Back to the Beats. William Burroughs led a colourful life, not one you'd choose for yourself maybe. Like Kerouac he was full of contradictions- loved by the counterculture for his drug use, novels and poetry he held some pretty extreme right wing views and was by some accounts capable of much nastiness. His writing, especially Junky and Naked Lunch, bled into music. Countless bands have taken names/inspiration from Naked Lunch, despite it being close to unreadable in parts. He shot his wife (accidentally, playing a William Tell game) and later said he'd never have become a writer without having done it. by the time he died he was held up as one of America's great literary geniuses. Compared to Kerouac or Ginsberg, I can take or leave much of his stuff to be honest.