‘Junky’, by William S. Burroughs

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June 13, 2012 by Me and My Monkeys

'Junky', by William S. Burroughs
“Some suckers will one day call The Naked Lunch a masterpiece”, says William Lee.

Maybe…but Junky is a self-indulgent, stream of consciousness drugalogue that didn’t hold the interest of this particular sucker.

I stopped writing in the margins about a third of the way through. By half time I’d put down my pencil altogether.

I know, I know, there are some major themes in there that critics should cite: it’s about fear, alienation, escape, violence. But isn’t everything? Especially when you’re on the gear?

Perhaps the high point, for me, was when Lee’s criminal behaviour sent my mind wandering to Robert Bresson’s The Pickpocket. Trouble is, I ended up getting my real fix by putting down the book and pressing play on my dvd player.

William (Lee or Burroughs, take your pick) only sounded like he was writing a novel in the last few pages, and I expect this was because he was trying to wind things up so had to get off the junk and get all writerly for a change.

Junky is well written, at times, but I’d rather a stronger hit of imagination for my $10 and several hours.

Recommended? For a glimpse of drug culture, maybe. Or for a wink and a nudge if you’ve been there.

Out of 10? 6…just

My monkeys suggest:

  • Read Martin Amis’ Money: A Suicide Note instead.
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