Ghost of Chance

Overview

Ghost of Chance is an adventure story set in the jungle of Madagascar and filled with the obsessions that mark the work of the man who Norman Mailer once called, ‘the only American writer possessed by genius.’ While tripping through the author's trademark concerns—drugs, paranoia, and lemurs, this short novel tells an important story about environmental devastation in a way that only Burroughs can.

Born in 1914, William S. Burroughs is the author of Junky, Naked Lunch and The ...

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Overview

Ghost of Chance is an adventure story set in the jungle of Madagascar and filled with the obsessions that mark the work of the man who Norman Mailer once called, ‘the only American writer possessed by genius.’ While tripping through the author's trademark concerns—drugs, paranoia, and lemurs, this short novel tells an important story about environmental devastation in a way that only Burroughs can.

Born in 1914, William S. Burroughs is the author of Junky, Naked Lunch and The Soft Machine and many other contemporary classics. A major figure of 20th century American literature, Burroughs died in 1997.

An adventure story set in the jungle of Madagascar, and filled with the obsessions that mark the work of the man whom Norman Mailer once called, "the only American writer possessed by genius, " Ghost of Chance reveals an important story about environmental devastation in a way that only Burroughs can tell it. Illustrations by the author.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Burroughs (My Education: A Book of Dreams) turns 81 this year, but, much to the delight of loyal readers, his latest fiction continues to display a febrile imagination, corrosive wit and edgy desolation recalling his preeminent early work. This peculiar, short volume is a whimsical hodgepodge, interweaving, among other matters, a natural history of Madagascar; a jeremiad for the environment; a colonial adventure and a takeoff on the Book of Revelations. It opens as Captain Mission, an 18th-century pirate, founds Libertatia, a utopian colony on Madagascar dedicated to protecting the indigenous landscape and lemur population (lemurs are known by island natives as ``ghosts''). When international bureaucrats conspire to decimate the colony, overpopulate the island and plunder its flora and fauna (``the Garden of Lost Chances,'' preserved for 160 million years since the island split from mainland Africa), a series of fantastic, ancient plagues are released, destroying much of the earth. This strange and fragmented story presents-in supple prose that requires no parental advisory-an environmentalist twist to Burroughs's quintessential theme: the cosmic struggle between bureaucratic Control and the embattled, individual soul. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Burroughs continues to topple literary, social, and cosmological walls in this short but bittersweet version of the rise and fall of a unique settlement on Madagascar in the late 17th century. Captain Mission "threatened to demonstrate for all to see that three hundred souls can coexist in relative harmony with each of their neighbors, and with the ecosphere of flora and fauna." Mission forms a personal bond with lemurs and explores the Museum of Lost Species and the Biological Garden of Lost Chances before Libertatia's fall. Burroughs vividly depicts a variety of horrifying plagues and both the wonders and horrors of drugs as only he can. He traces the roots of the environmental crisis to the replacement of Pantheism with Christianity, deconstructs language, and concocts some powerful moral brew in one of his most accessible and finest books. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries. (Illustrations not seen.)-Jim Dwyer, California State Univ. Lib., Chico
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781852424572
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Series: High Risk Books Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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