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The Place of Dead Roads: A Novel Paperback – May 4, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0312278656 ISBN-10: 0312278659

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (May 4, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312278659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312278656
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"It's a comedy . . . a nightmare . . . Bosch-like visions, extraordinarily precise vivid visualizations . . . outrageous ideas like mind bombs."—Allen Ginsberg

"Powerful . . . a raging torrent of words and images . . . Burroughs, like Dalí, first draws from his insanity, then selects with reason. And what a master of the mother tongue he is—sculpted sentences, poetic prose, riffs that make you gasp in amazement . . . More accessible and murkily poetic than ever."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

"One of the wildest rides into the Wild West, and other parts known and unknown, we will ever have."—The Washington Post Book World

"A moving personal saga as well as a record of revolutionary vision."—Chicago Tribune Book World

About the Author

William S. Burroughs was born in St. Louis in 1914. He is best-known work is 1959's Naked Lunch—which became the focus of a landmark 1962 Supreme Court decision that helped eliminate literary censorship in the United States. Described by Norman Mailer as one of America's few writers genuinely "possessed by genius," he died in 1997. His many other works include Junky and Cities of the Red Night (Picador).

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
The Place of Dead Roads is the second book in the Western Lands trilogy, which begins with Cities of the Red Night and concludes with The Western Lands. The story begins in late 19th century American west, following the exploits of the young, homosexual, opiate addicted gunslinger, Kim Carsons. We follow Carsons and his gang, the Wild Fruits, through wired western mythology and sci-fi space/time travelling adventure as they attempt to organize the world-wide "Johnson Family", to overthrow the humans infected by a venusian virus which turns them into religious snooping control freaks. All the elements of classic Burroughs are here. There's an abundance of drug frenzy, violence and wicked black humour. This book, or its prequel Cities of the Red Night, are ideal places to start for anyone who is approaching Burroughs for the first time; as well as being thoroughly challenging and entertaining to the initiated. This Trilogy (li! ke much of Burroughs' work reading the 3 in sequence is not specifically required) is my personal favourite of Burroughs. I highly recommend it, but be warned: it will change the way you dream forever! R.I.P Bill. We miss you.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Yaumo Gaucho on July 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is only a little bit more coherent than Naked Lunch, but Burroughs seems to have become better at description since NL -- the descriptions of scenery, people, and everything else, are perhaps the best I've ever seen in the English language. Some people may be turned off by (or drawn by!) the graphic drug use, homosexual pedophilia, etc, but that's just a sideshow: Burroughs is a master of language and wording, and that's the big reason to read the book. This book is a must-read, even if only to see someone pushing the limits of language, writing, and imagination. See why the Beats considered Burroughs a literary mentor.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Neil Ford on August 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
(...) This is the best of Burroughs's novels. Unfortunately it seems to be a forgotten masterpiece, with less knowledgable fans continuing to tout his earlier, better-known stuff (Junkie, Naked Lunch, Queer), the stuff that's in print and more notorious than his later, finer work. I'm so glad that there's been a reprinting of this book - I would absolutely recommend it to any Burroughs fan as compulsory reading, and to anyone else who wants to read a lost 20th century masterpiece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
This i regard as Burrough's most accomplished work. It crystallizes and synthesizes the Naked Lunch method of chaos, the cut up poetry of the Soft Machine and the newly found appreciation of the prose tale like in the Wild Boys. Though there's very little of the characteristic hipster imagery, this distorted Western movie style novel conjures up an even more shocking world than Junky did. Its humour that of a crocodile wanting to smoke a good cigar with you. And what about feeling compassion for a shootist that wants to destroy the borders of humanity? Without a word too many, despite all the repitition, a desert vista of all that Burroughs stands for is created from a vultures point of view, with some expeditions into the jungle of his dreams and fears. And what is it you find there? Not just a simple answer to the questions of life. It leaves you on your own confronted with the cruel caleidoscope of truth. You thought you could make a deal with good and bad? Read this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lee Higgs on September 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
This may be the most accessible of all of Burrough's books, and proves his brilliant command of the language. He starts with an incredibly strong novel, and then takes us on a head trip through the joys and evils of modern civilization. Remarkably coherent, considering the ground that he covers. Like a few other things, you really can't explain it - just try it and you'll see.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hallstatt Prince on April 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
In my opinion William S. Burroughs was one of the greatest authors of the 20th century.

In this masterpiece the author weaves an incredible series of vignettes, sometimes horrific, into a cohesive and powerful story.

Disturbing, surreal and powerful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By julian on May 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
I would have to re-read this book to give a just review, so I will cut to the chase... I remember being stunned at the brilliance of this work when I read it. If you've only read 'junky' then you could never fathom just how good Burroughs can be!
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