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56 voters

The Best William S. Burroughs Books

231 votes 56 voters 3.7k views29 items

List RulesNovels, novellas, nonfiction, collections - in the case of Burroughs anything goes

List of the best William S. Burroughs books, ranked by voracious readers in the Ranker community. With commercial success, even given his incredibly experimental style, and critical acclaim, there's no doubt that William S. Burroughs left his mark on the literary profession of the last 100 years. Burroughs was a hugely influential writer of the Beat Generation and is regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. If you're a huge fan of his work, then vote on your favorite novels below and make your opinion count. This poll is also a great resource for new fans of William S. Burroughs who want to know which of his books they should start reading first. With memorable characters and excellent storytelling, there's no reason why you shouldn't check out his work if you're a big reader or are looking for subversive writings (fave topics of Burroughs included heroin, homosexuality, and the "cut-up" style).

Classic Burroughs books range from Naked Lunch to Junkie. What are William S. Burroughs's best books? Vote on this list and help us definitively answer that question.
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  • 1
    William S. Burroughs
    21
    7

    First Published1959

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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    #88 of 171 The Greatest American Novels#105 of 169 Books You'll Never Finish Reading#37 of 72 The Greatest Dystopian Novels

  • 2
    William S. Burroughs
    15
    6

    First Published1962

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Fiction, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 3
    William S. Burroughs
    14
    6

    First Published1953

    SubjectsPopular literature

    Genres (Book)Autobiographical novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 4
    William S. Burroughs
    11
    7

    First Published1981

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 5
    William S. Burroughs
    8
    4

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 6
    William S. Burroughs
    8
    4

    First Published1973

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Short story

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 7
    William S. Burroughs
    5
    2

    First Published1989

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Short story

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 8
    William S. Burroughs
    7
    5

    First Published1964

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Science Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 9
    William S. Burroughs
    10
    11

    First Published1985-11

    Genres (Book)Novella, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 10
    Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs
    4
    2

    Genres (Book)Mystery

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 11
    William S. Burroughs
    4
    4

    First Published1987

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 12
    William S. Burroughs
    2
    0

    First Published1971

    SubjectsChronology of publications in scrutiny of Scientology, Scientology

    Genres (Book)Essay, Short story, Religion

    Original LanguageEnglish Language, German Language

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  • 13
    Alan E. Nourse, William S. Burroughs
    2
    0

    First Published1979

    Genres (Book)Novella, Science Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 14
    William S. Burroughs
    0
    2

    First Published1963

    Genres (Book)Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 15
    William S. Burroughs
    2
    0

    First Published1991

    SubjectsMadagascar

    Genres (Book)Novella, Adventure fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 16
    William S. Burroughs, Jr.
    2
    0

    First Published1973

    Genres (Book)Autobiographical novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 17
    William S. Burroughs
    4
    2

    First Published1995-01

    Genres (Book)Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 18
    William S. Burroughs
    2
    2

    First Published1973-01

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 19
    William S. Burroughs
    4
    4

    First Published1986

    SubjectsUnited States of America, 20th century

    Genres (Book)Autobiographical novel, Novella

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 20
    William S. Burroughs
    0
    0

    First Published1970

    Genres (Book)Essay

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 21
    4
    0

    First Published1970

    SubjectsDrama

    Genres (Book)Biography, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 22
    William S. Burroughs
    7
    2

    First Published1983

    SubjectsTime travel

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 23
    Brion Gysin, William S. Burroughs
    0
    0

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 24
    Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs
    4
    0

    First Published1963

    Genres (Book)Autobiography

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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  • 25

    First Published2000

    Genres (Book)Autobiography

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

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List Rules: Novels, novellas, nonfiction, collections - in the case of Burroughs anything goes