Junky: The Definitive Text of "Junk"

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Penguin Books, 2003 - Fiction - 166 pages
10 Reviews

Before his 1959 breakthrough, Naked Lunch, an unknown William S. Burroughs wrote Junk, his first book, a candid, eyewitness account of times and places that are now long gone. This book brings them vividly to life again; it is an unvarnished field report from the American postwar underground. For this definitive 50th-anniversary edition, eminent Burroughs scholar Oliver Harris has painstakingly re-created the author's original text, word by word, from archival typescripts. Here for the first time are Burroughs's own unpublished Introduction and an entire omitted chapter, along with many "lost" passages and auxiliary texts by Allen Ginsberg and others. Harris's comprehensive Introduction reveals the composition history of Junk's text and places its contents against a lively historical background.

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Review: Junky

User Review  - Emily - Goodreads

Don't let the relatively short length of this book deceive you. Junky took me about three weeks to finish. Nothing motivated me to read this book. Perhaps due to heroin's "detaching" influence ... Read full review

Review: Junky

User Review  - Angie - Goodreads

This novel may have been ground-breaking and controversial when first published, but I was just terribly bored with the whole thing. I can appreciate how this reality of drug addiction contradicted ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

William S. Burroughs (1914-1997)—guru of the Beat Generation, controversial éminence grise of the international avant-garde, dark prophet, and blackest of black humor satirists—had a range of influence rivaled by few post-World War II writers. His many books include Naked Lunch, Queer, Exterminator!, The Cat Inside, The Western Lands, and Interzone.


Oliver Harris edited The Letters of William S. Burroughs 1945-1959. He is currently a lecturer in American Literature at the University of Keele.

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