The Basketball Diaries book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The urban classic coming-of-age story about sex, drugs, and. The Basketball Diaries is a memoir written by author and musician Jim Carroll. It is an The book was made into a film of the same name in starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jim Carroll and Mark Wahlberg as Mickey. The Basketball Diaries: The Classic About Growing Up Hip on New York's Mean Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the month in fiction, nonfiction.

The Basketball Diaries Book

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The Basketball Diaries [Jim Carroll] on The comparable titles is where the similarities end however the book and the film are completely. The urban classic coming-of-age story about sex, drugs, and basketball Jim Carroll grew earn your way to a free book! The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll. Judging from the title, I expected the diary to be a boring boys' book about basketball; once I had read the first few pages, however, I realized my assumption.

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These profane words are used to describe sexual acts—in which case he uses many—and are often used for emphasis, even when describing relatively normal events. Carroll also includes a lot of slang—a type of language used in everyday life by common men and women, typically those in the lower or working classes.

Slang words are often established words that have been given different meanings.

The Basketball Diaries

For example, in the English language , a "spade" is a gardening tool. However, in street slang, a spade is an African American. This term is derogatory, which is another common characteristic of slang words. Sex, drugs, and alcohol are three areas in which slang is often used. For example, Carroll refers to sexual intercourse as "nooky," calls condoms "scumbags," and refers to breasts as "knocks.

Imagery The imagery in the diaries is also graphic. For example, Carroll and his friends come across a woman who has committed suicide by jumping out of a window. Says Carroll: "I spot a long deep gorge in her ankle and it's oozing blood in slowmotion spurts.

For example, as he is about to say goodbye to his girlfriend before basketball practice one day, he states that she "socks her tongue in my mouth and grinds her sweet bottom up against me. On one occasion, Carroll describes what it looks like when he shoots up: "Just such a pleasure to tie up above that mainline with a woman's silk stocking and hit the mark and watch the blood rise into the dropper like a certain desert lily.

After these demonstrations, several countries, including the Soviet Union , rushed to create and test their own atomic bombs. The resulting tension between the Soviet Union and the United States—and between communism and democracy in general—was labeled the Cold War, and for good reason. Although much of the period was technically spent in peace, the pervasive feeling of suspicion and paranoia that was generated by this clash of superpowers made many feel that they were fighting a war.

In the diaries, Carroll describes on many occasions what it was like growing up as a "war baby" in a major city during the Cold War, living in constant fear that he was going to die in a nuclear attack: It's always been the same, growing up in Manhattan. Most Americans were unaware of this involvement, since U. However, in , the United States escalated its involvement, adding fifty thousand new ground troops to the twenty-three thousand already stationed in Vietnam.

At this point, the U. Many people, like Carroll, were forced to take a side in this conflict. The Counterculture in the s Carroll, like many other members of the counterculture—a group of people who rebelled against the U.

The counterculture grew as many people, especially American youth, became hippies or junkies. Hippies wore their hair long, dressed in deliberately shabby clothes, and believed in nonviolent forms of antiwar protest such as sit-ins and peace marches.

Hippies tended to use recreational drugs, particularly marijuana and LSD; they believed these drugs freed their minds and gave them better understanding about the human condition. Junkies shared many characteristics with hippies, however, junkies like Carroll were mainly interested in getting high, and were not opposed to violence and crime. In fact, as Martin Gilbert notes in his book, A History of the Twentieth Century, Volume Three: "The need to supply and finance the drug habit, if necessary by theft and violence, undermined the moral outlook of many individuals.

Some seek to escape the horrors of guerilla war by using illicit drugs like marijuana and heroin—the latter of which is cheap and readily available in Southeast Asia. The terrorist attacks spark a patriotic response, and many young men and women choose to enlist in the armed forces. The counterculture movement of the s and s helps to promote this increased use of drugs, especially marijuana and LSD.

Heroin, which is used by junkies drug addicts , is often avoided by hippies. Today: The heroin-related deaths of River Phoenix, Kurt Cobain, and other prominent celebrities spark a national awareness of heroin abuse. Although the use of illicit drugs is still a problem in the United States, drug use has dropped by nearly 45 percent since its peak in the late s. Pregnancy is less a concern with the increased use of birth-control pills.

Likewise, some sexually transmitted diseases, like gonorrhea, can often be treated by easily obtained prescription antibiotics. Today: Although U. Critical Overview By the time The Basketball Diaries was published in a limited-edition book in , and again in wider distribution in , it was already a hit with underground readers.

