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The Ticket That Exploded (The Nova Trilogy #2)

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  1,607 ratings  ·  64 reviews
A prophetic vision of a world in which technology has gone haywire, The Ticket That Exploded continues the adventures of Agent Lee in his mission to investigate and subvert the methods of mind control being used by The Nova Mob. Part of Burrourgh's classic 'Cut-Up Trilogy,' it is a completely original work of science fiction and a compelling political and moral fable.
Paperback, 168 pages
Published April 29th 2010 by Harper Collins (first published 1962)
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Kilburn Adam 1 The Soft Machine
2 The Ticket That Exploded
3 Nova Express
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But if you're reading this then you probably expect a challenge anyway. What it means. Smell of rancid tide flat--police drama strangely flickers in and out, much channels are playing. picture. The unnerving documentary on parasitic Machine, however this strangely analogous to Doctor. Imagine that without proper documentation. Channel-change static bursts to foil religious mind-control Now imagine what, and poisonous insects of the amazon--a sci-fi cable box. Doctor Benway less noticeably playin ...more
David Corvine
This work needs to be approached as a piece of conceptual art or an occult manual... those seeking storytime may find it somewhat hard going.
Burroughs' 2nd cut-up novel (if I have the chronology right) & the beginining of what's, for me, his strongest period. After writing my quickie 'review' of "Naked Lunch" in wch I mentioned Balch's "Towers Open Fire", I moved onto this one & 'randomly' opened to page 110 to read:

""This way - To the Towers" - Ali pointed to an office building that dominated the square - Kiki ran toward the building covered now by tower fire - Hands pulled him into a doorway - On the roof of the building w
I read this right after reading Bukowski, so I was a little apprehensive. I really didnt want another masturbatory ode to losers and the women they convice to take care of them.

I really liked this book. It was so stream-of-conciousness that after awhile it became a game to figure out any kind of story line underneath it all. (There is) It was actually quite disorienting: a straighforward paragraph, a paragragh or two disecting the first paragraphy, five or six paragraghs dissecting the previous
Melancton Hawks
If you don't like the idea of reading paragraph after paragraph about catapulting streams of jism, then maybe this book is not for you. But the Ticket That Exploded is about so much more than torrential ejaculations... it's about melting your head right down to your shoulders. There is a kind of zen state that becomes necessary to read Burroughs sometimes, you have to really let the sickness flood over you and understand that it is not the author that is sick, but instead you, you with your fear ...more
Mel Bossa
I was going to do this whole review in Burroughs' cut up technique, but I'm too lazy. This was a tough read for me. I loved Junky, Queer, and of course, Naked Lunch, and maybe I expected something along those lines. The story seems to be about mind and body control through orgasms and splicing of tapes and I have to say Burroughs has a fucking dirty dirty dirty mind and I'm not sure what he was on at the time, but whatever the drug was, I'd congratulate his dealer. Good job.

I really liked the di
Strange thing happened while reading. For the first time I felt genuine empathy for a book, not the words in the book but the actual tree the book was made of. Not that Burroughs is bad. He is innovative and funny and when he's in a good mood he moves his cut-up experiments toward poignancy. I will read more. But the significant enjoyment I got from this was outweighed by the perhaps false but nonetheless overwhelming impression that I was wasting my time.
Kirk Johnson
well that was disappointing. i love experimental fiction, but this is experimental fiction gone wrong. this is, by some arguments, burroughs' last cut-up method book, and it's where you realize he's come to believe all the crazy stuff he's been saying. usually this just results in a certain electricity in how it all comes out, but in this book he gets too literal and things stops feeling weird and starts feeling crazy and tedious, because he's detailing for you how you're gonna change the world ...more
Chris Campanioni
The Ticket That Exploded is Burroughs' best (and longest) book in his cut-up trilogy. It also is the most experimental and philosophical (if you are interested in the cut-up theory he adopted, this is the book for you). Moreover, it includes art and even writing by longtime friend and collaborator, Brion Gysin, who turned WSB on to the cut-up method. This is a must-read.
-Another desperate cry from the cursed Burroughs- with desperation, he unloads a blight of his haunted visions- his many hells- upon us, the reader’s mind, in an attempt to meld us to his pathos… as though he could shed his terrors and now they are ours to keep…

