I probably should give Ticket that Exploded another try sometime as well. I remember disliking The Soft Machine at first reading but enjoying most of it the second time around, apart from two chapters where every other sentence is some permutation of "flick fluck" (e.g. "I flick fluck you...you flick fluck me...we flick fluck each other...for about 10 pages). I found Nova Express to be the most engaging and approachable of the cut-ups, I was surprised to read in The Job that WSB called it a "less than successful novel" (presumably in comparison to the two other cut-ups).BansheeYage wrote:Having drudged through Ticket only a couple months ago, I'd say it would have to be much later for me haha.
You felt like Soft Machine was more sexual than Ticket? I don't recall the sex scenes in SM leaving too much of an impression on me as they did in Ticket. And don't get me wrong, I think there are some scenes from Ticket that are stunning and beautifully imaginative, such as the ones you listed and the scenes in Outer Space on Uranus with K9 and the aliens, but out of the trilogy it was the one I derived the least from.
Presently though, I must say I am loving the heck out of The Place of Dead Roads.
When reading the more sexual material in Burroughs' books or anything else, my judgment of the merit/quality is not whether the material is graphic or offensive, but whether the sex scenes have something to say apart from being just self-indulgent masturbation fantasy for the writer. When reading Naked Lunch, I never got the impression that "Hassan's Rumpus Room" was written to titillate either Burroughs or his imagined reader, while the sex scenes in many of his later works seemed like obvious personal masturbation fantasy (this seemed to be the case for about 90% of the book in the case of The Wild Boys).