THE WILD BOYS: A BOOK OF THE DEAD by William S. Burroughs

Burroughs was really on here. I might be setting myself up for some contempt but I vastly prefer The Wild Boys to the more famous Naked Lunch.  That novel is just far too chaotic and uneven.  The Wild Boys is just as radical. There is very little in the way of plot, just a vague idea and a kind of hovering mood. Burroughs also again gives us plenty of graphic sex and violence. However, in this novel Burroughs feels (almost) totally in control. While a few sections fall flat, the book is mostly written with a tenderness that clashes beautifully with the often horrific subject matter and, at times, reduced me to tears. “The Dead Child” is probably the most memorable chapter. I still need to read more Burroughs but, out of this book, Naked LunchJunky, Exterminator!, and Queer, The Wild Boys is my favorite. Call me a heretic if you must! 


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