Michael Scott's Reviews > Junky

Junky by William S. Burroughs
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's review
Jul 17, 2011

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bookshelves: fiction, memoir
Read in July, 2011

The semi-autobiographical novel Junky follows the life of William Lee (Lee was the maiden name of William Burroughs's mother), the quintessential 1950s addict on heroine (H) and occasional consumer of methadone (M), benzedrine (benny), cocaine (C), and many others. The writing style and storyline, both rather simple, fit well original publisher, Ace Books; this publisher was catering in the 1950s to the subway riders with novelettes, detective stories, and other mass-production literature. What distinguishes this novel is the accurate depiction of the life of a junkie. Burroughs shows the skill of a true anthropologist (a topic on which he followed course at Harvard) and covers the types of drugs, the types of equipment, the types of cures, the experience of a user, the jargon, etc.

Overall, this was an easy read on a difficult topic.
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