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Wild Boys

Narrated by: Luis Moreno
Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this funny, nightmarish masterpiece of imaginative excess, grotesque characters engage in acts of violent one-upmanship, boundless riches mangle a corner of Africa into a Bacchanalian utopia, and technology, flesh, and violence fuse with and undo each other. A fragmentary, freewheeling novel, it sees wild boys engage in vigorous, ritualistic sex and drug taking, as well as prankster-ish guerrilla warfare and open combat with a confused and outmatched army.

©1971 William S. Burroughs (P)2013 Recorded Books

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Not for the faint hearted

First, the reader is amazing. This is a very, very difficult book to narrate and Luis Moreno does a superb job. I'll be checking out other books narrated by him.

Now to the book. This book is not for everyone - probably not for most people. It requires work and an understanding of what the Beat authors were trying to do and more specifically a grasp of Burroughs' literary aims and personal story. I recommend that those not familiar with Burroughs first read/listen to the introduction to "Queer Beats", edited by Regina Marler (also available from Audible.com). It does a nice job explaining the movement and giving a brief literary biography to Burroughs and related authors/poets; Marler also discusses the social and literary significance of the Beat movement.

The Wild Boys has no coherent story. That is not the way Burroughs writes. It is a collection of cinematic/fantasy scenes that are often visceral, pornographic, violent, surreal, brutal, beautiful, and disturbing. Images and scenes double back and are retold or re-imagined repeated. Nothing is taboo. Most of the sexual scenes are male on male, and since many come from Burroughs' memory and fantasies, they involve under-age boys and are very graphic and explicit. Burroughs creates an anti-conventional fantasy world (a queer Neverland populated with anarchistic gay lost boys) where he flips the bird to conventional mores and ideals, using his mastery of language and imagery as a weapon and a paint brush. I think that this is an amazing book and that Burroughs is a great author; I suspect that most listeners will think it is trash and pornography.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Jonathan Charles Cracknell
  • Jonathan Charles Cracknell
  • 09-14-19

Love or Hate

William Burroughs is a ground breaking writer who has influenced so many people from David Bowie to Francis Bacon: whatever you think of him he is a cultural icon. John Waters cites him as a major influence on his films and the cinema of trash. The originator of the "cut and stick" method, the Jackson Pollack of the Literary world. The Wild Boys is based on the true story of groups of feral boys living in the ruins of Nazi Germany after 1945. The reader is a camera swooping in and out of a future where feral boys live on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Burroughs is incredibly visual, he sprays the reader with images like a machine gun eshewing punctuation and syntax. The Wild boys is a neon fantasy of the future, flickering images that both disturb and excite the reader. This is not for the literary faint hearted, this is for readers who want a rollercoaster ride. It is a love him or hate him trip.