Review: The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll

I’m pretty damn sure most… scratch that, nearly all diaries you read would bore you to death. And I’m including The Princess Diaries in that estimate! Not so here. Here you have a guy talking about boy whoring (53rd & 3rd territory), copping H and shooting up, stealing, fucking a lot, and a whole mess of things all under the age of 16. I mean fuck, this kid has lived more before 16 than I lived in all my 30 years of life. What does that say about me? Well, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’d trade with him considering where he ends up by the end of the book. By the way it shouldn’t be a spoiler to anyone who reads the first few entries. It’s clear.

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.

Final Grade: B+

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