Naked Lunch: The Restored Text

Naked Lunch: The Restored Text

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by William S. Burroughs, Mark Bramhall
     
 

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Naked Lunch is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century, a book that redefined not just literature but American culture. An unnerving tale of a narcotics addict unmoored in New York, Tangiers, and ultimately a nightmarish wasteland known as Interzone, its formal innovation, formerly taboo subject matter, and tour de force execution have exerted their…  See more details below

Overview

Naked Lunch is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century, a book that redefined not just literature but American culture. An unnerving tale of a narcotics addict unmoored in New York, Tangiers, and ultimately a nightmarish wasteland known as Interzone, its formal innovation, formerly taboo subject matter, and tour de force execution have exerted their influence on the work of authors like Thomas Pynchon, J. G. Ballard, and William Gibson; on the relationship of art and obscenity; and on the shape of music, film, and media generally. Naked Lunch: The Restored Text includes many editorial corrections to errors present in previous editions, and incorporates Burroughs's notes on the text, several essays he wrote over the years about the book, and an appendix of 20 percent new material and alternate drafts from the original manuscript, which predates the first published version. For the Burroughs enthusiast and the neophyte, this volume is a valuable and fresh experience of this classic of our culture.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

William S. Burroughs's classic tale has been fully restored by his longtime editors, Grauerholz and Miles, and is invigorated by this enthusiastic reading. Mark Bramhall offers a professional performance peppered with every trick of the actor's trade to make it a resonating effort. He approaches the work with such energy that the story seems like a new entity, freshly relevant and timely. Listeners will lose themselves in the journey of junkie William Lee as he makes his way from bizarre destination to even more bizarre destination in this unforgettable novel. A Grove paperback. (Feb.)

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Newsweek
"A masterpiece. A cry from hell, a brutal, terrifying, and savagely funny book that swings between uncontrolled hallucination and fierce, exact satire."
Herbert Gold
It happens that Burroughs possesses a special literary gift. Naked Lunch is less a novel than a series of essays, fantasies, prose poems, dramatic fragments, bitter arguments, jokes, puns, epigrams--all hovering about the explicit subject matter of making out on drugs while not making out in either work or love... (Naked Lunch) takes a coldly implacable look at the dark side of our nature... William Burroughs has written the basic work for understanding that desperate symptoms which is the beat style of life.-- Books of the Century, The New York Times review, November, 1962
From the Publisher

“A masterpiece. A cry from hell, a brutal, terrifying, and savagely funny book that swings between uncontrolled hallucination and fierce, exact satire.” —Newsweek

“Ever since Naked Lunch…William S. Burroughs has been ordained America’s most incendiary artist.” –Los Angeles Times

“A book of great beauty . . . . Burroughs is the only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed by genius.” —Norman Mailer

“A great, an essential novel…[that] prefigures much that has occurred in history, the popular media and high and low culture in the past four decades.” –The Commercial Appeal (Memphis)

“A creator of grim fairy tales for adults, Burroughs spoke to our nightmare fears and, still worse, to our nightmare longings. . . . And more than any other postwar wordsmith, he bridged generations; popularity in the youth culture is greater now than during the heady days of the Beats.” —Douglas Brinkley, The Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Naked Lunch will leave the most amoral readers slack-jawed; and yet a trek beneath the depraved surface reveals interweaving caverns that ooze unsettling truths about the human spirit. . . . In the same galloping, lyrical way Walt Whitman celebrated democratic toilers of all stripes, Burroughs gleefully catalogs totalitarian spoilers and criminal types—be they human or monster, psychological or pharmacological.” —Mark Luce, The Kansas City Star

“[Naked Lunch] made Burroughs’s reputation as a leader of the rebels against the complacency and conformity of American society. . . . An outrageous satire on the various physical and psychological addictions that turn human beings into slaves. . . . Burroughs’s vision of the addict’s life, by which we may infer the lives of all of us in some sense, is a vicious death-in-life of unrelieved abnegation, utter enervation and baroque suffering. Dante could not have envisioned such a post-Holocaust, post-apocalyptic circle of hell.” —Frederic Koeppel, The Commercial Appeal

“An absolutely devastating ridicule of all that is false, primitive, and vicious in current American life: the abuses of power, hero worship, aimless violence, materialistic obsession, intolerance, and every form of hypocrisy.” —Terry Southern

“Only after the first shock does one realize that what Burroughs is writing about is not only the destruction of depraved men by their drug lust, but the destruc­tion of all men by their consuming addictions . . . He is a writer of great power and artistic integrity engaged in a profoundly meaningful search for true values.” —John Ciardi

Praise for William Burroughs:

“Of all the Beat Generation writers, William S. Burroughs was the most dangerous. . . . He was anarchy's double agent, an implacable enemy of conformity and of all agencies of control-from government to opiates.” —Rolling Stone

“William was a Shootist. He shot like he wrote—with extreme precision and no fear.” —Hunter S. Thompson

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781433259685
Publisher:
Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
02/28/2009
Edition description:
Unabridged, 1 MP3, 8 hours
Pages:
1
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are saying about this

John Ciardi
"Only after the first shock does one realize that what Burroughs is writing about is not only the destruction of depraved men by their drug lust, but the destruction of all men by their consuming addictions... He is a writer of great power and artistic integrity engaged in a profoundly meaningful search for true values."
Terry Southern
"An absolutely devastating ridicule of all that is false, primitive, and vicious in current American life: the abuses of power, hero worship, aimless violence, materialistic obsession, intolerance, and every form of hypocrisy."
Norman Mailer
"A book of great beauty.... Burroughs is the only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed by genious."

Meet the Author

William S. Burroughs (1914–1997) was the author of numerous novels, including Nova Express, The Ticket That Exploded, The Soft Machine, and The Wild Boys, and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

James Grauerholz was Burroughs’s longtime secretary and editor.

Barry Miles has been involved for years with Beat literature as a scholar and participant. Among his books are The Beat Hotel and biographies of Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac.

Mark Bramhall studied acting at Harvard, the University of California at Berkeley, the American Conservatory Theatre, and at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art as a Fulbright scholar. He has starred in numerous West Coast stage productions and has played featured roles in such television series as Alias, NYPD Blue, and The X-Files.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 4, 1914
Date of Death:
August 2, 1997
Place of Birth:
St. Louis, Missouri
Place of Death:
Lawrence, Kansas
Education:
Los Alamos Ranch School; A.B., Harvard University, 1936; graduate study, 1938

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