From BBC Interviews:
Naked Lunch is regarded as Burroughs’ masterpiece, the template for all his work. Written in a stream of consciousness style, it is a nightmare peopled by secret agents, mad doctors, gangsters, zombies, phallic monsters, vampires and extraterrestrials, involved in sadomasochistic orgies, transformations, diabolical plots and interplanetary warfare.
Its nihilistic humour, visionary intensity, strong social satire and brilliant style received critical approval in 1962, when American writer Norman Mailer claimed that Burroughs was “the only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed by genius”. However, the novel’s sexually explicit language and grotesque images resulted in a ban that was not lifted until 1966.
Burroughs’ use of the cut-up technique, a collage technique whereby the writer literally cuts up and recombines text, was most widely employed in The Ticket That Exploded (1962). His later novels develop the mythology of the earlier ones, but have a more regular story line. Many critics today regard Burroughs as the most powerful moralist since Jonathan Swift. Others decry him as a sensationalist and pornographer.