A man, dispirited by ageing, endeavours to steal a younger man's face; a doctor yearns for a virus that might eliminate his discomfort by turning everyone else into doubles of himself; a Colonel lays out the precepts of the life of DE (Do Easy); conspirators posthumously succeed in blowing up a train full of nerve gas; a mandrill known as the Purple Better One runs for the presidency with brutal results; and the world drifts towards apocalypses of violence, climate and plague. The hallucinatory landscape of William Burroughs' compellingly bizarre, fragmented novel is constantly shifting, something sinister always just beneath the surface.
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.