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The Job: Interviews With William S. Burroughs [Paperback]

Daniel Odier
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 1974
William Burroughs' work was dedicated to an assault upon language, traditional values and all agents of control. Produced at a time when he was at his most extreme and messianic, "The Job" lays out his abrasive, incisive, paranoiac, maddened and maddening worldview in interviews interspersed with stories and other writing. On the Beat movement, the importance of the cut-up technique, the press, Scientology, capital punishment, drugs, good and evil, the destruction of nations, Deadly Orgone Radiation and whether violence just in words is violence enough - Burroughs' insights show why he was one of the most influential writers and one of the sharpest, most startling and strangest minds of his generation.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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About the Author

William S. Burroughs was born on February 5, 1914 in St Louis. In work and in life Burroughs expressed a lifelong subversion of the morality, politics and economics of modern America. To escape those conditions, and in particular his treatment as a homosexual and a drug-user, Burroughs left his homeland in 1950, and soon after began writing. By the time of his death he was widely recognised as one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the twentieth century. His numerous books include Naked Lunch, Junky, Queer, Nova Express, Interzone, The Wild Boys, The Ticket That Exploded and The Soft Machine. After living in Mexico City, Tangier, Paris, and London, Burroughs finally returned to America in 1974. He died in 1997. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Trust This Book June 17 1998
By A Customer
If you think you can take Burroughs' words in an interview seriously... If you think this has all the answers, you're wrong. This is the most difficult book of Burroughs to interpret. Short texts, interspersed with a supposedly truthful person-to-person interview with everyone's favorite writer. Some of what he says in plain language is a godsend because it does clearly communicate a message. But beware all messages. His cut-up texts are reassuring to me because at least I know to perceive them as texts. But Burroughs hated to discuss his writing, and he loved to f*** with people. Discerning any sort of reality in this man's writing is difficult, be cautious. I detect numerous "lies" in this one, and I can see a great big smile on his face. I hope you smile too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Disquietingly prescient and funny Feb. 27 2001
"The Job" is a fantastic introduction to the obsessions and maverick idealism that characterize Burroughs' fiction. This is not a straight question-and-answer session; Burroughs includes liberal samples of text (his own as well as others') to illustrate his ideas. The final product is an effective, surreal manifesto urging all of us to break out of our private tunnel realities and confront social control systems with open, empowered minds. Especially fascinating are Burroughs' thoughts on language and his prescient examination of media-viruses.
"The Job" is often brutal, always controversial, and possessed by the author's inimitable knack for nailing his target. This is an unforgettable plunge into one of the 20th century's foremost countercultural intellects.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Burroughs lives through his words. Aug. 5 1997
By A Customer
The death of William S. Burroughs has left a huge gap in our world. The Job is a fascinating, thought provoking, and telling collection of interviews. His insights into politics, sexuality, and America are unique and intelligently spoken. While The Job is a must read for any Burroughs fan, I am sure that anyone could glean something from his words. Certain critics may find the opinions that Burroughs shared to be absurd. I believe that Burroughs was a man who genuinely cared about the future of humanity. His words in The Job are a testament to this. Perhaps it is the value system of America that is becoming more and more absurd. "All knowledge is yours by right."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Burroughs proves that paranoia is intelligent Feb. 25 1998
By A Customer
I read somewhere that intelligence is the ability to make connections that others don't see. By that definition, and probably by any other, Burroughs is a philosophical and literary genius. Who else could make the connection between Mayan ritual calendars and the totalian nature of modern nation-states? Who else gives detailed explanations of his proven methods for dissembling reality?? For sheer brilliance and brutal truth about modern society, only Foucault approaches Burroughs. But Foucault never went to hell and came back to write about it.
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