Today, Jim Carroll is a highly renowned poet and rock musician. But in the mid-1960s, during his coming-of-age from twelve to fifteen, he was a rebellious teenager making a place and a name for himself on the unforgiving streets of New York City. During those years, he chronicled his experiences, and the result is a diary of unparalleled candor that conveys his alternately hilarious and terrifying teenage existence. Here is Carroll prowling New York City--playing basketball, getting high, getting hooked, and searching for something pure.--lastgasp.com
One of my favorite books of all time, The Basketball Diaries is a cross roads between Go Ask Alice and Ball Don't Lie. Not only does it incorporate basketball, but also real life in the drug infested 1960s and its effect on one of its most promising minds.
And then I reread it. At least twice. Intense, yes, and poetic, but also totally accessible. Tragic, in a way, but also hopeful, and even, at times, funny.
I don't want to re-read it or read other reviews. I don't want to spoil my memory.
I don't know, the prose is clean and filled with the kind of slang that makes the episodes whip right by in a frenzy, which is probably the effect he's looking for. He just lays it out all on the line and gives it to you for exactly what it's worth. It happens to be worth a lot, but don't go expecting literature or the typical linear story curve. It's dirty fun for those curious about what another life might be like.