The Basketball Diaries

The Basketball Diaries

3.98 (24,401 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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The urban classic coming-of-age story about sex, drugs, and basketball Jim Carroll grew up to become a renowned poet and punk rocker. But in this memoir of the mid-1960s, set during his coming-of-age from 12 to 15, he was a rebellious teenager making a place and a name for himself on the unforgiving streets of New York City. During these years, he chronicled his experiences, and the result is a diary of unparalleled candor that conveys his alternately hilarious and terrifying teenage existence. Here is Carroll prowling New York City--playing basketball, hustling, stealing, getting high, getting hooked, and searching for something pure. The Basketball Diaries was the basis for the film of the same name starring Leonardo DiCaprio. "I met him in 1970, and already he was pretty much universally recognized as the best poet of his generation. . . . The work was sophisticated and elegant. He had beauty." -- Patti Smith
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 129.29 x 198.37 x 11.68mm | 158.76g
  • New York, NY, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0140100180
  • 9780140100181
  • 29,511

Review quote

"Filled with a kind of vitality. . . a remarkable account of New York City's lower depths."
-New York Times "His terse wit, with its archly contrived naïveté, transforms The Basketball Diaries, a tale of teenage rebellion, into a contemporary classic."-

"A generational hit." -Esquire
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About Jim Carroll

Jim Carroll's bestselling memoir The Basketball Diaries was first released in 1978 and adapted as a film in 1995. Carroll's work includes several collections of poetry as well as a asecond memoir, Forces Entries: The Downtown Diaries 1971-1973. As the leader of The Jim Carroll Band he released three albums as well as several spoken word recordings. He died in New York City on September 11, 2009.
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Rating details

24,401 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 34% (8,236)
4 38% (9,270)
3 22% (5,475)
2 4% (1,035)
1 2% (385)

Our customer reviews

This is the ultimate New York City tale of drug addiction and survival in the mean streets. Told in a diary-like format, this book remains Carroll's supreme achievement. It's absolutely authentic and real and depicts one's person hellish coming-of-age. High recommended. But be advised, there is no happy ending here. No Hollywood 'feel good' character arc. This book is both brutal and beautiful. It's packed with great writing. Don't miss it! Lest I forget, I also recommend PERMANENT OBSCURITY by Richard Perez, which is also about drugs and a crazy downward spiral -- though meant as a dark more
by Jennifer
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