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William S. Burroughs (1914–1997)

Author of Naked Lunch

397+ Works 35,171 Members 380 Reviews 215 Favorited
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About the Author

William S. Burroughs was a primary figure of the Beat Generation who wrote in the postmodern paranoid fiction genre. Jack Kerouac called Burroughs the "greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift," while Norman Mailer declared him "the only American writer who may be conceivably possessed by show more genius." While he is best known for the novels Naked Lunch, Queer, and Junkie, he also collaborated with artists such as Laurie Anderson, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Gus Van Sant, David Cronen-berg, and Sonic Youth to produce films, music, and performance pieces. show less
Disambiguation Notice:

This is the beat author, not to be confused with his son of the same name, also an author.

Image credit: William S Burroughs

Series

Works by William S. Burroughs

Naked Lunch (1962) 6,987 copies
Junky (1953) 4,833 copies
Naked Lunch: The Restored Text (2001) 4,243 copies
Queer (1985) 1,713 copies
The Soft Machine (1961) 1,511 copies
Cities of the Red Night (1981) 1,455 copies
Nova Express (1964) 1,070 copies
The Ticket That Exploded (1962) 989 copies
The Place of Dead Roads (1984) 933 copies
The Western Lands (1987) 842 copies
Exterminator! (1973) 683 copies
The Yage Letters (1963) 646 copies
Interzone (1989) 588 copies
The Cat Inside (1986) 587 copies
Ghost of Chance (1991) 343 copies
The Burroughs File (1984) 206 copies
Blade Runner: A Movie (1979) 189 copies
Port of Saints (1980) 168 copies
Electronic Revolution (1970) 121 copies
The Third Mind (1978) 98 copies
Dead Fingers Talk (1963) 98 copies
Tornado Alley (1981) 84 copies
Ah Pook Is Here! (1971) 79 copies
The Finger (2018) 73 copies
Sidetripping (1975) — Author — 68 copies
A William Burroughs Reader (1982) 66 copies
Painting & guns (1990) 44 copies
The book of breeething (1974) 39 copies
Queer 39 copies
Cobble stone gardens (1976) 36 copies
White Subway (1973) 35 copies
Early Routines (1981) 28 copies
Minutes to Go (1960) 25 copies
The Exterminator (1960) 16 copies
The Seven Deadly Sins (1991) 15 copies
The Retreat Diaries (1976) 15 copies
Coenzyme Q10 (1998) 15 copies
Die alten Filme (1979) 14 copies
So Who Owns Death TV? (1967) 12 copies
Snack... (1975) 12 copies
Apocalypse (1988) 10 copies
Paper Cloud Thick Pages (Art Random) (1992) — Artist — 10 copies
William S. Burroughs [art exhibition catalog] (1988) — Artist — 9 copies
