The content and style of this particular novel distinguish it from the others in the reader's memory. The overall tone is dry and distant, but the story itself is revealing and quite honest. Burroughs speaks as the observing eyewitness to the story, which refers to various criminals he has met throughout New York, Kentucky, New Orleans, and Mexico City, and his feelings and reactions to those individuals.
One of the main goals of the work appears to be to dispel stereotypes that are often associated with criminals and how they treat their own bodies or how they appear to other individuals. Through showing the results of interacting with a vast array of individuals, Burroughs shows that the commonly-held view of the tattooed criminal is not always accurate. Clearly, most people would consider the criminals that Burroughs interviews degenerates, but he attempts to unravel this viewpoint throughout the context of this work. Even though the opinions and insight presented in the text are not supported by expert testimony, when believed they are quite convincing and definitely contribute to the overall interestingness of the novel.
At first, the novel appears to represent a listing of facts. Once the narrator leaves New York, however, the overall tone becomes more personal and deeper in meaning. The narrator attempts to seek out the meaning of criminality and addiction and to plot his own personal escape from it.
Animal Factory, by Edward Bunker
This book details the violent life that prisoners are exposed to, including the viewpoint that life is cheap within prison and that the human body is a waste. The text shows no mercy. Bunker seems to write directly from his own experience gained within prison walls.
There is a great deal of passion presented in Bunker's novel. Prisoners are presented as outcasts, and even the slightest wrong look to the wrong person can end their life. It is not surprising that they treat their bodies so negatively when faced with such a negative opinion of human life.
You Got Nothing Coming: Notes of a Prison Fish, By Jimmy Lerner
This book is wrought with sarcasm to the point that it is extremely annoying to the average reader. The book is comedic in nature, but perverse at the same time. Lerner tells of his neo-Nazi cellmate who likes to give advice on dating from personal ads. Lerner seeks sympathy in the novel, but gets nothing in return, which shows a great lack of feeling and emotion, as well as basic human compassion and concern, from those who are locked away in prison.
The author writes from his own experience, and expresses human emotions when he tells of missing his daughters. However, his snickers and cocky attitude towards life show how meaningless he thinks criminal life really is. The human body is a waste of space for certain individuals, he conveys throughout his work.
Go Now, by Richard Hell
This work is extremely despicable and inexcusable, yet is appropriate for a wide range of readers. According to Laurie Stone of The Nation, the novel itself is actually "...guided by a ranging, meditative mind, the story becomes an emblem of how we live now. With candor the teller