Reviews of Place of Dead Roads, the (1983)
Review by sonicforest (2005-05-17)
A loose sequel to Cities of the Red Night, this novel explores many of the same themes, this time in the setting of the old American west. The book opens with a newspaper obituary of William Seward Hall, a writer and gunfighter better known as Kim Carsons (a character meant to represent Burroughs himself). The book then retraces Kim's career in establishing the "Johnson Family", his name for a loose association of honorable scoundrels and misfits who band together and establish towns on the western frontier, with the grand aim of fighting the forces of ignorance and corruption which have always kept humanity from achieving its full potential throughout history. Like nearly everything Burroughs ever wrote, there are parts which are certainly shocking and offensive, but there's also plenty that's funny, soulful, and thought-provoking.