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.
"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)
Auto Repair shop owner. I love Yoga, and playing my Fender Stratocaster. I Walk my dogs twice a day.
This book is like watching a high speed train wreck in slow motion! You want to turn away because of the suffering and depravity you witness but somehow this book being read to you force feeds you in a way that sight reading can't.
It struck me that if I read this book instead of listening to it, I would have missed the passion and message. The pictures Burroughs paints for us are so vivid and horrifying that if I were to read it I might turn away. But having it read to you, you have no choice but to sit there and take it though a few times I had to keep from running off the road!
It is not to be missed simply because you find out that the band Steely Dan took this book as inspiration for their name.
Granted, there will be people who object to the homophobia. Others will object to the drug addiction. Still others, to the utter amorality. Then, there will be those who object to all the profanity. I find Burroughs prose to be almost lyrical. The narration is dead on perfect for the main character and really pulled me into the novel. If you want a novel with a linear plot, you won't like The Naked Lunch. You could pull the chapters out and mix them up and read them in just about any order. Just as an addict losing focus and returning to reality, The Naked Lunch shifts through time and space. If you want some memorable vignettes about the human condition (in an R. Crumb comix kind of way), this novel will deliver.
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.
Tell us about yourself! I love to escape into a good book.
For a long time this book has been on my reading list.
I am glad I approached it as an audible book, because I think the prose really lends itself to a performance piece.
This is not a book with a beginning, middle and end. This is a stream of conscientiousness that is semi autobiographical.
The author was addicted to heroin at the time of writing. Legend has it he took all of his work and cut it to pieces then re-joined the papers in random order.
I love this book for the authors sheer audacity and dexterity with the English language.
Now I know what all the hype was about.
The Narrator Mark Bramhall was perfect for this book.
full of dark crime story s of adult nature Some clues of 1950s and 1960s, and 70s drug use, and full of charaters
vivid imagination, alternative to the rest of the stories i have heard exept starwars
the dr.benway story
none their storys are to vivid
a rated nc-17 to the younger listeners
lost numbing cult
Most other work outside the beat genre would be offended by a comparison.
This was an almost perfect match for the narrator.
Fasten your seatbelt and make sure your tray is in the upright position.
Lude Crass & Indulging - if you want pretty, turn around now.
This one starts off cool and powerful, with fantastic narration, but of the 10 hrs here, nearly 4 is composed of letters by the author, and about the book, telling you basically "Naked Lunch: him good medicine. Him you need. Powerful experience." Now, this is worth a look, but even of the little material here, much is redundant, often word for word repeatings, and there is no flow, little story, or point. Much of the material is psychotic, perverted, and pornographic, which is not as much fun as it would be if it did not involve 10 year old boys and murder, though if you like original ideas and images, then if nothing else, this may offer a very twisted nightmare. The author's angry explaination that these sexual murder scenes of little boys are to show how wrong capital punishment is seems forced at best. Get ready to read the following words at least five times per page: boy, junk, junkie, sick, needle, and 20 forms of genitalia and sexual abuse. Oh yeah and everyone messes their pants at least once per page. As for writing, some of it is very unique and strong and even mind-blowing, but every experience boils down to sex or injection, and most of the material was written down while hallucinating on drugs. Then the author met the Beat writers and got their special brand of macho world-changing confidence where anything he did must be the most important thing ever...not really. It is far less structured or normal than the movie, if you have seen that. Be very open minded or you won't last, and as for importance, well it seems not so much to be interested in exposing drugs as awful as making them seem cool, or at least, creating an authentic drug-free trip-out experience, which is achieved. But as far as that goes, what a boring gross world drug tripping is presented as. Why would anyone keep putting themself through this kind of imagery for years and years?
So, there really isn't a plot, the language is beautiful (in a grotesque way), the characters bounce around enough as to make them impossible to follow, and the imagery will make your hair stand on end. I read it for Banned Books week, got to the end of the first file and decided I'd had enough.
Nothing particularly appealing about the book. It gives glimpses into the life of an addict, but never enough to really get a good feel for what the heck is going on.
This is the first Audiobook I have not been able to finish. It seems to be a collection of profane hallucinations by the author that do not come together in any way. I gave it an hour to see if this would change. Unfortunately it did not. I have read/listened to other books written by individuals under the influence of mind altering narcotics but at least these seemed to have a cohesive story to tell. Many times I choose books to get insight into lives that are far different than mine and ones that I will likely never experience. That was my hope for this book. Unfortunately the plane of consciousness this book was written in is one that my mind cannot connect with.
I cannot stand to listen to another minute of this book. The narrator does a fine job with the voices, but the story itself is bad. I thought I would love it, being somewhat of a classic, but it's just awful. He just tries to top himself at every turn to make it more disgusting. That's when I can even follow along. It puts me in mind of Faulkner's stream- of- thought style of writing. I wish I hadn't wasted my money and I am very disappointed as Burroughs is such a renowned author.
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