|Plot Summary of The Basketball Diaries|
|"It is 1964 in New York City's Lower East Side of Manhattan. Jim Carroll, the teenage diarist, records his games as a basketball star in his diaries. Something happens to him,
and he mistakes the fact (as he explains to his mother)
that it's actually heroin you can get addicted to, not marijuana. So he causally
begins to skin-pop heroin, then inject it directly into his veins with a needle. He is
laughing at that old junkie phrase about the monkey being on his back. But
it is no laugh to him when he runs out, and gets the skin creeps, and the fever,
and the chills. His addiction increases, and Jim, while he stills attends high school,
and high school games, increasingly turns to the underground life. He supports his
habit by selling his body to gay men, calling it "perversion for profit". Eventually, he
lands in Rikers, a prison, for a month. But this does not reform him, and in the end,
he's on the nod, "looking for something pure".
Joan Clare, Resident Scholar
|"In the midst of the Cold War, war in Vietnam, race riots in New York City, and a turning point in American culture between "Leave It to Beaver" and Woodstock, Jim Carroll began writing his "basketball diaries" at the age of 12. He's an all-city basketball star at an ivy league prep school leading a double life, experimenting with drugs, getting hooked, hustling gay men to support what will become an epic heroin addiction, and . . . becoming a poet. This is an incredibly funny book as well as a remarkable document of a key period in American culture -- but read it for the language! Even better, read it and then listen to the audio book read by Carroll."
Cassie Carter, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of The Basketball Diaries|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Time/era of story
Kids growing up/acting up?
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Age group of kid(s) in story:
- high school
Something wrong upstairs/downstairs?
- searching for identity/meaning
- druggie culture (& crime)
- gay guy urges
- sports figure
- a teen
- White (American)
How sensitive is this character?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
- hard edged
Sense of humor
- Strong but gentle sense of humor
- Cynical sense of humor
- Very much smarter than other characters
- very athletic
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- throughout most of the book.
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 10 ()
- New York
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- moderately detailed references to deaths
- explicit references to torture
Sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- vague references
- touching of anatomy
- actual description of hetero sex
- descript. of female anat. (the big B's)
- descript. of female anat. (the big V)
- descript. of nude males (the big P)
- male homosexuals doing their thing
- rape/molest (yeech!)
Lot of foul language?
- a lot of stream of consciousness
- written like a journal/diary/letters
Amount of dialog
- significantly more descript than dialog
Click here for more information about this book
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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