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2011 Book of the Month Reads > March: "Naked Lunch: The Restored Text" by William S. Burroughs

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message 1: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
For discussions concerning March's book of the month Naked Lunch: The Restored Text.


message 2: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) just got my copy from the library


message 3: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Yay! I'm not sure how many others are reading it. I'll probably pass because next month I will be traveling and getting ready to move.


message 4: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) Yeah i started it but not really sure if i am up for this kind of read in the first few pages i was pretty lost. HAHA apparently it isnt hard for me lol.


message 5: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Taylor (jatta97) | 13 comments There are less than an handfull of copies in the public library system of this Bible belt state and all but one of them are checked out.


message 6: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Amanda wrote: "Yeah i started it but not really sure if i am up for this kind of read in the first few pages i was pretty lost."

A lot of people in the Yahoo Cafe Libri Group have started this read and then stopped because of its contents, maybe getting as far as 50 or so pages.


message 7: by Cari (new)

Cari (carikinney) Even though I gave up reading this book for now, here are some discussion questions for the month if anyone is still reading or wants to use info from the questions to spark other discussion.
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1. Is the content of Naked Lunch relevant today?

2. When the book was published, do you think it should have been banned for that era? Why or why not?

3. Should any books be banned?

4. Naked Lunch is not often given props as a science fiction classic. Why do you think that is? What elements would be classified as science fiction?

5. What is the meaning of the title Naked Lunch?

6. A number of readers have found parts of Naked Lunch to be very funny. What parts were funny to you?

7. “Naked Lunch is a savage satire on "control" in various forms, from sexual censorship to McCarthyite anti-communism to the worldwide spread of narcotics.” What are some examples of these from the story?

8. What do you think of the “cut-up” technique as a literary experiment in this piece of work? How did it affect your reading of the book?


message 8: by Cari (new)

Cari (carikinney) I don't believe in the banning of any book. People should have the choice to read a particular book as well as the choice to not pick it up and read it.

I didn't finish Naked Lunch. I stopped around 50 pages. I may try it again some other time, but for now it wasn't what I wanted to spend my time reading.

I didn't care for the cut-up method. Some of the lines had a wonderful lyrical quality to them. Others made little sense. From various reviews, I gathered that readers could open the book to any point and start reading. It's not a linear story. I didn't care for that style either. The book is very confusing to me.

If anyone interested in the Beat Generation and their writings, watch the movie "Howl". James Franco plays Allen Ginsberg. He apparently helped Burroughs with some editing to get Naked Lunch published. What I liked about the movie "Howl" is there were several scenes from the courtroom discussing literary merit and what makes a piece of writing have value. I read that actual lines from the trial were used in the movie. It's a good look at how some of this Beat Generation writing was perceived by some and defended by others.


message 9: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
AerinBlue wrote: "I don't believe in the banning of any book. People should have the choice to read a particular book as well as the choice to not pick it up and read it."

I agree with you, Aerin. I do believe that certain types of reading materials should not be read unless a reader is of a certain age, intelligence, understanding, wisdom, or into adulthood, etc. but that doesn't mean a book should be banned or censored.


message 10: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Anyone have tag recommendations for our book-shelf?


message 11: by Catherine (new)

Catherine  Mustread (cuiblemorgan) | 50 comments I'm almost done with this but haven't been following the discussion. Will try to post something soon.


message 12: by Catherine (new)

Catherine  Mustread (cuiblemorgan) | 50 comments I'll agree with AerinBlue and Adrianna about not banning books and as is mentioned above this is not a book for everyone, and parts were off-putting even for a "liberal" reader. I think it's worth reading as a classic of the beat generation and I liked this edition for the inclusion of the history of the writing, publishing and controversy surrounding Burroughs and the book.

I used the following tags: 1950s, sex, drugs, lgbt,


message 13: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Catherine wrote: "I used the following tags: 1950s, sex, drugs, lgbt,"

Thanks for the recommendation, but those tags are a little specific for the group's bookshelf. I usually use genre tags. For now, I've listed it as a memoir and as a book set in America. I've found that when the location/setting is important, it might be important to tag that. I usually just mention a primary setting, so as not to clutter the book with too many tags. Let me know what you think!


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