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Naked Lunch is a novel by American writer William S. Burroughs, originally published in 1959. The book is structured as a series of loosely connected vignettes. Burroughs stated that the chapters are intended to be read in any order. wikipedia

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WSB reads 23 random sentences from Naked Lunch

1 A friend of mine found himself naked in a Marrakech hotel room second floor…. (He is after processing by a Texas mother who dressed him in girl’s clothes as a child…. Crude but effective against infant protoplasm…. ) The other occupants are Arabs, three Arabs… knives in hand… watching him . glint of metal and points of light in dark eyes . pieces of murder falling slow as opal chips through glycerine… Slower animal reactions allow him a full second to decide: Straight through the window and down into the crowded street like a falling star his wake of glass glittering in the sun… sustained a broken ankle and a chipped shoulder… clad in a diaphanous pink curtain, with a curtain-rod staff, hobbled away to the Commissariat de Police….


3 “Come and jack off…” 1929.

4 “How many times I have to tell you no Hauser no O’Brien in this department…. Now who is this calling?”

5 Interzone Imports Unlimited, which consists of Mar-vie and Leif The Unlucky, had latched onto the K.Y. deal? In fact they specialize in pharmaceuticals and run a 24-hour Pro station, six ways coverage fore and aft, as a side line. ( Six separate venereal diseases have been identified to date. )

6 Few reach the Plaza, a point where The Tanks empty a tidal river, carrying forms of survival armed with defences of poison slime, black, flesh rotting, fungus, and green odors that sear the lungs and grab the stomach in twisted knots….

7 “Twenty years an artist in the blue movies and I never sink so low as fake an orgasm.”

8 DR. BERGER: “No… He’s unsuitable.” He looks at the subject with distaste as if he commit. some terrible faux-pas like look for crabs in Mrs. Worldly’s drawing room.

9 “Think I’ll have my stomach tucked…. I may be old, but I’m still desirable.”

10 It’s the coke horrors…. Sit back and play it cool and shoot in plenty of that GI M.

11 The Vigilante copped out as a schizo possession case:

12 “There are other procedures. The subject can be reduced to deep depression by administering large doses of benzedrine for several days. Psychosis can be induced by continual large doses of cocaine or demerol or by the abrupt withdrawal of barbiturates after prolonged ad-ministration. He can be addicted by dihydro-oxy-heroin and subjected to withdrawal (this compound should be five times as addicting as heroin, and the withdrawal proportionately severe ).

13 I sat back letting my mind work without pushing it. Push your mind too hard, and it will fuck up like an overloaded switchboard, or turn on you with sabotage.

14 “They will send me to the new sanitarium tomorrow. Come and visit me. I will be there alone.”

15 “‘I’ll wait, K. E. No matter how long it is I’ll wait. When the priority numbers are called up yonder I’ll be there.’

16 A. J.: “You’ll straighten up and shit right or you won’t be inna condition to shit one way or the other.”

17 A painted youth slithered in and seized one of the great black claws sending the sweet, sick smell curling through the cafe.

18 “And why don’t junkies got schizophrenia? Don’t know yet. A schizophrenic can ignore hunger and starve to death if he isn’t fed. No one can ignore heroin withdrawal. The fact of addiction imposes contact.

19 The aging playboy dons his 1920 autograph slicker, feeds his screaming wife down the garbage-disposal unit…. Hair, shit and blood spurt out 1963 on the wall…. “Yes sir, boys, the shit really hit the fan in ‘63,” said ‘the tiresome old prophet can bore the piss out of you in any space-time direction….

20 ” ‘You just go in the other room and wait.’ Playfully he shoos Jim out of the kitchen, and puts on his apron.

21 “All medicine men use it in their practice to foretell the future, locate lost or stolen objects, to diagnose and treat illness, to name the perpetrator of a crime.” Since the Indian ( straitjacket for Herr Boas — trade joke — nothing so maddens an anthropologist as Primitive Man) does not regard any death as accidental, and they are unacquainted with their own self-destructive trends referring to them contemptuously as “our naked cousins,” or perhaps feeling that these trends above all are subject to the manipulation of alien and hostile wills, any death is murder. The medicine man takes Yage and the identity of the murderer is revealed to him. As you may imagine, the deliberations of the medicine man during one of these jungle inquests give rise to certain feelings of uneasiness among his constituents.

22 “They say somebody pushed him.”

23 “Need a tube now, Fats.”