-He creates a perverse world, galaxy, universe, where everyone- from the viruses to the newt-boys, both the prisoners and the guards ( in the G.O.D., Garden of Delights), from the humans to the aliens (especially those Venusian sex creat
This is the second book in the "trilogy" that I read and not really a trilogy as we normally conceive of them as they can be read in any order. Whereas "The Soft Machine" introduced the concept of the cut-up novel to the world, "The Ticket That Exploded" took it to a whole new level adding in more popular music, explaining how Burroughs thought we could subvert the ruling oligarchy with these techniques, and integrating a much more SciFi feel than the previous novel. As with "The Soft Machine" t ...more
My favorite of the cut-up novels (includes Wild Boys, Nova Express, The Soft Machine)...lyrical, loopy, confused, witty, as usual: funny as can be, and (perhaps?) an important contribution to the evolution of literary form.
You have to be in the right (or wrong) frame of mind to read Burrough's classic 'cut up' technique of literature which is really just a series of disjointed paragraphs, little punctuation and pages of streams of consciousness. If you can get your head around all the word vomit, you'll find a strange, sci-fi ish storyline which is depraved, crazy, and utterly random with some downright bizarre characters. Like The Soft Machine it's a tough one to read, but there are some awesome choice quotes and ...more
L'"Altra Metà" è la parola. L'"Altra Metà" è un organismo. La parola è un organismo.

Il biglietto che esplose, pannello centrale della Trilogia Nova, è probabilmente il più ostico dei libri di Burroughs, o almeno, il più difficile che io abbia finora incontrato.
Come nei romanzi precedenti, anche in questo i due pilastri sono inevitabilmente il corpo ed il linguaggio. Destrutturati e riassemblati una dieci e mille volte. Quel corpo che veniva visto come una macchina morbida, intossicata dall'Io-ne
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Il biglietto che esplose, pannello centrale della Trilogia Nova, è probabilmente il più ostico dei libri di Burroughs, o almeno, il più difficile che io abbia finora incontrato.
Come nei romanzi precedenti, anche in questo i due pilastri sono inevitabilmente il corpo ed il linguaggio. Destrutturati e riassemblati una dieci e mille volte. Quel corpo che veniva visto come una macchina morbida, intossicata dall'Io-nevrosi e dal virus della droga, adesso viene letto come una prigione. L'uomo è prigi
This is one of William Burroughs' more experimental works, and that says a lot - he's not exactly a mainstream writer of literary fiction, more like a crazy old wordsmith who forged books by bashing words together.

The Ticket That Exploded is typically chaotic, with plenty of mentions of penises and rectums, and while I had no idea what was actually happening, with Burroughs you don't really need to. Besides, as the second book in Burroughs' 'Nova trilogy', it was written using the cut-up method
Bryce Klebe
The only reason I did not rate this a 5 star like all of Burroughs other work is because this is literally one of the hardest books I've ever read. It's extremely interesting and full of the cut ups. I recommend reading The Soft Machine before you read this just to get your mind prepared for the chaotic read you are going to experience.
To begin with I felt guilty for hardly absorbing any of the book as the grammar made it hard to read. When I researched it a little and realised the writing style was purposely nonsensical I felt a bit better, but looked forward to the point where it started to make sense. It didn’t. As the text doesn’t make coherent sense for more than about a page at a time, it feels like gibberish and is very, very difficult to concentrate on. Like with some Jack Kerouac and JG Ballard, I took it as a mission ...more
B. Jay
This is the first book in the Nova series that makes even any sense at all, or at least has portions I found I could explain to others. This book is notable for a much heavier and intentional inclusion of actual science fiction (as opposed to things that were most likely simply drug-fueled delusions). Burroughs fascination with film splicing and the use of tape recorders also marks the era of his writing but opens a door on more of his prophetic visions of how technology would be used in the fut ...more
Ed Smiley
Deliberately disjointed, hallucinatory, wacky, disturbing and inventive. Burroughs employs a collage technique where different narratives are cut up and thrown together like a salad. I originally read it in the English edition, which differs from the American. Read long time ago.

