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Publisher's Summary

Naked Lunch is one of the most important novels of the 20th century, a book that redefined not just literature but American culture. This is an unnerving tale of a narcotics addict unmoored in New York, Tangiers, and, ultimately, a nightmarish wasteland known as Interzone. The restored text includes many editorial corrections and incorporates Burroughs's notes on the text and several essays he wrote over the years about the book. For the Burroughs enthusiast and neophyte alike, this is a valuable and fresh experience of this classic of our culture.
©2001 William S. Burroughs Trust; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"William was a Shootist. He shot like he wrote - with extreme precision and no fear." (Hunter S. Thompson, Rolling Stone)
"A masterpiece. A cry from hell, a brutal, terrifying, and savagely funny book that swings between uncontrolled hallucination and fierce, exact satire." (Newsweek)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By csk on 10-11-12

Delightful rendition

Today I started listening to this again as I was re-organizing my audio library, couldn't shut it off, and was shocked to realize that I didn't review this when I first heard it. About the book: It will horrify a significant portion of the population. It is full of brutality, filth, pedophilia, profanity, etc. If you don't know what you are getting into, beware. At its best, it is brilliant satire. I give the story one star because there is no story, but there is not supposed to be. The book will more many of those readers that it doesn't offend. It contains some tedious repetition, and passages that could probably only be interesting if one is as wasted on drugs as the author was when he wrote it. It also contains many brilliantly inspired passages and images that have endured through the years.

The thing that kept me listening again today is the narration. Every narration is necessarily just one interpretation of a book, and Bramhall puts a unique stamp on this one. His voice is a drawl, I suppose spun off of Burroughs' own, but much more extreme. You might like it or you might not, but I found his style enjoyable when I got used to it. The best part of it is the voices that he gives to the various characters. These interpretations are brilliant and hilarious.

I do most of my reading at bedtime, and was unable to finish reading this book because it gave me nightmares (as it reportedly did to Jack Kerouac when he helped transcribe the original text). The audiobook let me get through it during my commute. It made me forget the work day.

The audiobook is highly recommended to those who understand what they are in for.

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29 of 31 people found this review helpful

By Andy on 06-16-13

Brilliant prose, no story

The extraordinary prose seems to be stream of conscious recollections and fantasies of a brilliant writer/junkie who has seen the filthiest & most degrading underbelly of a drug addicts world mixed with at times vulgar, at times erotic and at times horribly sadistic sexual apparitions. After listening to three hours of the book I couldn't find the connective threads of a story. The narrator couldn't be better. He reads the material as if he has lived it but I need a story to sustain ten hours of listening.

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14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Ant on 11-11-13

Defies a pithy title

To enjoy this book I had to let go of the concept of following a story and simply revel at the stunning imagery invoked by the insane streams of descriptive prose.
I found I could listen for about an hour in a sitting and then have to take a pause and sift through the broken images stuffed into my head. I have to say, not all of them were pretty images.
I found it hard to imagine this book being written in the late 50's and easy to imagine it causing a moral outrage. I can see how the book split people into two camps and understand people finding it offensive, however, I fall into the camp of people who saw a dark beauty in it. It has some of the most amazing descriptive scenes I can ever remember reading.
I will read it again and have more Burroughs on my wish list.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

By Joe de Swardt on 08-20-09

Exquisitely written filth

The perfect antidote to the American stereo-type. Far from God fearing, clean cut and family valued pre-sixties America, the Naked Lunch explores the far out other extreme of drugs, sex and human depravity. Don't let this put you off!!! It is written in such an exquisite manner that I found myself recoiling at the subject matter but marvelling in the art of writing. The Naked Lunch is one of the most beautifully written and one of the the most depraved of books. Masterpiece of language, filth written art and very funny. The dichotomy split my mind time and again and I thoroughly enjoyed the master crafting that managed to mess so much with my head. Get it!!

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Amazon Customer on 09-27-16

Truly dreadful

I foolishly agreed to read this with a friend. it is just dreadful. A completely disconnected stream of nonsense with the narrowest of subject matter. it sounds as if written by a machine from a small corpus

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0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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