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Posted by Edward Scott Haas on 1/1/2001
How do I describe this sci-fi/horror/sociological/scatological freak show of a novel? Well, if you're read the brilliant cyberpunk classic *Neuromancer*, you know the plot, more or less. *Empire ...* is part tribute to, part parody of Gibson's work. But let's say we were living in an alternative reality in which Gibson lost his only manuscript of *Neuromancer* before he could get it to the publisher, and who should find it but the crazy, mystical, beatnick author William Burroughs. Burroughs then says 'wow, this is quite a story, but I've got a better take on it,' drops some acid and gets right to work. Lets say, then has the worst bad trip of his of while writing. The result would look somethink life Acker's ultra-violent topsy-turvey future world in which France is a colony of Algeria, wars are fought with sound waves and burned out, amoral adventurers stride through the techno-babble wasteland of a doomed civilization in search of money, drugs, revenge and just to escape boredom.
Acker describes the senselessness of this mileu
Posted by Anonymous on 4/3/1999
Empire of the Senseless is schizogenic because the reality it is dealing with, and our own mileu is schizogenic. Acker comes from the cut and paste school, via Burroughs and the Fluxus experiments and interprets reality through a greasy sometimes opaque, sometimes lewd, sometimes amazingly transcendental lens.
This is a "language" author and as well Acker is committed to art movements, including the art world's move towards "appropriation." To one "unititiated" in the parallel visual and dramatic (as well as musical arts) this book may seem more obscure than it is.
Yet I fully believe that if my sixteen year old sister can read and enjoy "Empire" without any formal introductions and indoctrinations then the "misunderstandings" imply those of one who has come to "expect" certain things from a book.
May your expectations be shattered!
Let's stop condoning the banal, boring, domesticated read.
Now. A must read.