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Posts tagged ‘naked lunch’

The First 80: A Look Back

I’ve already explained my rankings for the first 80 novels to you, but today I want to hand out a few awards to the novels that have left a mark on me, for better or worse.

Here’s how I break down the good and the bad from the first 80: Read more

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Ranking The First 80 Novels

So now’s the time when I take a look back at the last several novels I’ve read and explain to you why I ranked them as I did.

Here’s how books 76 through 80 break down: Read more

Book #79: Naked Lunch

I need a vacation.

Naked Lunch is, without a doubt, the most tortured reading experience I’ve ever had. After about 110 pages, I finally just started skimming the novel for the final 100 pages or so.

It’s brutal.

That sounds like hyperbole. But, no, it’s truly a brutal novel to read. I could barely stomach it.

I’ve already shared a passage from Naked Lunch with you—you know, the one I called the most vile passage I’ve ever read. I won’t re-post it here, in an effort to make sure my blog doesn’t show up on some kind of watch list.

William Burroughs openly admits to not remembering having written Naked Lunch. He wrote it over the course of several years, while binging on heroin. I’ve never taken heroin (true story), so I can’t attest to how one might write while on heroin, but I would imagine Naked Lunch represents the heroin-addicted mind quite well.

Story? Nope. Plot? Nope. Themes? Not much. Characters? Not really.

In Naked Lunch, Burroughs pretty much explains how the novel was written through one of his characters: Read more

This Is The Most Vile Passage I’ve Ever Read

And we’re back to talking about Naked Lunch, perhaps the most uncomfortable, steaming pile of dog poo novel I’ve ever read.

With hesitation, I want to give you an idea of what I’m talking about when I say this book is incredibly difficult to read.

It’s one thing for me to say that, but it’s another thing for you to read some of it yourself. Instead of block quoting the passage below, like usual, and inviting all sorts of creepo internet traffic, I thought I’d simply take a photo of the passage.

Here it is. Start from the top to get the full sicko affect, and proceed with extreme caution. Read more

At What Point Do You Quit On A Novel?

I touched on this last Thursday in regards to Naked Lunch.

I’m about halfway through the novel now, so I’m thinking I can force myself through the final 100 pages. But I came THIS close to tossing it out my car window a few days ago. THIS close.

I’ll give you a little more detail about the novel in tomorrow’s post. Today, I just want to focus on this question: How long should you read a novel before deciding to give it up?

Seems like everyone has a different standard. I’ve heard everything from… Read more

With Naked Lunch, I Might Have Finally Met My Match

It’s happened to all of us.

A novel makes a “best of” list, maybe like Time Magazine’s—the critics love it—some of our friends say it’s great and some online reviews say it’s a good read.

Then we start reading the novel, and we’re like, Um, I don’t get it. But there’s something in the back of our mind saying, I’m supposed to like this novel! What am I missing?

I’m there right now. In reading Naked Lunch, I might have met my match, and I’m not sure what to do. Read more

Naked Lunch On Trial For Obscenity

Boston, Massachusetts has often been the setting of some major trials, including the one going on right now for the Boston Marathon bomber.

But, back in 1962, a book went on trial. Yep, Naked Lunch—William Burroughs’ famous novel—faced the Boston court system after having been labeled obscene. The book, literally, was on trial.

Naked Lunch must have had bad attorneys because it lost. Read more

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