Naked Lunch: The Restored Text

Front Cover
Grove Press, Oct 10, 2009 - Fiction - 299 pages
1093 Reviews
Fifty years ago, Olympia Press in Paris issued a book that redefined not just American literature, but American culture. Naked Lunch, the U.S. edition of which soon followed from Grove Press, is one of the most important and influential novels of the twentieth century. An unnerving tale of an addict unmoored in New York, Tangier, and ultimately a nightmarish wasteland known as Interzone, Naked Lunch's formal innovation, formerly taboo subject matter, and tour de force execution has exerted its influence on the works 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 in general. On the fiftieth anniversary of its first publication, Grove Press is proud to issue a special hardcover edition featuring the restored text that is faithful to Burroughs's original composition, an introduction from David Ulin, book editor of the Los Angeles Times, as well as reproductions of original manuscript pages and drawings.
  

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5 stars
210
4 stars
234
3 stars
211
2 stars
177
1 star
261

Very hard to read, but definitely worth it. - Goodreads
Interesting use of prose. - Goodreads
Can't stand stream of consciousness writing. - Goodreads
Interesting read if you manage to digest the imagery... - Goodreads
it's a long never-ending profane poem. - Goodreads
I loved the concepts and some of the writing style. - Goodreads

Review: Naked Lunch

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

If you couldn't tell from the one star review, I am not a fan of this book, which gave the impression early and often of being nothing more than the random mutterings of a drug-addled Tourette's ... Read full review

Review: Naked Lunch

User Review  - Lou Kessler - Goodreads

Burroughs is the literary equivalent of a sadist. There is almost no plot here to speak of. It's surreal and disjointed nature recall coming down of an amphetamine high. It's like Alice in Wonderland ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

AND START WEST
3
THE VIGILANTE
8
THE RUBE
9
BENWAY
19
JOSELITO
39
THE BLACK MEAT
43
HOSPITAL
47
LAZARUS GO HOME
58
ATROPHIED PREFACE
182
QUICK
195
ORIGINAL INTRODUCTIONS AND ADDITIONS BY THE AUTHOR
197
Testimony Concerning a Sickness 1960
199
Post Script Wouldnt You 1960
207
Afterthoughts on a Deposition 1991
211
Letter from a Master Addict to Dangerous Drugs 1956
213
BURROUGHS TEXTS ANNEXED BY THE EDITORS
231

HASSANS RUMPUS ROOM
62
CAMPUS OF INTERZONE UNIVERSITY
70
AJS ANNUAL PARTY
74
MEETING OF INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF TECHNOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY
87
THE MARKET
89
ORDINARY MEN AND WOMEN
101
ISLAM INCORPORATED AND THE PARTIES OF INTERZONE
121
THE COUNTY CLERK
141
INTERZONE
148
THE EXAMINATION
155
HAVE YOU SEEN PANTOPON ROSE?
165
COKE BUGS
166
THE EXTERMINATOR DOES A GOOD JOB
169
THE ALGEBRA OF NEED
172
HAUSER AND OBRIEN
175
Editors Note
233
Letter to Irving Rosenthal 1960
249
The Death of Mel the Waiter undated
252
The Vigilante
254
The Rube
257
Benway
264
The Black Meat
266
Hospital
269
AJs Annual Party
270
Islam Incorporated and the Parties of Interzone
272
Coke Bugs
279
Hauser and OBrien
281
Atrophied Preface
282
AFTERWORD
291
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

From hipster to so-called Godfather of Punk, William Burroughs has lived a controversial life as a leading member of the Beat Generation and a daring writer of psychedelic literary experiments, but, when he reached his seventieth birthday in 1984, it was almost as if he had been overtaken by respectability. Burroughs was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1914 as the grandson of the man who invented the adding machine and a descendant of Robert E. Lee of Civil War fame. He attended Harvard University. Later while living a bohemian life in association with such Beat writers as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, Burroughs became addicted to morphine and under the pseudonym William Lee published his first novel, Junkie, in 1953 as half of an Ace Double Books paperback. The novel escaped critical notice but may be seen now as the forerunner of his later fiction with its introduction of many of the themes, settings, characters, and amoral postures that became prominent with Naked Lunch (1959) and its successors. Refused by the American publishers to whom Burroughs submitted the manuscript, Naked Lunch first appeared in Paris under the Olympia Press imprint in 1959, the same year that Burroughs was permanently cured of his addiction. Naked Lunch might have remained ignored had not Mary McCarthy and Norman Mailer called attention to the work at the International Writers Conference held in Edinburgh in 1962. Burroughs's raw subject matter and seeming lack of discipline have alienated some of the more academic and genteel literary critics. Naked Lunch was followed by three additional novels about the Nova crime syndicate-The Soft Machine (1961), The Ticket That Exploded (1962), and Nova Express (1964), which make use of overlapping characters and motifs. With The Wild Boys of 1971, Burroughs began to develop a new style more accessible to the general reader. Although Cities of the Red Night (1981) received mixed reviews, it was praised by such Burroughs experts as Jennie Skerl and Robert Burkholder as perhaps the best of his more recent novels. Of The Place of Dead Roads (1983) is true to Burroughs's various obsessions with guns, homosexuality, and the terror produced by people who are addicted to power and control. Today much of the psychedelic effect of Burroughs's fiction appears to be an illusion that masks rather deliberate methods of composition. These include "cut-out" techniques, pastiche, and the deliberate trying-out of styles derived from popular fiction genres to create literary montages that owe as much to fantasy and science as to the surrealism of avant-garde literature.

JAMES GRAUERHOLZ was William Burroughs's longtime manager and editor.

Barry Miles is the critically acclaimed author of biographies of Bukowski, Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs and of "The Beat Hotel," He also wrote "Hippie" and the authorised biography of Paul McCartney, "Many Years From Now," He lives in London, UK and France.

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