Literary critics soon followed suit. Many of them, such as Jamie James in his review of the book for American Book Review, discuss the gritty nature of the book. As James notes, it is "a blow-by-blow account of a season in Hell. Says James of the book, it "is a literary miracle; a description of the formation of an artistic sensibility written by the artist, not in retrospect, but in the process.

The album's lyrics were rough and dark, like his diaries, and several music critics commented on the book in the course of reviewing the album. In his review of the album for Stereo Review Magazine, Steven Simels calls the book "a scary, mordantly funny odyssey along the dark underbelly of the Sixties, a virtuoso performance that ought to be must reading for those who still tend to romanticize the counterculture.

The same was true in , when the book was reprinted to coincide with the film adaptation of the book. This time around, with the help of a tie-in cover featuring actor Leonardo DiCaprio, the book landed on the bestseller list.

MacAdams notes "the miracle of Jim Carroll," a boy who "wrote like an angel, creating a transcendent autobiography.

Says Jebian: "Words that might bore or disgust if spouted by a dirty old man sitting on your couch instead shock and amaze when uttered by a tender-aged youth in a pre-political correctness era. In her article for Dionysos: Literature and Addiction Quarterly, Carter notes that The Basketball Diaries "performs an amazing feat of alchemy, transforming the waste of Carroll's adolescence into a victory.

Most of the negative criticism has centered on the book's graphic depictions of sex, violence, and drug use, and the book has been banned in certain areas as a result. Carneal claimed that a scene depicting one of Carroll's classroom-shooting fantasies from the book had encouraged him to kill his classmates.

Criticism Ryan D. Poquette Poquette has a bachelor's degree in English and specializes in writing about literature. Jim Carroll fills his autobiographical diaries with graphic language and imagery and includes situations that take the reader from one extreme emotion to another. When it hits a blue note, it is harrowing. Gums's family makes a big fuss about his potentially dangerous involvement in the Vietnam War, but Carroll finds out that the boy is really only going to serve six months in a local reserve unit.

As Carroll notes, "from the scene here you'd think old Gums had to assassinate Chairman Mao with a water pistol. He is still drinking it when two police arrive, "not believing for sure anything they see, Bobby not budging but biting away, cash register wrecked on the floor and the grilled cheese sandwich which Bobby forgot about burning to a crisp.

When he resurfaces after a four-day high, he notices two sets of needles next to him "in the slightly bloody water in the plastic cup on the crusty linoleum, probably used by every case of hepatitis in upper Manhattan by now.

On one occasion when he is strung out, he waits the hour that it will take for a dose of methadone—a slower-acting drug—to take effect. Even ordinary situations, like the many basketball games that Carroll plays, fall into one of two extremes—he either plays well or he takes drugs and plays horribly. In the beginning of the diaries, Carroll is a basketball star. The diaries are filled with several accounts of Carroll and his team dominating lesser teams. For example, at one point, Carroll's team is shorthanded while playing another team, but "it was the lamest bunch of saps ever put on a court, this other team, and we wiped them out by at least forty points.

As for Carroll himself, he easily impresses girls at his games. For example, he describes one game, during which the girls in the stands open their legs wider and wider as they let out "oohs" and "ahhs" to show their amazement at Carroll's athletic ability.

This phenomenon increases "in direct proportion to each 'ooh' that by the time I dunked one backwards I could almost distinguish what color panties each chick sitting there was wearing. In reality, they drag him down. At thirteen, Carroll is sniffing cleaning fluid. On another occasion, he is able to drink an enormous amount—two bottles—of codeine cough syrup before a party.

When he first starts using heroin, he mainlines it, meaning that he injects it directly into a vein as opposed to injecting it into his skin or sniffing the dry powder.

Novice heroin users usually avoid mainlining, since the high is so strong and it is easier to overdose.

Jim Carroll, Poet and Punk Rocker Who Wrote ‘The Basketball Diaries’, Dies at 60

Says Carroll, "Tony said I might as well skin pop it. I said OK. Then Pudgy says, 'Well, if you're gonna put a needle in, you might as well mainline it. Although many today only know Carroll's prose writings, he made his start in the literary world as a poet.

This collection gives a portrait of Carroll as an artist in various stages of his writing career. Carroll's Forced Entries continues the autobiographical story of the author's drug addiction , starting five years after the last entry in The Basketball Diaries. However, in his first diary collection, Carroll detailed how he became a heroin addict. In this one, he describes his fight to overcome his addiction.

