Word Virus

William Burroughs

Beginning early in William Burroughs’ career with ‘Junky’, ‘Queer’ and a novel co-authored with Jack Kerouac, ‘Word Virus’ follows his trajectory through the major novels – including ‘Naked Lunch’ – to his final book, ‘My Education’, a series of meditations on his own extraordinary dream life. Biographical prefaces to each chapter, and an introductory essay by Beat historian Ann Douglas, provide invaluable context to this collection of the very best of William Burroughs, a unique and visionary writer.

Reviews of Word Virus

    • Praise for William Burroughs:
    • ‘Burroughs is the greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift.’ Jack Kerouac
    • ‘Burroughs’ voice is hard, derisive, inventive, free, funny, serious, poetic, indelibly American, a voice in which one hears transistor radios and old movies and all the clichés and all the cons and all the newspapers, all the peculiar optimism, all the failure.’ Joan Didion
    • ‘The only American novelist who may conceivably be possessed by genius.’ Norman Mailer
    • ‘In the English language, William Burroughs is the greatest writer alive. His imagination has tackled head-on the post-war world, with its huge bureaucracies and sinister complexes. He has a paranoid vision, but as he himself said: the psychotic is someone who knows what’s really going on.’ J. G. Ballard, Sunday Times
    • ‘William Burroughs broadened people’s conception of what makes humanity. In that way, he really was an American hero, a hero writer, and also just a great man.’ Lou Reed