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The Place of Dead Roads [Hardcover]

William S. Burroughs
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan 1984
A good old-fashion shoot-out in the American West of the frontier days serves as the springboard for this hyperkinetic adventure in which gunslingers, led by Kim Carson, fight for galactic freedom." The Place of Dead Roads is the second novel in the trilogy with "Cities of the Red Night and" The Western Lands.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co; 1st Edition edition (Jan 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0030632560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0030632563
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,178,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Burroughs was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1914. Immensely influential among the Beat writers of the 1950s - notably Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg - he already had an underground reputation before the appearance of his first important book, 'Naked Lunch'. Originally published by the daring and influential Olympia Press (the original publishers of Henry Miller) in France in 1959, it aroused great controversy on publication and was not available in the US until 1962 and in the UK until 1964. The book was adapted for film by David Cronenberg in 1991.

Product Description


"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 Dali, 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
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

'Drawing your gun should be an easy flowing, casual movement, like handing someone a pen, passing the salt, conveying a benediction.'

In this brilliant but surreal fable, William Burroughs continued his ruthless exploration of society's controlling forces – the State, the Church, literature, drugs – in his inimitable and utterly unique style.

‘“The Place of Dead Roads” is Burroughs’ personal gunfight at the OK Corral and features a cast of notorious characters who set out to challenge the morality of small town America.’ Tribune

‘The hard man of Hip…All his energy went into a battle with the agents of “control” – the thought police.’ Guardian

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burroughs Unleashed 23 Oct 2003
This book is perhaps one of Burrough's most revealing works. The protagonist Kim Carsons is a youthful figure who in every way embodies Burroughs personality and ideals. Queer but masculine, clever with a hatred of authority, uninhibited and fearless and carrying an encyclopedic knowledge of firearms. The place of Dead Roads is also the work in which he most openly shows his admiration and debt to Jack Black's 'You can't win' (which I would recommend to any anyone reading this). This is probably my personal favorite of all Burrough's works and I would recommend it and the trilogy of which it is part(Cities of the Red Night, The Place of dead roads and the Western Lands)as an accessible starting point into the most important American writer of the late 20th century.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Place of Dead Roads 25 Jun 2003
By Ben
Concrete proof that the 1980's were not simply tight jeans, mullets and bad music. Apart from a few cultural refrences this book could easily have been written at the same time as Burroughs earlier stuff and it certainly stands up well in comparison to it. In fact I would go so far to say that this one of his best pieces of work. Combining a strange but compelling story with classic Burroughisms and well-integrated, persuasive arguments about the controlling elements of society, he even chucks in some ancient history for good measure. Funny, disturbing, intelligent and readable.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hmmm very nice 27 Mar 2001
the word virus strikes again in another of burroughs later peices, when he becomes obsseessed with his own mortality, this occupies the central position between the spiritual oddyssey that grew up in the cities of the red night and which was concluded in the western lands... it is the work of an old man who knows he will have to come to terms with himself, his actions, his own legend if he is ever to face his own end with dignity... it is more coherent that much of burroughs work, as the entire trilogy tends to be... we are constantly on a journey with the author, his identity is all the identities and we in turn identify with him, this is a superb peice of art, from the soul, from a superb artist...
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