Book Review | Junky by William S. Burroughs


junk.jpgJunky by William S. Burroughs.

I’d never read anything before by famously drug-addicted Burroughs but from what I know about him via pop culture, I think this was likely pretty par for the course. As the name implies, it’s about a junky – and an unapologetic one at that. The junky in question goes through life with only a few goals, all of which are centered around getting high and remaining that way. There are a few points at which the main character gets sober for bursts of time but he always returns to “the junk.” He’s not particularly depressed about it, most of the time, and Burroughs, who has talked openly about being a life-long addict, seems to be pretty clearly trying to paint a picture of a junky who’s happy with his lifestyle choice, as though being a drug addict has some kind of charm or romance to it. That wasn’t my takeaway, my takeaway was that the guy in question was a pretty sad and lonely guy, without much to live for, but it did paint an interesting picture of the drug culture in Southern California and Mexico during the beat years.

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