To produce an apocalyptic vision in the terms of a depraved Mack Sennett comedy, replete with vaudeville monologues on the absurd, is perhaps William Burroughs' thoroughly upsetting achievement, before which, to paraphrase Freud, any critic must lay down his arms. Drugs, homoeroticism, and science fiction provide the triad around which Burroughs spins his horrendous fantasies, the richest and most ghoulishly funny of these being his first major creation, The Naked Lunch. Since then we have had two duds, Nova Express and The Soft Machine, both using a frenzied method, a technique continued in The Ticket That Exploded. But here the linguistic contortions fortunately shift about against a vaguely recognizable narrative structure, including a quaint parody of a 19th century adventurer's journal. Parody, of course, is Burroughs' strongest asset and/or defense: he immerses himself in the destructive consciousness, the lunar madhouse where doctors run wild with computers, junkies shoot up for the greater glory of Id, and the fuzz and the solid citizen play an interchangeable game of cat and mouse. The Ticket That Exploded, then, is another anti-utopian cry against the future of "complete control," the horror beyond the picture window, clownish surrealism which speaks louder than fact.