In , Aldous Huxley, a well-known author, published The Doors of Perception, a small, journalistic book detailing his experiences while under the influence of mescaline, a hallucinogenic drug. First-person accounts of drug use from later journalists like Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe have since overshadowed Huxley's book, which was very controversial in its time.

Hunter S. Thompson is infamous for the massive amounts of drugs that he uses in the course of writing his provocative journalistic pieces. Over the course of the journey, the two men consume large amounts of alcohol, marijuana, mescaline, acid, cocaine, and various other drugs, while seeking the elusive American Dream. Irvine Welsh's first novel, Trainspotting , offers a gritty portrait of heroin addiction among teenagers in modern Edinburgh, Scotland.

The main character, Mark Renton, like Carroll in The Basketball Diaries, spends most of his time on the street with a gang of delinquents who do whatever it takes—including committing a variety of crimes—to get their next heroin fix. Carroll's deliberate statement that this incident is true highlights its extreme nature.

In fact, after another extreme episode, Carroll notes: "You probably figure I made this one up, but I swear every word is true. In his review for Creem, Richard Riegel calls The Basketball Diaries "a disturbingly seamless mixture of fact and fiction.

Says Delacorte: "Of course, from the author's point of view the reader's confusion on such a point is absolutely irrelevant, as long as the reader stays interested. At the end of one of the rare entries that does not include an outrageous situation, Carroll notes that this particular entry is boring.

Most people's lives are not that interesting. Despite the popular demand for biographies of interesting people, on a day-to-day basis most people—even celebrities—lead normal, and even boring, lives.

Not Carroll, however. In his life, as depicted by The Basketball Diaries, there little boredom; readers are treated to a continuous, exciting variety of extreme dialogue, imagery, situations, and characters. However, in the end, the diaries are true, even if Carroll did make some of it up. They offer an accurate reflection of what life was like for kids like Carroll, growing up on the tough streets of New York in the s.

At one point in his diaries, Carroll says that most people are unaware of what life is like in the city. He says that he will soon let people "know what's really going down in the blind alley out there in the pretty streets with double garages.

I got a tap on all your wires, folks. I'm just really a wise ass kid getting wiser. His is the voice of criminals, junkies, prostitutes, and other urban characters who, like him, have struggled against their disadvantaged surroundings and who have failed to "become pure. Erik France France holds an M. In the following essay, France discusses both historical context and the tradition of the poet as rebel in The Basketball Diaries.

The importance of the historical content highlighted in the published text is heightened by comparison with the financially successful movie adaptation, starring actor Leonardo Di Caprio that was released in In the latter version, all references to the s are excised; the setting in the movie version is still New York City, but it is a very different, much more affluent and much more apolitical version of the city apparently of early-to mids vintage.

Indeed, even though the movie quotes extensively from the printed version, it loses much of the charm and background tension and interest rendered in the book. The original diarist makes much of the atomic jitters caused by the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and ferment caused by class and racial friction, indirectly and at times directly using his and societal fears as justifications for his rebellious attitude, drug-use, and generally antisocial, at times violently sociopathic behavior.

In his "Author's Note" to Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries, , Jim Carroll writes: "This diary is not the literal truth and is not meant to be a historical recounting of the period.

The entries were consciously embellished and fictionalized to some extent. My purpose was simply to convey the texture of my experience and feelings for that period. What the reader can gain from the early diaries is a sense of what life was like in New York City during a three-year period for a precocious adolescent and teenager who was a good basketball player, drug addict, and neophyte poet.

From his wry observations, often dangerous preoccupation and conflicts, one can also learn much about attitudes that oppose his, the prevailing norms, and generally what was going on culturally. Simply put, Jim Carroll's rebelliousness tapped into a relatively small but growing societal discontent that was building momentum for the entire duration of that historical period. One of Jim Carroll's heroes throughout the diaries is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan , an important cultural rebel and icon of the period and ever since.

A Summer 64 diary entry observes: "I spent most of the time just drinking beer in the corner and listening to Dylan on the jukebox.