Travel agency is on fire (2015) 8 copies
You Can't Win (2001) 7 copies
The Junky's Christmas [1993 film] (2006) — Author & Narrator — 7 copies
Jack Kerouac (2009) 7 copies
Essais (1981) 6 copies
DOCTOR BENWAY 6 copies
Ali's smile 6 copies
Battle Instructions (2020) 6 copies
The Braille Film (1970) 5 copies
UNCOMMON QUOTES (1989) 5 copies
Scrittura creativa (1994) 5 copies
Let me hang you (2016) 5 copies
The Road To The Western Lands — Contributor — 5 copies
Thee Films 4 copies
Painting [art exhibition catalog] (1988) — Artist — 4 copies
Entre chats (1986) 4 copies
The Black Rider [theater program] — Author — 4 copies
My Weight in Wands (2020) 4 copies
Icerdeki Kedi (2013) 4 copies
Lasers (1977) 4 copies
Sinki's sauna 4 copies
Essais tome 1 (1996) 3 copies
RUSKI 3 copies
7786 - Burroughs, Wm. — Contributor — 3 copies
Destroy All Rational Thought With William Burroughs (2006) — Contributor — 3 copies
RE/SEARCH 3 copies
William S Burroughs. Creative Observer (2014) — Artist — 3 copies
Top (2001) 3 copies
Junkie / Narcotic Agent (1953) 3 copies
Minutes To Go Redux (2020) 3 copies
The Exterminator Redux (2020) 3 copies
THE DARK EYE 2 copies
Las tierras occidentales (2020) 2 copies
Yellowstone Park Romance (1911) 2 copies
Akademi 23 (2014) 2 copies
Myths. Instructions 1. [sound recording] — Contributor — 2 copies
Poems 2 copies
LOCUS SOLUS II 2 copies
STILETTO (1989) 2 copies
DARAZT 2 copies
Colloque de Tanger II (1979) 2 copies
The Streets of Chance (1981) 2 copies
This Is Important #3 (1981) 2 copies
Essais / 2 (1996) 2 copies
Le Colloque de Tanger (1976) 2 copies
Son Sozler (2015) 2 copies
Apomorphine 2 copies
MRABET POSTCARD 2 copies
Patlamis Bilet (2011) 1 copy
Ciplak Solen (2014) 1 copy
Das Buch vom Aaatmen (1982) 1 copy
Katten indeni (2014) 1 copy
Elektro Devrim 8 (2017) 1 copy
Pesko 1 copy
Razgovori 1 copy
Dosis 1 copy
The hog 1 copy
POSTCARD 1 1 copy
Dark Blood (1999) 1 copy
Últimas palabras (2021) 1 copy
Intrepid #6 (1966) 1 copy
In Dub 1 copy
Kame Kaze (1992) 1 copy
ćpun 1 copy
Pranzul Dezgolit (2020) 1 copy
Drawing dialogue (2019) 1 copy
ASYLUM 3 1 copy
Johnny 23 1 copy
An interview 1 copy
SPERO 1 copy
TEXTES 1 copy
UNIVERS 12 1 copy
UNIVERS 10 1 copy
TIME-BOOTLEG 1 copy
PARDON 1 copy
I 1 copy
Playboy. Vol. 17 No. 2 — Contributor — 1 copy
FRONTIERS 1 copy
RAPID EYE 1 copy
Black Rider 1 copy
SOFT NEED #9 1 copy
ZONE 7 1 copy
LIGHTWORKS 1 copy
KONTEXTS 1 copy
PAINTINGS 1 copy
PAINTING 1 copy
KLACTO 23 1 copy
GUITAR WORLD 1 copy
CYCLOPS NO 1 1 copy
Pengefutar 1 copy
RUSH 1 copy

