Come in with the Dutchmanby William S. Burroughs
A reissue of Burroughs’s “fiction in the form of a film script,” Come In With the Dutchman is a singular take on one of the most notorious gangsters in American history.
Before he was gunned down in the Palace Chop House in Newark, New Jersey, in October 1935, Arthur Flegenheimer, alias Dutch Schultz, was generally considered New York’s number one racketeer. Taken to a hospital following the gangland shooting, Schultz survived for two days. His room was guarded around the clock, and a police stenographer was stationed at his bedside in the hope of learning who is assailant or assailants were. Instead, what was recorded were Dutch’s fevered fantasies, stemming from his childhood and youth, as well as his recent past. Taking these “last words” as a starting point, Burroughs has created in this work a fantasia on Dutch Schultz, a narrative that takes the form of a film script and explores themes including crime, addiction, and power.
“The very name of Burroughs conjures up contorted works of quirky brilliance, a warp of vision through a wild woof of laughter. We have, instead, astoundingly, the script for a gangster film, pure and simple. Well, not so pure . . . but very simple and very good. . . . It reveals the humorist in Burroughs, the helplessly appalled, obsessed joker.” –New York Times Book Review
“This is Burroughs’s most accessible, tightly knit work of fiction. . . . Laid out as a stripped-down movie script it’s almost as if this is the form that Burroughs has always needed.” –Kirkus Reviews
“The rigid conventions of screenwriting give Burroughs’s savage vision a Haiku-like purity and intensity.” –Newsday