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Naked Lunch


"The book that changed the course of literature. This is the original postmodern novel. More like a film projected directly into the brain. Seminal fiction."
-- Henry W.Targowski

Naked Lunch is a postmodern slipstream novel written by William S. Burroughs. It was published in 1959.

Written in Tangiers and Paris while Burroughs was still a narcotics addict. Working titles: Word Hoard , Interzone , Ignorant Armies . Jack Kerouac gave the book its final title and Allen Ginsberg collated the loose pages into a manuscript. Part of this manuscript first appeared in the Chicago-based literary magazine Big Table . Maurice Girodias published the first edition of the novel in Paris. Excerpts from this novel were read by Burroughs on side A of the LP: Call Me Burroughs , 1965. David Cronenberg transformed the book into a film in 1991.

Naked Lunch is one of the great boys' adventure stories of our time. All the ingredients of the traditional racy yarn are there: captive-takings, elaborate tortures, a hint of sexual slavery ('He pulls her brutally to her feet and pins her hands behind her...'), a capitalist criminal with a dubiously exotic name (Salvador Hassan O'Leary, alias 'The Afterbirth Tycoon'), even a high-speed chase at the end, climaxing in a cop-killing. Naked Lunch is also an autobiographical account of a trip to hell and back.

In The Naked Lunch , Burroughs compares organized society with that of its most extreme opposite, the invisible society of drug addicts. His implicit conclusion is that the two are not very different, certainly at the points where they make the closest contact -- in prisons and psychiatric institutions...


Naked Lunch is the unnerving tale of a narcotics addict's monumental descent into hell, as he travels from New York to Tangiers, and then into the Interzone. There he finds a nightmarish modern urban wasteland in which the forces of evil vie for control of the individual and all of humanity. This abridged recording is in the author's own voice.

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