matt's Reviews > Nova Express

Nova Express by William S. Burroughs
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May 27, 08

bookshelves: fictions-of-the-big-it, satire, beat-stuff


Just well-written enough to be (barely) comprehensible.

Burroughs was mush-mouthed as a writer and there's plenty of mush here. The thing is, there's also some pitch-black deadpan critics of the moden control systems which are getting larger and paradoxically more insidious everyday.

Think of shit like Prozac, Botox, "focus groups", therapy culture, nuclear radiation, beaurocratic paranoia, "disaster capitalism", corporate hegemony, consumerism and all that abstract mind-waste which clogs up any decent human being's brainpan.

Language is the key- buzzwords, catchphrases, politcal obfuscation, totalitarian prose....therefore Burroughs has this intriguing yet ultimately self-defeating need to "rub out the Word" and therefore his prose has to be jarring, shocking, cacophanous, surreal. He's crystal clear when he wants to be: his ear for voice is tops, as his the nightmarish lucidity of the horrors he describes.

He uses quite a bit of arcane references which are sort of hit and miss but when they hit cha....boy, it's right between the eyes.
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