Ghost of Chance (High Risk Books) Paperback – 12 Sep 2002
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?The man?s got something to say, so shut up and listen? Time Out ?Whether scorning the cult of the prophets or considering the nature of truth, his writing is by turns as dark as Conrad, as sexy as Genet, as complex as Derrida, but always uniquely his own? Attitude ?Ideal for the supercool, heavy-duty intellectual in your life? Elizabeth Young
About the Author
William S Burroughs is the grand-daddy of all cult writers. He is the author of Naked Lunch, Junky and many other novels. Short stories appear in High Risk 1 and The Junky's Christmas, both published by Serpent's Tail. He died in 1998. Ghost of Chance was first published by Serpent's Tail in hardback in 1997.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Touching a variety of philosophical bases and delivering a broadside on the viral nature of Christianity, yet with some oddly over-wrought footnotes, Burroughs' lectures are all the more apt for their prescience in a time of global ecological uncertainty, and his own chaotic illustrations add an extra dimension of impending doom.
Challenging, yet evocative, Burroughs haunts the imagination.
It seems like a straight forward read (I knocked it off in a couple of hours) but the experience stays with you and haunts you: the language, the visions, the philosophy. Even the opening surface of the adventure story puzzles: is the afterword actual fact that fills in the holes, or yet another of Burroughs' fictions. Fascinating.
As well as the imponderables, there is also much to access straight-away: what he has to say about the environment and religious and political usury is excellent.
It all combines into what one reviewer calls a "moral brew." It's certainly a heady, strange brew if you want it to be, but because of the book's size it can also be a couple an afternoons indulgence and no more if that is what you want to.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Ghost of Chance" deals with extinction, both of animal species due to human stupidity and of man by exotic plagues. And that's just a simplified description. Burroughs adds commentary on Christianity, language as an evolutionary evil and man's stuborness in trying to capture time.
This was a quick read, taking me under an hour to finish. Yet, it resisted being easily grasped: Starting with the story of Captain Mission, a pirate settled in Madagascar and obsessed with preserving the native lemurs, moving then to the hipocrisy of Jesus Christ as Savior, and ending with plagues scarier (and more surreal) than ebola, the book packs into a small bottle a big punch. So big, in fact, that I wasn't able to describe my reaction to it clearly enough to write this review. (I hope I didn't babble too much here!)
Burroughs shows a wicked sense of humor, specially in the Notes at the end. And with imagery as wild and scary as a bad trip, this is a good introduction to one of the most discussed authors of the last half of our century.
And, of course, there's lemurs. If you are already a Burroughs fan, this is a great little book, but nothing more than one of his minor efforts. Sort of like the inflamed and pus-oozing appendix to Cities of the Red Night.