Sunday, January 29, 2006
If you are aching to fill the void of verité left by the discrediting of A Million Little Pieces, a well-written account of grappling with drug addiction by Jim Carroll was published in 1987 called Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries 1971-1973. This is an excellent read,humorous and not devoid of pathos yet not sugar-coated. There are no saccharine redemption passages that will make you want to hack up a hairball. This book holds the distinction of containing the most exquisitely revolting yet riveting passage I've ever read. Jim Carroll had a brief dollop of notoriety with his post-punk NYC anthem "People Who Died" which was something of a minor hit in the USA. Also his Basketball Diaries has received much acclaim and a film was made of same. At no time ever would Carroll be invited to star on Oprah for a touchy-feely cry about his journey on the path, but true life is not so pat and tidy anyway, and pith and grit makes for a read that is much more honest, compelling and cathartic. Two lounging-on-the-sofa-reading-on-a-rainy-day-tits-up. Way up.