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by William S. Burroughs,Allen Ginsberg

"In this complete and unexpurgated edition of one of the most powerful books about drug addiction, William S. Burroughs depicts the addict's life: his hallucinations, his ghostly nocturnal wanderings, his strange sexuality, and his hunger for the needle. Following its hero from his Midwestern birthplace to New York, New Orleans, and Mexico City, Junky is a memorable and shocking demonstration of 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." -- from the back cover "One of the most compelling and brilliant challenges any contemporary writer has raised against the absurd jurisdiction of death." -- The Washington Post
Download Junky epub
ISBN: 0140043519
ISBN13: 978-0140043518
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Classics
Author: William S. Burroughs,Allen Ginsberg
Language: English
Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (March 31, 1977)
Pages: 176 pages
ePUB size: 1551 kb
FB2 size: 1515 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 911
Other Formats: lrf lrf azw docx

Too much to day here, it is all good. Reading this book gave me a burning freeze. There is more than meets the eye here, straightforward prose, unapologetic realism. Characters so vivid you would swear you have met them or seen them in some sordid venue.
Straight up, William Seward Burroughs was brilliant, eccentric, depraved but most of all actually hilarious in his dry candor of human observation including himself. It's not just a book about junk, it's about an alternate lifestyle and the colorful characters that inhabit it.
For me, this is a book I heard about as a teenager. At the time I was falling in love with beat literature. And in many a foreword, William S. Burrough's Junky was mentioned. Quite a few friends told me it was great. And yet, I never read it. No specific reason. I just didn't. And then one day, not long ago, I was perusing the wares on Amazon, when Junky came up as a recommendation. I bought it, I read it, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's an excellent book, and I'd recommend it to almost anyone. The book is well written - which is certainly a plus - but it's more than that. It's realistic and captivating and it describes a part of society that everyone should know something about.
William Burroughs chronicles his early days of heroin addiction in "Junky," which as one of the introductions puts it is a fictitious narrative based on events from his life. The stories he tells are dark, brilliant and kept me turning the pages well into the night. In "Junky" we learn about Burroughs' avatar "Bill Lee" and how he gets addicted to morphine, an addiction which as he puts is not like alcohol or marijuana, but is something more akin to a mathematical equation.

The main character, Bill, first starts in New York City, where he becomes addicted to 'junk,' he and his friends do everything in their power to acquire it, from stealing money from drunks on the subway to conning senile doctors into writing them morphine prescriptions. After awhile he decides to enter rehab out West, and as soon as he gets himself off the junk, he relapses in New Orleans where a good bulk of the book takes place. There, he is eventually arrested for possession and soon after skips town to Mexico, where he stays for the remainder of the novel and struggles with his on again off again addiction to heroin. The people he meets along the way are all colorful characters who are based on people who are all long dead now, their personae immortalized through Burroughs' unforgettably stylistic prose. That's a very loose summary of the book, granted, you have to read the whole thing the whole way through to really take it all in and understand the world Burroughs/Lee lived in. It's a fascinating trip and being a fan of Burroughs' later works I was shocked when I finished this book that it took me this long to get to it in the first place. You see bits and pieces that would later reappear 'cut-up' in novels like "Naked Lunch" and "Nova Express," as well as some familiar faces like Hauser and O'Brien-- which this book implies were two very real police officers.

I absolutely loved this novel. It's a harrowing tale and a warning to all those who dance with something like heroin. Out of all the novels I've read by Burroughs, from 'Naked Lunch' to 'The Wild Boys' to this very novel's sequel 'Queer,' I think that 'Junky' may be his best work, which is absolutely stellar for a then-inexperienced writer. He wrote what he knew and what he knew was the 'algebra of need,' and this novel presents that by showing Burroughs at his clearest. It is important to remember what the one introduction mentions: This novel is fiction based on fact, not necessarily everything in it is true, but knowing Burroughs, the truth shone through more often than not because of the utter believability of the characters, places and events that transpire throughout this darkly magical novel.

If you read William Burroughs and haven't read "Junky," don't hesitate to buy this book. It's a trip. And for newcomers to William Burroughs, you should absolutely pick it up and start with it, then read 'Queer,' (the sequel to 'Junky' which I actually read before it) and move on to wade through the deep water of Burroughs' dark and fractured and beautiful imagination. This is hands-down, one of the best novels I have ever read in my life and it proudly deserves a spot easily accessible on my bookshelf!
A masterpiece overnight.....what more could a reader ask for.
This was such an interesting read. The story although pretty generic really does take you through the thoughts and anxieties of the Junky mental state. great read if your interested in the subject. I will definitely be reading more William Burroughs.
Good read
I choose 5 stars for this book because my first impression of this book was what would some body from a relatively privileged background in the mid 20th C, who became a drug addict have to say about the problem of addiction that was relative in 2013. I was wrong...... William burroughs language is not only beautiful and intense but what he has to say is so informative, refreshing and thought provoking. It seems like pure creation from the heart. Read this book!
This is a very interesting book. I did not know much about old time addicts before reading this book. I learned a lot about why people use opiates.