Associated Works

The Portable Beat Reader (Viking Portable Library) (1992) — Contributor — 1,460 copies
You Can't Win (1926) — Introduction, some editions — 657 copies
The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry (1999) — Contributor — 591 copies
The Wild Party (1928) — Introduction, some editions — 563 copies
Scattered Poems (City Lights Pocket Poets Series) (1989) — Photography, some editions — 455 copies
The Portable Sixties Reader (2002) — Contributor — 324 copies
The Faber Book of Gay Short Fiction (1992) — Contributor — 321 copies
The New Media Reader (2003) — Contributor — 297 copies
The Olympia Reader (1965) — Contributor — 279 copies
Postmodern American Fiction: A Norton Anthology (1997) — Contributor — 276 copies
Writing New York: A Literary Anthology (1998) — Contributor — 274 copies
Sonoma Rose (2012) — Cover designer, some editions — 267 copies
Semiotext(e) SF (1989) — Contributor — 248 copies
William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Throbbing Gristle (1982) — Contributor — 239 copies
High Risk: An Anthology of Forbidden Writings (1991) — Contributor — 215 copies
Mindfield: New and Selected Poems (1989) — Foreword, some editions — 191 copies
The Starry Wisdom: A Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft (1994) — Contributor — 187 copies
The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature (1998) — Contributor — 158 copies
In Youth Is Pleasure & I Left My Grandfather's House (1994) — Foreword, some editions — 148 copies
Writers at Work 03 (1967) — Interviewee — 141 copies
Man Alone: Alienation in Modern Society (1962) — Contributor — 141 copies
Chaos & Cyber Culture (1994) — Contributor — 135 copies
SF12 (1968) — Contributor — 135 copies
The Herbert Huncke Reader (1997) — Foreword, some editions — 105 copies
Naked Lunch [1991 film] (1992) — Original novel — 90 copies
Twists of the Tale: An Anthology of Cat Horror (1996) — Contributor — 86 copies
On the Line: New Gay Fiction (1981) — Contributor — 82 copies
The Cool School: Writing from America's Hip Underground (2013) — Contributor — 79 copies
The Beats (1960) — Author, some editions — 62 copies
Confederacy of the Dead (1993) — Contributor — 61 copies
Gay Sunshine Interviews. Vol. 1 (1978) — Interviewee — 60 copies
Jean Genet in Tangier (1974) — Introduction, some editions — 58 copies
Drugstore Cowboy [1989 film] (1989) — Actor — 53 copies
New American Story (1962) — Contributor — 48 copies
Flowers in the Blood: The Story of Opium (1981) — Introduction, some editions — 44 copies
You Got to Burn to Shine: New and Selected Writings (1994) — Introduction — 43 copies
The Lucifer Society (1971) — Contributor — 41 copies
The Black Rider [sound recording] (1993) — Contributor — 39 copies
Mister Heartbreak (1984) — Composer — 32 copies
The Award Avant-Garde Reader (1965) — Contributor — 31 copies
Strange Amazing and Mysterious Places (1993) — Introduction — 26 copies
Brion Gysin Let the Mice In (1973) — Contributor — 25 copies
The Opposite of Sex [1998 film] (1998) — Actor — 25 copies
Big Table 1 (1959) — Contributor — 18 copies
Grand Street 59: Time (Winter 1997) (1900) — Contributor — 16 copies
New York Inside Out (1984) — Introduction, some editions — 16 copies
Living With the Animals (1994) — Contributor — 15 copies
Seven Souls — Contributor — 15 copies
Omni Visions One (1993) — Contributor — 12 copies
September Songs: The Music of Kurt Weill (1997) — Contributor — 12 copies
Stoned immaculate the music of the Doors (2000) — Contributor — 12 copies
Big Table 2 (1959) — Contributor — 10 copies
Like a Girl, I Want You To Keep Coming — Contributor — 8 copies
Helnwein Faces (1992) — Contributor — 6 copies
Hallucination engine — Vocalist — 5 copies
World Turning — Contributor — 5 copies
Evergreen Review No. 20 (1961) — Contributor — 5 copies
Apocalypse across the sky [sound recording] — Liner notes — 4 copies
Døds-layoutet 1 (1972) — Author, some editions; Author, some editions — 3 copies
Cough it up : the hairball story [sound recording] (1995) — Contributor — 3 copies
Locus Solus II (1961) — Contributor — 3 copies
Conspiracy Charges — Contributor — 2 copies
Life is a killer [sound recording] — Contributor — 2 copies
Steamshovel Press. Issue #17 — Contributor, some editions — 2 copies
Hashisheen : the end of law [sound recording] — Contributor — 2 copies
AVEC (1988) — Contributor — 2 copies
The Paris Review 109 1988 Winter — Contributor — 2 copies
Sugar, alcohol, & meat [sound recording] (1980) — Contributor — 2 copies
Ah Pook is here (Animated short, 1994) — Contributor — 1 copy
Intrepid No. 5, 1st Anniversary Issue — Contributor — 1 copy
Lines, No. 6 — Contributor — 1 copy

Tagged

1001 books (109) 20th century (349) addiction (158) American (431) American fiction (109) American literature (972) anthology (686) autobiography (154) beat (1,489) Beat Generation (974) beat literature (248) biography (178) Burroughs (377) classic (98) classics (114) counterculture (97) drugs (756) essays (233) experimental (153) fiction (3,776) gay (238) interviews (100) letters (109) literature (1,416) memoir (184) non-fiction (399) novel (555) own (106) poetry (730) postmodernism (138) read (358) science fiction (558) sf (97) short stories (333) to-read (1,624) unread (199) USA (265) William S. Burroughs (249) WSB (1,269) WSBB (152)

Common Knowledge

Members

Discussions

1914: William S. Burroughs - The Yage Letters in Literary Centennials (August 2014)
Authors similar to Burroughs in William Burroughs (February 2012)

