Soft Machine

William Burroughs

A world populated by hanged soldiers, North African street urchins, addicted narcotics agents, Spanish rent boys, evil doctors, corrupt judges and monsters from the mythology of history or the laboratories of science – Burroughs was truly the Hieronymus Bosch of the twentieth century. In this surreal, savage and brilliantly funny novel, his famous ‘cut-up’ technique, the slicing and random folding in of words, transforms the narrative into an extraordinary, unequalled new form of prose poetry, taking us deeper into the dark recesses of Burroughs’ imagination.

Reviews of Soft Machine

  • ‘“The Soft Machine” has its background in the underwater cities of Flash Gordon serials, broken-down towns in South America, faded photos and 1920s films in seedy movie houses. Essential reading.’ Observer

    ‘[Burroughs’] great fictions [show] his superb, hard-edged satirical visions of cancerous and addictive consumerism; his elegiac and poetic invocations of sadness and dislocation; his enormous fertility of ideas and imagery.’ Will Self, Guardian

    ‘A world compounded of myth and science fiction in which freedom and order are eternally opposed. Out of the dirt, the excrement, the couplings, Burroughs makes a disgusting, exciting poetry.’ Sunday Times