Junky (alternately titled Junkie) is a 1953 semi-autobiographical novel by William S. Burroughs. It was his first published novel and has come to be considered a seminal text on the lifestyle of heroin addicts in the early 1950s. Burroughs' working title was Junk.
- When you stop growing you start dying.
- The American uppermiddle-class citizen is a composite of negatives. He is largely delineated by what he is not.
- You need a good bedside manner with doctors or you will get nowhere.
- The questions, of course, could be asked: Why did you ever try narcotics? Why did you continue using it long enough to become an addict? You become a narcotics addict because you do not have strong motivations in the other direction. Junk wins by default. I tried it as a matter of curiosity.
- I lay down and tried to sleep. When I closed my eyes I saw an Oriental face, the lips and nose eaten by disease. The disease spread, melting the face into an amoeboid mass in which the eyes floated, dull crustacean eyes. Slowly, a new face formed around the eyes. A series of faces, hieroglyphs, distorted and leading to the final place where the human road ends, where the human form can no longer contain the crustacean horror that has grown inside it.
- A junky runs on junk time. When his junk is cut off, the clock runs down and stops. All he can do is hang on and wait for non-junk time to start. A sick junkie has no escape from external time, no place to go. He can only wait.
- When people start talking about their bowel movements, they are inexorable as the processes of which they speak.
- Junk takes everything and gives nothing but insurance against junk sickness.
- You sometimes wake up from a dream and think, "Thank God, I didn't really do that!" Reconstructing a period of blackout you think, "My God, did I really do that?" The line between saying and thinking is blurred. Did you say it or just think it?