Cities of the Red Night

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What to expect

From one of the founders of the beat generation and the 1960s counterculture comes this opening novel of a series available now in audio for the first time.

An opium addict is lost in the jungle; young men wage war against an empire of mutants; a handsome young pirate faces his execution; and the world’s population is infected with a radioactive epidemic. These stories are woven together in a single tale of mayhem and chaos. In the first novel of the trilogy continued in The Place of Dead Roads and The Western Lands, William Burroughs sharply satirizes modern society in a poetic and shocking story of sex, drugs, disease, and adventure.

Critics Review

  • “Cities of the Red Night is not only Burroughs’ best work but a logical and ripening extension of all of Burroughs’ great work.”

    Ken Kesey, author of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • “Cities of the Red Night is Burroughs’ masterpiece. In it, the world ends with a bang—and a barely perceived whimper, disguised by the wicked smile of one of the most dazzling magicians of our time.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review
  • “One should approach Cities of the Red Night as the Wagneresque capper of all the five or six homosexual planet-operas Burroughs has scripted since he found a genuine new style in Naked Lunch…It’s as if we had gotten hold of a black ticket to his unconscious, and anyone who makes the trip will see sights and feel feelings that are unique and mind-bending beyond anyone else’s description.”

    Washington Post Book World
  • “Cities of the Red Night is the most complete and most devastatingly sardonic statement of William Burroughs’ apocalyptic vision. Through his mordant satire of cultural aspirations, homosexual eroticism, and political power, he focuses our gaze into the abyss. His cold, surgical language creates beauty through a terror that we are just able to bear…A modern Inferno.”

    Newsday (Long Island, NY)

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