I'm not advocating that work be dumbed down so everyone can easily understand it, but if you're the only one laughing at your jokes... But really, I've always thought the Beats were overrated. His path to poetic enlightenment involved a "long, intimidating, immense and rational derangement of all the senses." Nowadays nothing is shocking.
Nevertheless, I think he was the most interesting of that group. To offer a second opinion: While I ultimately agree that "Naked Lunch" is an overrated novel and one guaranteed to induce episodes of eye-rolling for any reader over, say, twenty — I think a more careful examination of this book is deserved, at the very least for its historical worth (which you mention), but even more so for its armory of literary devices, which I must (somewhat begrudgingly) admit not only warrant merit but epitomized groundbreaking at the time in which the book was released.
You can pick up the story wherever you’d like; missing a section or reading the sections outside its presented chronology will not alter the reader’s perceptions at all.
The world of the grotesque ala Burroughs is a markedly different one than say, Flannery O’Connor’s.These hurdles are right on the warning label, so they aren't damnable offenses.Experiment with styles till you go blind, for all I care.Almost 99% of what Burroughs describes in this book would land him in federal prison, but once it was written down it somehow qualified as praisable.It seems like Beat Lit gained traction largely for its gonzo, obscene-for-the-sake-of-itself reputation that rubbed the law the wrong way, and then, with this "bad boy" persona, wormed its way into the American literary canon.(Interestingly, some of the highest-ranked reviews on Amazon admitted things like, "I didn't get some of it," or "You'll have to read it 6-8 times and you still might not understand it," which makes me wonder: if someone tells a joke and nobody but the person who told it gets the punchline, it is still a joke?) But I’ll give credit where it’s due—this book created a landmark obscenity case that helped to abolish literary censorship in America.' Your Favorite Book Sucks' is an ongoing column, written by different people, that takes a classic or popular book and argues why it isn't really all that great.Confrontational, to be sure, but it's all in good fun, so please play nice. Dirt crunches between your molars as your gag reflex makes your stomach heave.They seem than the insects in the scene you mention: they're practically inanimate objects. Why is the human body repeatedly reduced to primordial sacks of blood and shit, something akin to a mass-produced product in a modern marketplace fueled on the empty promises of advertising hype?I’m begging an obvious question here: Burroughs is offering a parable of the great, modern anesthetic.