Junky: The Definitive Text of

Junky: The Definitive Text of "Junk"

by William S. Burroughs

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Overview

Junk is not, like alcohol or a weed, a means to increased enjoyment of life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life.

In his debut novel, Junky, Burroughs fictionalized his experiences using and peddling heroin and other drugs in the 1950s into a work that reads like a field report from the underworld of post-war America. The Burroughs-like protagonist of the novel, Bill Lee, see-saws between periods of addiction and rehab, using a panoply of substances including heroin, cocaine, marijuana, paregoric (a weak tincture of opium) and goof balls (barbiturate), amongst others. For this definitive edition, renowned Burroughs scholar Oliver Harris has gone back to archival typescripts to re-created the author's original text word by word. From the tenements of New York to the queer bars of New Orleans, Junky takes the reader into a world at once long-forgotten and still with us today. Burroughs’s first novel is a cult classic and a critical part of his oeuvre.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802194053
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 10/02/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 454,616
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

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.

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

Customer Reviews

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Junky: The Definitive Text of Junk (50th Anniversary Edition) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully written. One gets the feel that the narrator is truly an addict. I found most intriguing that which was purposefully NOT written in this book. This man's life IS his addiction. Other events, which for most people are major milestones or reasons for celebration, are merely glossed over - barely mentioned. To the discerning reader, it even greater emphasizes that this man's life, love, dedication, drive, and passions are soley committed to that of heroin. Its ending just seels this masterpiece.
campingmomma on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, both for the quick and easy to read style of writing and because as a recovering addict the druggie aspects were more meaning full and easy to relate to then they may be for a non-addict. Autobiographical story of William S. Burroughs and his "queer", junkie, traveling life style. Can't wait to read Naked Lunch!
stephmo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this slender volume, Burroughs manages what so many others come short of doing in so much more space and with far less success. He traces the lifecycle of the Junky - from birth to existence and how one manages to slide into the lifestyle without seeming to notice. The book covers Bill Gains life as he first tries morphine from a friend's batch of stolen goods all the way through as a full-blown addict hiding out in Mexico avoiding more stringent laws in the United States where he's spent time in and out of various rehabs, jails and going over countless other drugs, ways to kick and looking for that next elusive high. In between are the crimes, the broken friendships, the failed relationships, the self-loathing homosexual hookups and a life of constant paranoia. But there's also the release that Junk brings. There's the joy of the score and the feeling in the back of ones knees and the ability to have all of that go away.Junky doesn't glamorize or demonize. It's more of a front-line account of how one gets from point A to point B. If one wants a morality tale, it's not coming. Make no mistake, there's no false advertising from Bill when he says, "I have learned the junk equation. Junk is not, like alcohol or weed, a means to increased enjoyment of life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life."
poetontheone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the record of a dangerous filled with the glamor of filth and the grime of suffering. The narrative neither decries nor glamorizes "junk", but rather lays out a picture for the reader to absorb with his own eyes. This picture is often desperate and disturbing, but also humorous. The antics of the jonesing narrator keep the reader interested, and the plot is easily moved along by his need. The cast of characters around him, comprised by pushers, needy pests, and easily unlikable cops adds a good dose of humor. I find that these elements aide in presenting a more readable and quality work than "On the Road", by Burrough's contemporary Kerouac. Burroughs' debut novel gives us a fascinating glimpse into a world that many of us will never see. Perhaps that is to our benefit.
Jennifyr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An incredibly accurate description of the life of an addict, whether now or 50 years ago. A must read for any lover of literature. One of my favorite books, and the first I have read of William S. Burroughs, but I'm hoping to add more of his work to my library now that I have discovered this work.
pancakekiller on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
the best book. ever. read it, love it, worship burroughs. repeat. the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Huh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
POPCORN WITH PICKLE JUICE AND TABASCO SAUCE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im srry to say it * lays down gun* i just shot the lorax
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THE PARTYS BEEN MOVED TO FRUIT SMOOTHIE RES 1 BYE PLEASE COME
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