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Exterminator! Paperback – March 29, 1979
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Top Customer Reviews
Although by and large the various parts are unconnected, several are focused on the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. In particular, the amazingly creative and hysterically funny "The Coming of the Purple Better One" takes that as its locale. The "Purple Better One" of the title refers to a baboon that is placed upon the convention podium, and upon whose face is superimposed the face of a white Southern, racist politician, whose recorded speech is then played. It is one of the more bizarre, brilliant, and absurd scenes in recent American literature. Another favorite is "The Discipline of DE," the DE standing for "Do Easy." The story is a strange blend of Zen Buddhist tract and self-help manifestation. Other favorites include the title story, with the narrator/exterminator repeating ominously "You want the service?" and a supposed film treatment "Twilight's Last Gleamings."
The collection features many of the themes usually associated with Burroughs: Sci-fi, fantasy, drugs, usual medical practices and phenomena, governmental nefariousness, and the corruption of capitalistic life.
Exterminator!, The Colonel Issues DE, Cold Lost Marbles, and The Perfect Servant have been my favorite passages since I first read it. The book is hilarious if you can manage to analytically wipe the opaque layer of genius-dirt from the neglected window obscuring Burroughs's warm, cozy, funny soul.
If there's a plot in here, it eluded me. Along the way the reader will encounter a secret agent, a pest exterminator, Scientology, the queen of England, and John Genet. "Exterminator!" is often outrageous and absurd; it feels at times like Burroughs is just writing to amuse himself.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got this book because we had to read it for a class that I was taking. I was optimistic when I started it, but several pages in, I put it down and didn't want to pick it back... Read morePublished on March 11, 2008 by L. Shopper
I found this in the library at about age 15 or 16.
Looking at it a certain way, I was lucky - some boys
my age read "The Fountainhead" or "Atlas... Read more
The story within the book, "Exterminator", caused shifts in my consciousness that have not been rivalled to this day. Read morePublished on February 10, 2006 by Hello, World!
Like many people, I first heard about William S. Burroughs by way of "Naked Lunch." I don't know what I was expecting to find in this book that wasn't in that one, but I can say... Read morePublished on July 13, 2005 by Bill Lee
This was the first book by WSB that I ever read. I think this was a case of trial by fire, because numerous people I've spoken to found this book impossible to read. Read morePublished on July 27, 2002 by Amazon Customer
...and in the case of "Exterminator!" that's not a good thing. Granted, this sloppy collection of short stories stitched together as a novel will appeal to fans of the... Read morePublished on December 13, 2001 by man_invisible