end up discovering that much of the book isn't new to you. Someone just getting into Burroughs would probably get more out of this book than someone more familiar with his work. Even so, it's more fun to read the original works in all their craziness. This book is for completists only.

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D.G. Hudson said...

I've read Naked Lunch and Cities of the Red Night by Burroughs. Naked Lunch was weird, but I saw the movie decades after reading the book. Cities of the Red Night, I didn't like and didn't finish it. After getting halfway through, I decided to pass on that one. Hubs read all the Burroughs books, mainly because of his association with the Beat authors (Kerouac, Ginsberg, etc.)

Thanks for the review! Hope all is well with you.

Misha Gericke said...

I don't think I've read any of his work, but from what you've said, this book sounds a bit... unfocused for my tastes.

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