The Basketball Diaries
By: Jim Carroll
Book 72/100 Pages: 224
This is a coming of age tale, feature sex, drugs, and basketball. Growing up on New York’s “mean streets” Jim Carroll was a rebellious teen who wanted to make a name for himself during the mid-1960’s. Carroll explores New York City while exploring who he is, playing basketball, stealing, doing drugs, looking for something to latch on to.
I enjoyed this book simply for the fact it takes you to another place. New York today isn’t the same as New York in the 60’s. Carroll is a standout basketball player, top twenty prep players in the nation, but starts experiencing parties and meeting girls. Is it all truthful, maybe, but Carroll does a good job of showing how his innocence becomes corrupted by hard drugs.
This book reminded me of Catcher in the Rye, a younger me would’ve relished and entranced me with it’s tales of drug addiction and frantic search for meaning in his life. My favorite thing about the book is Carroll talking about New York, he is infatuated with it and his words paint a unique picture of NY in the sixties. The story is a search for something pure, that happiness in the fog of everyday quiet depression.