"Junky" by William S. Burroughs is a bleak take on heroin addicts during the 1940s-50s. The story tells how the main character, William Lee, goes from a middle-class existence in the Midwest to pushing/using drugs in New York City, from morphine to marijuana to cocaine to (mainly) heroin. The book discusses almost every aspect of a junkie's life, from obtaining their drugs, to using them, to avoiding the police, to "Junk Sickness" (withdrawal), to prison time for drug possession, to other vices a heroin junkie will engage in to get drugs (such as prostitution, sodomy, pawning heirlooms). Burroughs discusses most memorably throughout the book how heroin is not "a kick, or a means to increased enjoyment of life. It is a way of life".
William Burroughs writes about how he got introduced to drug use. He describes his time in New York City selling morphine and then using it. The story takes the reader through his thoughts and through his journey done to Mexico. He went to Mexico to avoid the law because he shot his wife. In Mexico, he lives a junkie lifestyle and discusses the damage drugs can have on the body. He also participates in homosexual sex.
This report prepared by Kristy Pastore