5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Burroughs was human after all,
This review is from: Last Words (1960s A) (Paperback)
These last words of Burroughs will have great poignancy for his fans, but might not be all that meaningful to the casual reader. He writes about everyday occurrences, memories of his eventful life, reactions to the death of his friends, makes extensive literary references and provides loving descriptions of his cats. For me, the Burroughs magic is here in abundance and this book helps to complete the big picture of his life and work. It's not all smooth sailing, though, as his repetitive railings against the "war on drugs" can become a bit tedious. Obscure references are explained in the Notes: I was interested to see he was a member of IOT (International Order of Thanateros - see the books Liber Kaos and Liber Null & Psychonaut by Peter Carroll) and friends with V. Vale (See Re/Search Publications like Industrial Culture Handbook and Incredibly Strange Music). Some sections are funny, some are sad (especially where he writes about Joan Vollmer and his family) and some are very interesting from a literary perspective. There are powerful passages of great beauty that stick in the mind. His love for his cats and for other animals like lemurs is very moving and shows that he may have been larger than life, but in the end he was very human. In fact, there's an undertone of serenity throughout these journals, despite the diatribes against the establishment. So, to wrap it up: Last Words is essential reading for the Burroughs enthusiast and the Burroughs scholar, to finally understand the man and his writing. It's quite a relief to know how much he loved some people and his pets, in the end.