William S. Burroughs (1 Viewer)


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so i picked up a copy of Junky yesterday. It was the first time I was introduced into Burroughs. Now, normally, homosexual writers aren't my cup of tea (Ginsberg is overrated and quite a horrible writer) but Burroughs is an exception.

read the book in one setting.

here's a review.

JUNKY: A review of sorts.

My first encounter with junk was the other day in the bookstore. I stumbled upon it in the fiction section and grabbed it up. But, I didn't buy it just then and put it back, reluctantly. I went home and did a little reasearch on the author. The only thing I really knew about Bill Burroughs was that he was associated with the Beat Generation.
So, I went back to the book store and forced myself to purchase the book, took it home and read it, cover to cover. Now, what I found while reading this book may be a little hard for me to put into words.
Most of you would agree to disagree when I say that out of all the Beat writers, Burroughs' work stands out the most. Kerouac and Ginsberg just don't seem to hold ground with this man.
His style is very simplistic, a mixture of easily commprehensible yet intelligently tinged terms and slang.
But, simple is good. People don't want to have to think too hard about what they're reading.
To me, this book is the wise Grandfather to Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting. Now, forgive me for trying to compare this novel to such a dialectally opposite literary work but there isn't really any other way to approach this.
This book will take you back into the New York, New Orleans, and Mexico City underground drug scene of the early 1930's up through the 1940's. True, times have changed a great deal but do yourself a favor and jump into Burroughs' time machine that was originally titled Junk and learn about this horrible epidemic.

Junky is a classic novel about drug addiction and the struggles of a man and many others caught up in it.
Although Burroughs fought with his addiction and was eventually overcome by it, his work remains undiminished in the public eye and waits to be found by men and women alike. Now, go look for it.
Or, do what I did and wait for it to find you.

- Douglas R. Zirk
junky is a good intro to burroughs, but naked lunch is a whole other ball of wax. highly recommended. continuing the discussion from the other thread, you do have to accept that burroughs, especially when he was writing NL, was kind of a bad man, having just shot his wife and gone on a long bender in tangier. comparing junky to naked lunch is like comparing dubliners to finnegan's wake... it (NL, not FW) will knock your socks off.
not a ginsberg fan? i don't like everything he did, but i think howl is pretty great.

clearly a bukowski board isn't a bastion of PC-ness (nor should it be), but "homosexual writers" is an odd generalization... i've read plenty that are great, plenty that are bad, just like i've read plenty of other "XXXX" writers that are good and bad. however, aside from gay writers who write expressly on gay themes, i don't think "homosexual writer" tells me much of anything about the writer, except that some of the relationships in the book might be between members of the same sex or that themes of alienation might inform the work (the same as you may get from any minority, poor, or experimental writer).

all i'm saying is that there's a lot of bandwidth there. it's pretty hard to trace a line from portrait of dorian gray through naked lunch through howl through the latest anthology of gay erotica. [/PC]
Yes, it's a really good book on the subject of junk. I like his dry humour a lot. And one of the more easily read books of his. There's also some funny stuff in "naked Lunch" but it's not an easy read.
I would recommend "Interzone", a book of short stories and "The letters of William S. Burroughs 1945-59" edited by Oliver Harris. It's also a blast to hear him read from his books on f.ex. the cd "Spare ass Annie" with The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy...
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Howl starts well but the intensity can't be sustained. A shame really.

As for the rest of your last post Jordan - spot on.

There are "gay writers" in the same sense as there are "white writers" --:confused:
I much prefer Junky to his other books, though Naked Lunch is kind of neat. It's true there's no comparison between the books and you'll be shocked if your expecting another simply written book.

As far as gay writers, I'd recommend Oscar Wilde and Tennesee Williams, great stuff.
yeah, you're right. I should'nt have classified him into a group of "homosexual writers". sometimes my small-mindedness runs away with me. forgive me.
i read him back in the 70's when i was in high school. i remember reading stuff from naked lunch out loud in some stupid class. evryone thought i was gay or a junky or something. i was just having fun. recently i read queer - his first, i think, novel. really not so good - i mean - it wasn't very well written at all. but he is a fucking Individual - and has one of the best reading voices ever.

Interzone - a book of short stories, is just as easily read as Junky. Quite good short stories too...
yeah, you're right. I should'nt have classified him into a group of "homosexual writers". sometimes my small-mindedness runs away with me. forgive me.

if you read some of
his most recent work
'cities of the red night'
you may retract this retraction
so much gay boy in there

i enjoyed 'junky'
'naked lunch' too
and the film 'nl' is one of my
all time favorite cult films
Is "Cities of the red night" written in the same style as "Junky" or is it more like "Naked lunch"?
One of the short stories is called "The Finger". It's about how he cut off half of his little finger with poultry shears. Very funny in a morbid sort of way.
There's also a x-mas story with a real x-mas happy ending called "The Junky's Christmas" (You can also hear him read the story on the cd "Spare Ass Annie").
And there's some interesting stories about the time when he lived in Tangiers...
I also recommend "The Letters Of William S. Burroughs 1945-59." edited by Oliver Harris. His letters are very candid and almost reads like a book...
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does anyone know anything about "evil river"? Its suppose to be a memoir by Burroughs about his life. Supposedly to be released tomorrow. But there is no picture of the book on the website, no press coverage etc. etc. I just found out about it but apparently it's been delayed for years and years and it always get listed on amazon available for pre-order....then disappears and reappears.
I like Beat Generation (Ginsberg too...), but i read only most recognize writer like Kerouac, Burroughs etc.

A month ago I bought a "Bukowski and The Beats". Anyone read this? What do you think?
doesn't interzone have "the word" in it? one of his books has this long pile of vomit (and i mean that in the best possible way) that was basically a bunch of stuff stripped out of the naked lunch manuscripts. it's like reading naked lunch after you got punched in the head a bunch of times.
Yes, it has Word in it. Interzone is 194 pages long. The last chapter is Word. It starts on page 133. The first 133 pages reads like Junky, but Word reads like Naked Lunch. As you say, the stuff in Word did not make it into Naked Lunch...

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