How the drugged-up, cut-up ‘pope’ of rock transformed music

PREMIUM

William Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine and The Wild Boys, was the most transgressive of the Beat writers. His biography has become as legendary as his most celebrated novels: born in the Jazz Age, the favoured son of a wealthy Midwestern industrialist, he became a homosexual drug addict, occult experimenter and petty criminal who killed his wife in a drunken game of William Tell and wrote infamous prose featuring orgasmic executions, shape-shifting aliens and all manner of addicts, sadists and creepy crawlies...

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