My Education: 2a Book of Dreams

William S. Burroughs, Author Viking Books $21.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-670-81350-6
The noted Burroughs himself is the central character of his first novel in seven years, revisiting the site of hundreds of his dreams, a landscape ``where I get my best sets and characters.'' Numerous family members, friends and celebrities from the author's past appear-Mick Jagger, L. Ron Hubbard, Paul Bowles, Allen Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac-and locales vary wildly, from Manhattan to Panama, ancient Rome to the planet Venus. Several types of dreams recur: ``flying'' dreams, ``packaging'' dreams, ``breakfast dreams'' about ``difficulty in obtaining any sort of food.'' Images, too, recur-cats, pale young men, aliens, various doctors-though Burroughs fails to infuse them with any metaphorical meaning, thus bequeathing a tediousness to his terrain. Several graphic scenes, however, haunt this plotless book, such as one in which a man's face is bloodied by a broken bottle. Those familiar with the Burroughs canon will notice that the author's disjointed prose remains, but the satire has been replaced by a more plaintive voice. The strength of this memoir-like story comes from its 72-year-old narrator's struggles with grief, having outlived many of the people and events he so vividly recalls. ``Remembering,'' says Burroughs, ``brings the emptiness, the acutely painful awareness of irreparable loss.'' (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/1995
Release date: 01/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 193 pages - 978-0-330-34462-3
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-14-009454-1
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