The Basketball Diaries (Audio Literature)
|Jim Carroll. Read by the author with musical accompaniment by
Lenny Kaye, Audio Literature. Two cassettes, 180 rains., $16.95
In the early 1960s Carroll was a scrappy New York City teen, a basketball
phenom and an above-average scholar. He was also a fiendishly
dedicated heroin addict who lost his "virgin veins" around age
13. These are his diaries from that time, a set of Tom Sawyer-style
adventures peopled with drunks, dopers and hustlers. Carroll,
now a poet and sometime rock musician living in New York, reads
in a voice that trembles and shakes with a hesitant delicacy.
He still manages to evoke his wiseass teenage outlook and a tough
anger at the world. But the entries also record the voice of a
young poet emerging, a beat romantic digging the perverse beauty
of the down-and-out. Carroll's deadpan humor lifts this program
above bleak morbidity. Carroll at 13: "It's a Friday night and
all we wanted to do was go down to the East River Park and get
drunk, do reefer and sniff glue--and that's exactly what we did."
Later, he gets a scholarship to an "ultrarich private school"
and ends up doing a stint in a Riker's Island juvenile hall. Providing
quite the ride on audio, Carroll's kiddie William Burroughs tale
is slated to be adapted to a movie starring Leonard DiCaprio.
Based on the 1969 [sic] Penguin Books edition. (Dec.)
©1994 Reed Publishing USA