Mat's Reviews > The Western Lands

The Western Lands by William S. Burroughs
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Sep 27, 14

Read in August, 2011

Sheer genius.
As other reviewers have pointed out, the conclusion to the trilogy is not as sex-charged as the other novels. This is a real masterpiece. The narrative structure uses a blend of Egyptian mythology (Book of the Dead) and the craziness of a not-too-far-off world. Well, let's not hope not. So in this sense, I couldn't help but feel that Burroughs is writing this as a kind of warning.
I absolutely loved Cities of the Red Night and thought to myself at the time, 'There is no way Burroughs is going to top this one. No way'. But lo and behold, he has. This book is unbelievable.
It was easily the best book I read in 2011 and with all the turmoil and mad weather patterns currently going on in the world, the pre-apocalytpic tone throughout the book seems to be so relevant to present times. Just like Kerouac was ahead of his time in terms of style (spontaneous bop prosody), Burroughs has penned an eerily accurate portrait of what kind of world we might be heading for - if you can decode all the metaphors in the book. I couldn't in one reading and that is why I'm going to read it again.
This has to be the coolest book I have ever read, even better than Marching Powder. I'm currently reading The Wild Boys which is somewhat disappointing compared to this novel.
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