Isbn-10: 8402074200 | Isbn-13: 9788402074201 | Publish date: 01/12/1981 | Edition 2
Translator: Martín Lendínez
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Nachopn said on Feb 15, 2013, 07:17
Burroughs wrote this book much based on his own experience with addiction decades ago, and I think it'll forever be potent.
It's a very straight-forward, no-nonsense and no-tearjerker experience as Burroughs writes of Lee's addictions, faltering friendships, his fleeting meets with people while trying to attain drugs as quickly as possible, at times doing anything for it. He goes from selling drugs to using them, to robbing drunks on trains to escaping the law, to trying to fence stuff to get money to get more drugs to avoid The Sickness, to get to Mexico to live a better life, to avoid his wife, to get together with her, to be able to get out of bed, to try and get off drugs completely, to get into less hardcore stuff to get back into heroin.
It's very well-written, and eloquently cut-up in terms of what goes in which chapters. The descriptions of people, events and feelings aren't poetic - it's all straight-forward and I got the sense that his abuse just went on and on, a vortex that went round and round.
This book reminds me a lot of Irvine Welsh's "Trainspotting", although this is timeless and different. It's like the inspirational big brother to Martin Amis' "Money".
And it stands out. Burroughs was a very livid writer and this is a powerful and telling work on addiction, and in his desire to explain the elements that make out addiction to everybody, he dispels myths and actually writes some really stupid shit (e.g. that cocaine does not create any form of dependency), so just have an open, questioning mind when reading this (as with every written word, anywhere).
In this edition from Penguin, there are several inclusions of nice extraneous material here: appendixes, a glossary and a long introduction.
Niklas Pivic said on Feb 26, 2012, 20:07
Conceptualmente, yonqui sería el manual de supervivencia del drogadicto de los años 40-50. Una serie de historias relacionadas con camellos, síndrome de abstinencia, dinero, huidas y cómo no el dulce atractivo de la droga en una road movie alucinógena. La historia mil veces contada. Algo, por tanto, debe tener que la haya permitido sobrevivir al resto de obras análogas. Sencillo. Yonqui cuenta con los grandes baluartes de la gran literatura. Metáforas afiladas y hermosas. Narración adictiva. Retrato de una época. No confundir por tanto con literatura yonqui. Es literatura sobre el universo yonqui.
Usul said on Jan 28, 2012, 16:04
Gemma Serradell said on Jun 22, 2011, 16:07
es un libro interesante y entretenido; duro y crudo sin dar muchos rodeos para ocntar las cosas. quizas me ha gustado más que "el almuerzo desnudo" y, aunque el tema es parecido, acaban siendo muy diferentes entre sí. hay algunas partes muy liricas y tan reales que dan escalofrios. es un libro que seguramente recomendaría no solo por el gusto de la lectura en sí, sino también para documentarse sobre un mundo que a veces creemos conocer pero basandonos solo en una serie de prejuicios
simone said on May 28, 2010, 18:47
A great book about why being a junkie is awful. I really don't think this book glamorises drug use in any way but writes honestly about what an awful chore and how horrible junk addiction really is. The focus of this book is on the drug itself. How to get it, how to have enough money to get it, how to get off it. The rest of life is inconsequential. There are only a few mentions of Joan or "the wife". She might not have existed. Still the scene when their in Mexico and he's about to pick up the habit again and she knocks it out of his hand and he hits her was one that really stood out to me. This is in so many ways opposite to the way Kerouac tells it (though he was writing as Burrough's friend not as a junkie himself). There are no friends coming and hanging out. Everyone is a user or a dealer and only valued in their relationship to junk.
The prose are strikingly real and honest. Occasionally there will be a beautiful turn of phrase for a paragraph, descriptions of New Orleans and other places and people are fantastic, in other places it's just depressingly realistic. It wasn't trippy, it didn't really focus on any hallucinations or highs. Just the physical need and a bit of psychology.
I started reading this at work. We have the first edition, published back to back with "The Narcotic Agent". It's quite charming as there's lots of editor's notes that contradict Burrough's opinions on drugs in a very moralising way. The 2nd half of this book I read as the 1973 penguin edition from the library. I don't think I've seen such a battered penguin before. Pages torn in half, the cover crumpled with tears all along the edge. It was perfect.
While I enjoyed this I think it'll be awhile before I read any more Burroughs.
Robot-mel said on Sep 04, 2009, 10:48
Junky is a dangerous book - it doesn't glorify drugs, it doesn't glorify the existence of those that take them, but it does dispel a few myths.
Told from a matter of fact point of view, this unapologetic memoir is concise and lean (154 pages) and clearly spoke. It details Burroughs ambling eventful life through his minor scrapes with the law and his several addictions to Heroin.
Throughout the novel Burroughs appears to do well for himself - whether or not this is subconscious wishful thinking or careful retroactive optimism its not clear, but those around Burroughs gradually collapse and fall away - the only constant in his life the drug his body craves.
Its interesting and a provocative read because unlike Trainspotting its true, but sometimes true life doesn't quite capture the imagination like fiction.
Kieran Delaney said on Jul 04, 2008, 16:42
pbox said on Aug 01, 2007, 22:23
Batona said on Mar 31, 2007, 02:53