THE LAST WORDS OF DUTCH SCHULTZ by William S. Burroughs

THE LAST WORDS OF DUTCH SCHULTZ

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

This is Burroughs' most accessible, tightly knit work of fiction--a gruesome, hallucinatory exposition of the dying words of Prohibition mobster Dutch Schultz. Laid out as a stripped-down movie script it's almost as if this is the form that Burroughs has always needed--an enforced brevity which keeps the poetry of banality (weary evil) from becoming unendurably tiresome. After Dutch Schultz, a non-Mafia leader, was shot down in the Palace Chop House men's room by a syndicate hit man, he remained alive under police guard in a hospital for many hours. Doped with morphine, he rattled on deliriously while a police stenographer took down his every word--about 2000 of them--none of which made much sense to anyone. The "last words" are a kind of demented aria, full of unconscious gutter poetry ("A boy has never wept or dashed a thousand Kim"--what are Kim? we never learn). The Film-fiction however links up much of their weird outflow with incidents from Dutch's career and childhood, and there's a surprising aptness to Burroughs' interpretative guesses. Even more striking is his technical finesse in evoking the bloodsoaked era, the bullseye dialogue, the ghostly photomontage.?
Pub Date: May 6th, 1975
ISBN: 0805001794
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1975




MORE BY WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS

NonfictionRUB OUT THE WORDS by William S. Burroughs
by William S. Burroughs
FictionAND THE HIPPOS WERE BOILED IN THEIR TANKS by William S. Burroughs
by William S. Burroughs
FictionTHE PLACE OF DEAD ROADS by William S. Burroughs
by William S. Burroughs

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionTHE CATSKILLS by Stephen M. Silverman
by Stephen M. Silverman