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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Exterminator! is a short story collection written by William S. Burroughs and first published in 1973 (some editions such as the 1974 paperback illustrated at right label the book a novel).

It is not to be confused with The Exterminator, another collection of stories Burroughs published in 1960 in collaboration with Brion Gysin.

The collection contains a number of Burroughs' most popular short pieces, such as "Twilight's Last Gleamings", "The Disciple of DE", "Wind Die, You Die, We Die", "Ali's Smile", and "The Coming of the Purple Better One". Some of the stories, such as "Ali's Smile", had previously been published in other books and magazines such as Rolling Stone, Village Voice, Evergreen Review, and Esquire Magazine.

The title story is about an insect exterminator, a job Burroughs himself once held. Certain aspects of this story were used in the film version of Naked Lunch, with the main character William Lee (a portrayal of Burroughs) holding the same job at the film's beginning.

In the 1980s, actor Ed Asner recorded a spoken word adaptation of "Wind Die. You Die. We Die", while Burroughs and Kurt Cobain recorded a musical version of one of the stories as the "Priest" they called him.

Some of the stories were initially published elsewhere, such as "Ali's Smile", which was also later included in Ali's Smile/Naked Scientology. A different story entitled "Twilight's Last Gleamings" appears in the later collection, Interzone.

Story list

Exterminator! contains the following stories:

  1. "Exterminator!"
  2. The Lemon Kid
  3. Short Trip Home
  4. Davy Jones
  5. The Evening News
  6. Astronaut's Return
  7. My Face
  8. Wind Die. You Die. We Die.
  9. End of the Line
  10. The Drums of Death
  11. "Johnny 23"
  12. The Discipline of DE
  13. The Perfect Servant
  14. Ali's Smile
  15. Twilight's Last Gleamings
  16. The Coming of the Purple Better One
  17. "What Washington? What Orders?"
  18. From Here to Eternity
  19. The Teacher
  20. They Do Not Always Remember
  21. Friends
  22. Seeing Red
  23. Old Movie
  24. Electricals
  25. SPUT
  26. Reddies
  27. The "Priest" They Called Him
  28. My Legs Señor
  29. The End
  30. Cold Lost Marbles

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Exterminator!" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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