Pros: Extremely well-written.
Cons: Very abstract. Some may find it offensive.
Naked Lunch has been on my "to read" list since sometime in high school, but I took my time actually getting around to reading it. This was due in equal parts to the intimidation factor of the book (never described as an easy read), encounters with annoying Burroughs fans, and being turned off of anyone even remotely related to the beat movement after reading (and hating) On The Road. A few months ago, I ran across a copy in a used bookstore and decided to finally read the thing.
The first thing I had to accept about Naked Lunch was that there's not really a story (at least in a traditional sense). While a few of the vignettes have a narrative flow and are even occasionally interconnected, this is not a book with a beginning, middle and end. While I dream of some day being smart enough to read and fully comprehend Finnegan's Wake, this kind of abstract writing isn't really something I've ever been able to fully appreciate, no matter how hard I try.
There were a few factors that kept me from giving up on the book part of the way through: Burroughs' incredible influence on artists (of all stripes) that I really enjoy; a general sense that I "should" read the book at least once; and most, importantly, the fact that the book is really good, full of all sorts of weird creatures, eccentric characters, and exotic locales. Even the parts of the book that sprawl into nonsense are full of vivid imagery and incredibly skilled use of language.
While I would have preferred to see all the dope monsters, dystopian societies, gonzo surgeons, and even gallows porn combined into a more traditional narrative, I really enjoyed Naked Lunch. The parts that make sense are like a collaboration of Hunter S. Thompson and Phillip K. Dick filtered through Tom Waits, and even the more abstract parts read like junkie poetry. At times Naked Lunch is a challenging book, but in the end it's well worth the effort.