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This makes perfect sense in that Dylan defined himself as rebel-poet, the very thing Jim Carroll wanted to become in full. Bob Dylan could fuse the power and possibilities of poetry with music, passionately rail against the things in society he didn't like, and become rich and famous all at the same time. Technically, he couldn't even sing very well, an evident fact that inspired all sorts of aspiring poets and singers. Indeed, Jim Carroll himself eventually in the late s formed a rock band and sang his own poems and lyrics just like his hero, including "People Who Died," a very memorable song on the album Catholic Boy that chronicles the deaths of friends and acquaintances, many of whom appear and whose deaths are mentioned or similarly described in entries of The Basketball Diaries.

This song also appears in the movie version, tying four art forms written diary, poetry, music, and cinema together. It is worth noting that Carroll's voice has an imprint that is almost equally affected and unique as Dylan's.

For Carroll as a boy, as with heroin, once hooked, it would have been difficult to avoid his interest in Dylan, for during the approximate period covered by the diaries, Dylan released no fewer than six very influential albums; indeed, halfway through the period he caused a ruckus among folk music "purists" by changing from acoustic to electric guitar. Carroll, in a Winter entry, describing an incident shooting up heroin, notes: "Bob Dylan, he's in the radio.

He glows in the dark and my fingers are just light feathers falling and fading down…" Carroll was sensitive enough to discover that Dylan did not and does not carry his appeal to everyone, in one case to an African-American friend. In the spring of , after the electric album Highway 61 Revisited had climbed the predominantly white popular music charts, Carroll noted in his diary: "I tell my friend play Dylan … 'Who he?

This loosely defined group of poets and writers included novelist Jack Kerouac , author of On the Road , poet Allen Ginsberg , author of "Howl" , and writer William S.

Carroll does not inform the reader whether these are important influences on him at the time as well, but their impact and his meetings with some of the Beat figures is definitively mentioned in Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries, As with his fondness for Dylan, this again make sense, for Carroll shares many of the same values and interests as the Beats.


In fact, Carroll's preoccupation with drug addictions, especially with heroin, parallels Burroughs' recounting of his own addictions in the memoir, Junky. All three of these key Beat Generation figures spent formative college years in New York City during the World War II barely twenty years before the events and musings of The BasketballDiaries, so he shared the same geographical space, the same sense of rebelliousness, a common exposure to drugs, numerous including sometimes bizarre sexual encounters, and at times criminal behavior.

With Ginsberg he shared a love of poetry and a sense that prevailing society must be questioned and challenged because of its at best apathetic and at worst reactionary politics. They all enjoyed bucking the status quo, a hallmark of and now a stereotyped way of viewing the s. In The Basketball Diaries, Jim Carroll frequently argues with his father over societal and political issues that raged during the period.

In the movie version, it is worth noting, Carroll's father is edited out along with the s. Carroll's father, in the book version, sides with the status quo along with most of white Americans at the time: to show one's patriotism, one should trust and not criticize the government or religious institutions. But Jim Carroll distrusted, and he criticized vociferously. It really teaches about things that can be very dangerous and unhealthy and how one can lose themselves in something they think they have control of.

It tells a lot more than the film. If you like the film or didn't like the film you should enjoy the book. Great writer. Great seller experience.

Jim Carroll was New York, for the good and the bad, and this book is an overlooked master-class in true. I last read this book about 30 years ago, so my memory is a bit hazy maybe cuz I read this book and thought Jim Carroll was a role model , but all that aside, it was a very interesting account of growing up in NYC in the 60's. The movie kinda sucked, but maybe that's my anti DeCaprio bias.

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If you want similar movies that are much better, try Trianspotting, or Drugstore Cowboy both available, I'm sure, on site. Anyway, I digress it is a very good book. Jim Carroll is a talented writer, and his decent into heroin addiction seems to be realistic, and honest.

It's very short, maybe pgs, not much more than a novella, so worth a read. I decided to read the book because I very much enjoy the movie. It is an extremely interesting but fairly short book. If you like the movie and dont mind picking up a book every now and again, its worth a read. Son loved this book! I recommend it! See all reviews. There's a problem loading this menu right now.

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Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Sell on site Start a Selling Account. siteGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. site Inspire Digital Educational Resources. site Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go.His mother had died, and he had made peace with his father, who was reduced to visiting her grave every day. Carroll talks about a junkie friend who is in prison for two years.

The diaries began, innocently: I think I might take this book of poems which has about 60 pages and the best of some of my old poems and make that a book. What a feeling. But, I will be skeptical of how they happened.

COLLETTE from Lacey
I do relish reading books monthly . Look through my other posts. I'm keen on jumping.