This is definitely my favorite of the works of this talented madman. It may be his oddest. I was gratified to see this posting on RealityStudio (

Perhaps one of Burroughs’ least a
Dec 31, 2007 Tedopon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you
Shelves: fiction
Up until I read McCarthy's The Road, this was King of the Hill for over a decade. The book Uncle Bill wrote right dead center at the transition between the raw cut up style of the Nova trilogy and the later books where he "attained mastery".
Bottom line-it's his best book. Burroughs will always be my favorite writer, there is no one comes close to his sheer artistic power, and no one can hold a candle to his deadpan cynicism that fluctuates between hate and love of all things human.
This is the o
we liked the processes + language Burroughs implements in this, but he's just way to obsessed w/ boy sex for our tastes....
A very realistic portrait of America. Be prepared to record it and listen to it over and over to begin to understand it.
Aaron Rogge
Softly wavering between scattered cut ups and visceral marches through post-taboo imagery, The Ticket That Exploded is collage art, profane satire, and deep subconscious phantasmagoria wrapped into a swirling colony of bite sized insanity. There is absolutely no way to describe what the nova trilogy is to people that read mass-market novels or enjoy light reading. This is for closing ones eyes and reading, so to speak, removing one's self from pace and falling through the delusions of junk sick ...more
cut up is this technique. can be hard going at times.
William S. Burroughs is alive and well and seems to be currently writing for the BBC.

I was amazed when I caught a NOVA episode about the cuttlefish's ability to dazzle prey by triggering its skin cells to rapidly change color like a Pink Floyd light show, just like the fishboys. No one can come up with disturbing, half-ancestrally remembered creatures like Bill Lee.
apparently this is not a great book to read when you've recently moved to los angeles and are spending a lot of time commuting alone on the usually-quite-empty subway. i thought it was wholly disturbing. maybe this means i'm showing my 'staid and normal' hand, but so be it.

also - i'm trying to suss out why a lot of people compare burroughs and mangels to pynchon. i'm not seeing the connection yet, but then again i've only read 'the crying of lot 49'. anyhoo ...
The one William S. Burroughs book that causes the fan base to be afraid, really afraid. Burroughs at his most out there - those who have a fear of experimental writing - stay far away. This is a live bomb ticking slowly and it may explode in your hands! For those who are not afraid, this is really good. Burroughs at his most dry, and distain for the real square's world most intense work.
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W.S. Burroughs, a bearer of truth, a prophet. 2 4 Apr 04, 2015 09:21AM  
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William Seward Burroughs II, (also known by his pen name William Lee; February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century ...more
More about William S. Burroughs...

Other Books in the Series

The Nova Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Soft Machine (The Nova Trilogy #1)
  • Nova Express (The Nova Trilogy #3)
Naked Lunch Junky Queer And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks The Soft Machine (The Nova Trilogy #1)

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“The 'Other Half' is the word. The 'Other Half' is an organism. Word is an organism. The presence of the 'Other Half' is a separate organism attached to your nervous system on an air line of words can now be demonstrated experimentally. One of the most common 'hallucinations' of subject during sense withdrawal is the feeling of another body sprawled through the subject's body at an angle...yes quite an angle it is the 'Other Half' worked quite some years on a symbiotic basis. From symbiosis to parasitism is a short step. The word is now a virus. The flu virus may have once been a healthy lung cell. It is now a parasitic organism that invades and damages the central nervous system. Modern man has lost the option of silence. Try halting sub-vocal speech. Try to achieve even ten seconds of inner silence. You will encounter a resisting organism that forces you to talk. That organism is the word.” 17 likes
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