Monday, September 8, 2014

Cities of the Red Night - William S. Burroughs

This author is infamous, but I hadn't read any of his books until I stumbled on this one on the Library Sale shelves and decided it was a good way to meet part of the Color-Coded Reading Challenge.

What can I say about this book - it was like a 332 page sexual fever dream heavily influenced by drugs. I can imagine it would appeal to the Baby Boomer generation for that reason. I'm sure at the time it was first published (1981) it seemed very radical and shocking, but reading this in 2014, it just seems like so much effort to shock, and no effort to actually tell any kind of story or make any kind of point. Maybe I'm just jaded, spoiled by the societal changes that have happened since 1981, or too stupid to fully appreciate this book. I must say I got rather tired of the word "ejaculated" halfway through. Naked Lunch or Junky might have been better choices for a first Burroughs book; maybe someday I'll read one or the other. Not sure what to say to sum things up; I guess this is a book you'd have to read for yourself, I can't honestly recommend it.

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