Speed & Kentucky Ham

Speed & Kentucky Ham

by

, beat-generation, english-literature, Fiction, Biography Memoir

A methedrine-inspired odyssey, a painfully candid exploration of the horizons of the speed freak's world, from the drug-hazed fantasy of New York's infamous East Village to the terrifying reality of a Federal narcotics hospital, Burroughs Jr.'s two novels present a vision of alienated youth at its most raw and uncensored.

Speed follows Billy as he hustles for dope and money, crashing in garbage-strewn apartments and guiding a paranoid friend through the perilous city streets. With tough, gritty detachment, he describes the stages of his own drug addiction and physical and emotional deterioration.

Kentucky Ham takes him from the squalor of the East Village crash pads to his father's literary hideaway in Tangier, and finally to incarceration at the Federal Narcotics Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. Through both these autobiographical novels, William S. Burroughs, Jr., tells a story of generational isolation that is as relevant today as when it was first written.

Title:Speed & Kentucky Ham
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780879515058
Format Type:

    Speed & Kentucky Ham Reviews

  • Mat

    Billy Burroughs Jr's life was tragic and frantic, but he certainly inherited his dad's writing skills. Burroughs Jr. only completed two full novels in his short lifetime and was working on his third w...

  • Kerstin

    On most days, I consider this my favorite book of all time. It's actually two short novels published together--the only complete works of William S. Burroughs Jr., son of the late great grandaddy of t...

  • Zack

    Speed is a smartly-worded novel about psychic frontiers. Kentucky Ham is great in places too, begins really well but suffers from the imposition of a diary-entries style in the Alaska part. But that's...

  • Gerbik

    SPEED is by far the preferred work here, although KH contains some wild sentences. This really does read like Holden Caulfield on crystal meth, and I'm pretty sure WSB Jr. knew that. His life story is...

  • Thomas

    If you think Britney Spears is having a bad day/week/month/year/life… take a bite into this memoir and you’ll think Britney is living on easy street. This is gritty and powerful. ...

  • Dan

    Speed is a seemingly honest account of Burroughs autobiographical characters descent into drug abuse. Fast paced prose make for a quick and entertaining read. The narrative is consistent in its pace a...

  • Matthew Timion

    I still have mixed feelings about this one. Speed was fun to read, perhaps because the author was in the thralls of drug use while writing it. Kentucky Ham? It was clear the author was sober when he w...

  • Beulah

    This is one of my favorite books. It was introduced to me by beautiful Kerstin on a hot summer day in Naples, Italy. I remember her reading me snippets and me being glued to them. I stopped by a Barne...

  • Erin Beck

    Jr does it almost as well as his father. Drug addiction is the center of the story. Scoring, rehab, dread, shit life, arrests, court, crying women. Jr thinks subway tracks and trees are trying to atta...

  • Edward

    Easy to read. Which, having slight brain damage, is always important for me. Writes like his dad did in his "autobiographical" novels ("Junky" and "Queer") and, for us Gen-X wasters, there are plenty ...