Tentatively, Convenience's Reviews > Ghost of Chance

Ghost of Chance by William S. Burroughs
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it was amazing
bookshelves: literature

I was somewhat reluctant to read yet-another Burroughs bk given that I've already read so many & that there're so many other writers out there to read.. BUT, it was worth it! Burroughs' incisive, acerbic imagination held my attn once more. The bk's plentifully interspersed w/ black & white repros of paintings wch I reckon must be by Burroughs - since they're not credited otherwise. These are mostly busy energy patterns, semi-abstract-expressionist, probably more than a little influenced by Burroughs' pal Brion Gysin - they lurk w/ spirits needing the right frame-of-mind (or drug-induced expanded consciousness) to see dancing about.

One of the freshest parts for me (insofar as I don't recall any of Burroughs' other bks putting forth this idea) is where Christ is lambasted as someone who tried to corner the miracle market, tried to monopolize a capability held latently by all. Footnotes placed at the bottom of the pages (as opposed to the back of the bk) add further scholarly spice to the whole vision - grounding the fiction in 'factual' reference - that, in turn, often takes off in extrapolative fantasy. Take this, eg:

"11. Consider the history of disease: it is as old as life. Soon as something gets alive, there is something there waiting to disease it. Put yourself in the virus's shoes, and wouldn't you do the same? [..]

"And the fearsome SEPs. Some organ of the body sets up shop and grows on its own: huge brains in fifty-five gallon oil drums, a monster kidney that can be used for dialysis,

"It's an ill fart that farts nobody any good.

"The most dreaded SEP is the Pricks. Not a tumor, mind you, just a big prick and it keeps getting bigger."

Once again, I'm stimulated to return to Burroughs & to read everything I can by him.
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Reading Progress

November 16, 2008 – Shelved
Started Reading
November 22, 2008 – Finished Reading
November 23, 2008 – Shelved as: literature

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