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Home > Research > Album Reviews > Review of The Basketball Diaries Audiobook

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 ISBN 0-944993-87-7

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

   

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