William S. Burroughs (1914-1997)—guru of the Beat Generation, controversial éminence grise of the international avant-garde, dark prophet, and blackest of black humor satirists—had a range of influence rivaled by few post-World War II writers. His many books include Naked Lunch, Queer, Exterminator!, The Cat Inside, The Western Lands, and Interzone.
Junkyby William S. Burroughs
Before his 1959 breakthrough, Naked Lunch, an unknown William S. Burroughs wrote Junk, his first book, a candid, eyewitness account of times and places that are now long gone. This book brings them vividly to life again; it is an unvarnished field report from the American postwar underground. For this definitive 50th-anniversary edition, eminent/i>/i>… See more details below
Before his 1959 breakthrough, Naked Lunch, an unknown William S. Burroughs wrote Junk, his first book, a candid, eyewitness account of times and places that are now long gone. This book brings them vividly to life again; it is an unvarnished field report from the American postwar underground. For this definitive 50th-anniversary edition, eminent Burroughs scholar Oliver Harris has painstakingly re-created the author's original text, word by word, from archival typescripts. Here for the first time are Burroughs's own unpublished Introduction and an entire omitted chapter, along with many "lost" passages and auxiliary texts by Allen Ginsberg and others. Harris's comprehensive Introduction reveals the composition history of Junk's text and places its contents against a lively historical background.
- Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.14(w) x 7.74(h) x 0.70(d)
Meet the Author
- Date of Birth:
- February 4, 1914
- Date of Death:
- August 2, 1997
- Place of Birth:
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Place of Death:
- Lawrence, Kansas
- Los Alamos Ranch School; A.B., Harvard University, 1936; graduate study, 1938
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This book is the best book I have read about the beast of addiction. While reading there is just this great vivid picture in your mind and it kind of places you there. Thi book is raw and very explicit, I loved it. I was intrigued by the author and the honesty it took for him to write the whole truth about himself. i've read the book over 3 times. And will read it again better yet I think I'll buy the 50th anniversary addition.
Junky is a true story about the life of a man who is addicted to heroin. This book gives a true insight into the life of a junky, and what a man would put himself through to feed his addiction. I believe the author has fulfilled his goal to show his audience the harsh reality of living with this type of lifesyle. This book makes you want to keep reading because the main character goes through many cycles ad changes throughout the book. You see him go from an average man to crazy fiend. You also never know whats going to happen next because there are so many different characters throughout the book. Personally Ilike the book because it was straight foward, nothing was left out, when they talked about drugs, fighting, sex ect. It was very descriptive. The author William S. Burroughs just told it like it was. He didn't tone anything down he just left it for the reader to accept, which I think made it more interesting because it gave you a better perspective of what its truly like to be a junky.
Heroin addiction is a crippling and destructive way of life. But as Burroughs so bluntly says, 'Junk isn't a kick; it's a way of life.' To those of us who are 'clean and sober', drug addiction is one of those fascinating, taboo, and very realsitic aspects of our society. Burroughs maginficently chronicles his life as an addict in 'Junky'. He describes his life as a small time pusher and user coping (or not coping) with the grip of Heroin addiction. We learn quickly that there isn't any kick with being an addict and that it becomes a game of survival to avoid 'junk-sickness'. Burroughs successfully tells his story using simple language making 'Junky' an easy but engaging read. The book is less than two hundred pages, which, if the book was any longer it would have fallen short. 'Junky' isn't a regular novel by common standards. It doesn't really begin or end. I Still highly reccomend it.
this is the first book by burrough's that i've read, and i have to say i wasn't dissapointed. it is an easily accessible book, something i was worried about from all i've heard of burroughs. he doesn't preach, either for or against the junk. i will say that it isn't as gritty as i was expecting, but at times you can see through the almost cheerful voice to the darker side underneath.
William Burroughs speaks with years of experience with junk and adds his own peculiar turns of phrase to the common story of a junkie who must eventually go straight or die. Burroughs speaks graphically about the junkie's hunger for the hypo as well as about his ambiguous sexuality and strange hallucinations. This is probably Burrough's most accessable book (i.e. easy to understand) and easily stands the test of time as one of the best damn books on junk ever!!!
How much of this novel is actually related to Burroughs' life is irrelevant. This is a fascinating account of heroin addiction, and a must buy for anyone interested in drug culture in general. Junky lifts you up high and brings you down low through Burroughs' matter-of-fact prose. A great introduction to one of the greatest counter-cultural novelists in American writing. The only drawback is that after reading this one you will want to move on to 'Yage Letters' and one of the many other Burroughs books, and if you're like me, may not have an editors' budget. But one can make sacrafices for something as great as William Burroughs.
Junky is a very well written book about a man's experience with his addiction. Burroughs does not patronize his readers by driving or advocating any particular morality. Rather, he matter-of-factly writes about his own experience in the antisocial world of that many would rather not know.