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Home > Research > Book Reviews > Review of Void of Course by Heather Perry

Void of Course

Void of Course is a book of poetry written by Jim Carroll. Carroll is also a diarist and rock musician. His work is not popularly recognized, but he is widely known as the author of the book, The Basketball Diaries, upon which the 1995 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is based. Carroll's other works include The Book of Nods, Forced Entries, and Fear of Dreaming. Since his teenage years, Carroll has published numerous books of poetry. Void of Course was released in 1998. Carroll's work has also appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone and other magazines.

Each poem, out of the 75 included in Void of Course, gives insight into Carroll's thoughts and opinions. One poem, "8 Fragments for Kurt Cobain", comments on the Nirvana lead singer and guitarists' life and death. It was performed on an episode of MTV Unplugged. In the "7th Fragment" of this poem he asks,

But Kurt....
Didn't the thought that you
would never wnte another song
Another feverish line or riff
Make you think twice?
These lines are especially effective when the reader realizes that Kurt Cobain died by his own hand.

Void of Course is a beautiful and thoughtful collection of his poetry. Carroll just puts his thoughts out there and often correlates them with the odd situations we face daily. He overcomes his loss of love and deeply expresses his emotions toward the chaotic and manipulative world. In "Poem" he writes:

I was wondering if the fire within your
tears is a reflection of the city as it burns
or the residue of desire and
rage
Then again it could be a substance of my fear
These lines reflect the instability of the modern reality in which we live.

Jim Carroll's work in Void Of Course is truthful and strong which is inspiring to the teenagers of today. He helps others realize that they are not alone in what they go through. Carroll is an outstanding writer in whatever he writes, and I think his collection of poems is exceptional and inspirational. I recommend his book highly.

   

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