Naked Lunch, could you be more confusing?

And so here I am again. Forty-three pages into Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs, a book that has been labelled a ‘modern classic’, and I have no idea what’s going on. It’s The Scarlet Letter all over again. So far, I couldn’t tell you a thing that’s happened in the book because I’m not entirely sure I’ve understood a thing I’ve read. I’m confused, adrift, sad and alone, with two nagging voices in my head, one saying ‘this is a classic, you have to keep reading’, and the other saying ‘this is a pile of shit and there are so many books you could be reading and enjoying, give it up already’. But which one do I listen to?

And this is where you come in dear reader – if you have read this atrocity and found it worthwhile/enjoyable/rewarding/[insert positive adjective here], I need you to tell me why I should persist, and promise me that it gets better on page 44 – that it turns some sort of a corner, and that around this corner lies intelligible language and full sentences. Please help…

2 replies »

  1. I have never read that one. I really, really hate when that happens, especially with a supposed classic. I once tried to read The Scarlet Letter and I had to give up. Like you, I didn’t understand anything. Ha.


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