The book “Naked Lunch” was written by William S. Burroughs while the film was directed by David Croneberg. The book Everything is Permitted: The Making of “Naked Lunch” is edited by Ira Silverberg and details the unique film as it was conceived by the visionary director Cronenberg and everyone else that was involved. Since Burroughs’ book is thought to be completely unfilmable Cronenberg did not set out to turn the book into a film but instead decided to make a film about the making of the book.
Burroughs’ writing and style is examined closely in the book especially as it pertains to how Cronenberg chooses to produce his film which is a amalgamation of the book and Burroughs’ own life as it revolves around how he crafted the book of “Naked Lunch.” The book is filled with production stills and photos from all aspects of the film’s production (as is customary of these types of books). One of the things about the book that will most interest readers interested in these types of behind the scenes books is the chapter that focuses on the special FX of the film. There are design pictures and mechanical drawings for some of the more “unusual” of the films FX and monsters.
Although knowing a little more about the strange and unusual creatures that inhabit the film is very interesting it is also interesting to get into the mind of director Cronenberg on why and how he chose this direction with his film. Cronenberg provides and introduction to the book (as does Burroughs) and you get a great look into the mind of a true auteur who may have been the only person capable of bringing Burroughs’ story to the big screen.
The book spends a small amount of time of the cast who provide their own thoughts on why they became involved in the production. Other writers that contribute to the book include Chris Rodley, Jody Duncan, Prudence Emery, and Gary Indiana. Like the film production itself this book is a collaborative effort that shows just how dedicated Cronenberg and everyone else involved were instrumental in bringing Burroughs’ material to life.