Maya Charlton’s review of Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs is an exotic review fit for an exotic book. Although I haven't read this book, I can already tell from its peculiar title and from the hooking descriptions of the plot that it’d be very befuddling. The review sets up such a particular paradox for the book that it seems impossible not to unravel what Maya means throughout the review. The introduction and conclusion specifically helps me really feel like I’m in the book, something that makes it an excellent review. Phrasing like “It has no plot, no themes, no reliable narrator” and “the more you try to make sense of it, the more hazy it becomes” in the introduction provide mysterious premises that begs an enormous amount of questions and interest. Concluding sentences such as “It’s an abstract painting mixed with a George Carlin standup routine” further my immersion in Maya’s opinions and mounts the book to a palpable relatability that really sells the book to me.
Even more entertaining is how Maya explains trying to apply logic to Naked Lunch and resorting to reading the book in a completely different way than ever before, stating she has “to live in the paragraph” to understand it. It serves as a precursor to what one should expect, and personally, it excites me to think about a different reading philosophy. The fact that she goes into specifics, like surreal languages and metaphors, is even better. Maya’s review is really good positive criticism of Naked Lunch and it is quite persuasive overall.