Cooking Up a Storm – Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs Let’s Rock Review

There aren’t many books like Naked Lunch by William Seward Burroughs. Some might say that this is a good thing. Others might not. Whatever the case, this book is an incendiary piece of modern literature. It was scrawled in the burning pits of passion of post WWII Beat era bebop prose New York. All the rules of literature are destroyed in one fell swoop, swallowed whole, and then defecated out again in a small, but luxurious pile in a corner of a run down, cockroach-infested, rented apartment.

The characters featured in the book are searingly original, based somewhere between weird science fiction, exotic, dystopian wasteland dwellers, or decadent, deviant party-goers at the edge of oblivion. Many of them exist in The Interzone, such as AJ, with his raucous antics, the irascible Dr Benway, and many more, come screaming from the page.

The words in this book are like firecrackers exploding in the night. Wild imagination fizzes off every page from every line. This book just keeps on inventing, and is more cinematic than any film could achieve, far more than any book that has ever been released before or since. The humour is scorching hot too, as piercing and honest as any Lenny Bruce skit, but shot through with a psychotic, psychedelic mania.

This book is a node at the intersection of reality. If you read it, your brain will never be the same again.


Punk Faction by Marcus Blakeston – Book Review

  Punk Faction is a book that paints an engaging picture of early eighties working class life involving those in the vibrant punk and skinhead communities of the day. It records a period that is generally glossed over by the current media, which includes newspapers, radio, film, television and the publishing world in particular, and gives vivid life to a corner of culture that deserves much more recognition for its contribution to British society than it gets at present. Good on the author for addressing that and redressing the balance neatly. The story contains some brutal moments as well as a wealth of earthy humour, set against the rowdy backdrop of the Oi! scene. It captures the atmosphere of this turbulent era accurately and affectionately, but doesn’t hold back in its depiction of the graphic violence that loitered with intent at the gigs, pubs and in the rough and ready streets. Each character is convincingly crafted and has recognisable aspects of mates you might have known, but with their own distinct personalities, and their development is realistic and three-dimensional, so you have a real concern for them and what happens. This leads to some pretty messy entanglements, but ultimately a considerate and respectful conclusion that packs a pertinent punk punch. Recommended reading for rabid punks everywhere!

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