Turn The Page: Jim Carroll — Forced Entries & Basketball Diaries

jim carroll I don’t know — I liked the film of Basketball Diaries but for some reason I do not associate the figure that comes across in those two great books with the impetuous, somewhat whiny, character that Di Caprio comes across as. Jim just seems so much smarter, so much cooler — and so much less given to the whining that passes for emotion with Dicaprio. Forced Entries is fresher in my mind because I just finished reading it. It circles around and pushes straight through the heart of the era where Warhol and his Factory cohorts ruled the world. Jim seems to have the drop on everyone — to be able to see through the bullshit masks that they all seem to throw up. He captures the horror and the wonder of a world refracted through the astigmatic lens of a drug haze, but it is not the drugs that are gloried in — it is life. It is the small things that are universally human and so damned specific that Carroll’s eye for detail leaps off the page at you that make this such a great read. Even when he is nodding out there is a coiled energy to the writing, a sick feverish intensity that carries you through. It reminds me of Huncke most out of the beats, and I mention that because I think that Carroll, though he might not say it himself, would stand as a pretty good heir to the throne. He is funnier than all of the so-called cool writers, sharper than a bunch of them, and a better writer than a lot of them. I have to admit to being disappointed at the fact that there are only two volumes of the diaries available — hopefully some more will be forthcoming, though it seems a long time since they were thought of. Yeah, Jim meets some cool people. He works with Warhol, has a run in with Dali, meets Burroughs, and describes a great scene where Peter Orlovsky, Ginsberg’s lover, has come to a a party ready to clean — with the OCD equivalent of Batman’s utility belt. You couldn’t make this shit up. It reads easy, it reads too quick — savour it. —————- Now playing: The Fall – Sinister Waltz via FoxyTunes

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