Reviews

look, at a certain point very early on, i realised i was reading this not for enjoyment but as an anthropological exercise, satisfying my curiosity about midcentury america, my personal favourite era of history to study. and in that sense this was quite an edifying read. but on the other hand i found it pretty much skin-crawlingly horrible at all points, not so much the sex, the sex i could easily handle, even some of the more comical violence, but my god, the RACISM. oy vey. reading this on the subway felt like i was committing an act of antisocial behaviour. i covered the recto/verso with my hand when i had people near me. mortifying! a hard one to tackle with my 21st Century Sensibilities and like i AM glad i read it - there are actually some moments of really thrilling prose and insight - but now i need a palate cleanser asap.… (more)
1 vote
Flagged
i. | 68 other reviews | Feb 19, 2024 |
Interesting look at drug culture in the 40s, but missing the element shared by some of his contemporaries that for me transcends the gritty subject matter and makes the work, for lack of a better word, beautiful.
 
Flagged
GDBrown | 53 other reviews | Feb 15, 2024 |
I suspect this is a book one either loves or hates. While I didn't hate it, and while the book certainly contains some nuggets of insight that are worth reading, I found it trying to have to read so much ridiculous trash in order to find those insights. Other than its historical relevance, perhaps the main reason to read this book is to see just how messed up heroin and other opiates will make someone, such that you decide to avoid them all. So five stars for its historical relevance, its warning against opiates, and a handful of insights, but zero stars for 98% of the book's contents, which leads to my 2.5 star review.… (more)
½
 
Flagged
tnilsson | 68 other reviews | Feb 5, 2024 |
I’d greatly appreciate it if somebody could give me even a bloody rough idea of what the hell I’ve just read.
 
Flagged
theoaustin | 12 other reviews | Dec 26, 2023 |

Lists

Read (5)
Cooper (1)

Awards

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Associated Authors

Allen Ginsberg Contributor, Introduction, Author/Photographer
James Grauerholz Contributor, Editor, Afterword, , Foreword
Brion Gysin Contributor, Cover artist
Paul Bowles Contributor
Keith Haring Illustrator
Robin Lydenberg Contributor, Editor
Nick Donkin Director
Joe Ambrose Producer
Robert Willson Direction, Set & Lighting
Lawrence Arts Center Host institution
Ben Ahlvers Curator
Robert Blank Photographer
Frank Rynne Director
Antony Balch Director
Fiorella Iacono Interviewer
Mark Bramhall Narrator
Oliver Harris Editor, Introduction
Timothy Leary Contributor
Ann Douglas Introduction
Alan Ansen Contributor
Tom Waits Composer
David Ohle Contributor
Bill Lyon Contributor
Wes Pittman Contributor
Udo Breger Contributor
Melvin Betsellie Contributor
Fred Aldrich Contributor
Michael Emerton Contributor
Sylvère Lotringer Contributor
Christof Kohlhofer Illustrator
Track 16 Gallery Exhibition host
Benjamin Weissman Contributor
Robert Berman Gallery Exhibition host
October Gallery (London) Exhibition host
Kurt Cobain Performer
John Tytell Contributor
Jennie Skerl Contributor
Robert H. Jackson Contributor
Philip Heying Contributor
Karl Gridley Contributor
Tom Peschio Contributor
Diego Cortez Exhibition curator
Jim McCrary Contributor
Kathelin Gray Contributor
Tony Shafrazi Gallery Exhibition host
Roger Holden Contributor
Charles Rue Woods Cover designer
Peter Behrens Übersetzer, Translator
山形 浩生 Translator
Edward De Grazia Contributor
Michael Kellner Übersetzer
Katharina Behrens Übersetzer
J. G. Ballard Introduction
David L. Ulin Afterword
Norman Mailer Contributor
Geerten Meijsing Translator
Joyce & Co. Translator
Francesc Roca Translator
Riekus Waskowsky Translator
Neil Stuart Cover designer
飯田 隆昭 Translator
Ray Porter Narrator
Mark Foreman Cover artist
Rose Aichele Übersetzer
Maarten Polman Translator
Marisa Caramella Translator
Hans Herman Translator
Jean Chopin Translator
S. Clay Wilson Illustrator
Carl Weissner Translator, Übersetzer
Robert Crumb Cover artist
Thierry Marignac Translator

Statistics

Works
397
Also by
88
Members
35,171
Popularity
#537
Rating
½ 3.7
Reviews
380
ISBNs
870
Languages
29
Favorited
215

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