„Junky” by William S. Burroughs

If you are looking for a very special book, for a different book, you are exactly where you need to be.


Firstly, you need to meet the author, because otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy and understand his book. William S. Burroughs was an American author, who „created” the Beat Generation with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. For more detalis about the Beat Generation, click here.

If you are familiar with the life of this personality, the book will seem relevant, because it is inspired from the author’s life, containing a lot of real elements.

Junky is Burroughs’ first novel. It contains a lot of events and descriptions of post-war life. The author wasn’t afraid to combine general elements of the situation in which American society was, with elements from his personal life, elements which were totally different from the values and the perspectives that existed after ther war: the author was homosexual and drug addict. The action took place in New York, New Orleans and Mexico City.

This book is exceptional because the novel is based on facts, not illusions or stories, because it is kind of a semi-autobiographical book. The action in described exactly as it is, without exaggerations and a lot of comments. You just feel like it runs away from your hands, because it wants to take you to another world. To the world of drug addicts.

I think this is one of the best books I’ve recently read. It perfectly reflects the post-war life, but I think it also reflects the nowaday reality. The author describes impeccable everything, outlining all the characters, so that you are able to create an imaginary picture of the book.

I’m sure a lot of readers didn’t like the novel. It contains a lot of disgusting and realistic elements. But I think Burroughs is one of the few authors that had the courage to tell the world things that couldn’t be said then: all aspects of a drug addict’s life. And Burroughs deserves to be applauded for this.


Here are some quotes from the book:

„I think the use of junk causes permanent cellular alteration. Once a junkie, alwazs a junkie. You can stop using it, but you are never off after the first habit.”

„He asked the question they all ask.
<<Why do you feel that you need narcotics, Mr. Lee?>>
When you hear this question you can be sure that the man who asks it knows nothing about junk.”

„Whe one personality meets another for the first time, there is a period of mutual examination on the inuitive lever of empathy and identification.”

„The point of junk to a user is that it forms the habit. No one knows what junk is until he is junk sick.”

It is not a novel for those that are searching for books to read before sleep, because it underlines cruel truths and I don’t really think you will be able to fall asleep after reading it 🙂 . Although, I wish you to enjoy the reading and I’m waiting for your reviews and opinions!


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