On the 100th anniversary of his birthday, a vintage review of Naked Lunch
Naked Lunch belongs to that very large category of books, from Macpherson’s Ossian to Peyton Place, whose interest lies not in their own qualities but in the reception given to them in their own time. In itself, Naked Lunch, is of very small significance. It consists of a prolonged scream of hatred and disgust, an effort to keep the reader’s nose down in the mud for 20 pages. Before reading it I had heard it described as pornography, but this is not the case.