Burroughs, apparently, was a friend of Jack Kerouac's but while Truman Capote might have had a leg to stand on when he claimed the latter's On the Road was typing, rather than writing, I don't think he could do the same with Junky.
This is my first brush with Burroughs but his style is lovely: he packs a lot of description into relatively clipped sentences and is capable of being pretty funny, especially when you least expect it:
"As she talked she moved around the room, throwing herself from one chair toConisdering the book was first published more than 50 years ago and especially considering its frequently instructional style - not exactly a 'How To' guide but a nice little look at the day-to-day minutia of an addict - it's a surprise to find it incredibly readable. Although the plot is pretty much secondary to the prose the dialogue and descriptions are cute and fast enough that it doesn't get bogged down to much in the details.
another, crossing and uncrossing her legs, adjusting her slip, so as to give me
a view of her anatomy in installments."
"Junk is not, like alcohol or weed, a means to increased enjoyment of
life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life."
At 158 pages it's a quick read, which makes it doubly worth the effort. I read it in two or three short sessions today and, although I wasn't entirely sure whether I wanted to develop a heroin habit or kick one, it certainly made an impression.