Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Written for the Road...

For a teenage diary, this is extremely well written. Jim Carroll was clearly a gifted writer, and his diary brings the New York City streets of the mid-60's to life. His vivid descriptions of growing up as a street wise kid on the mean streets of the city clearly paint a picture of the period.

That said, this is was NOT a fun book to read. There is much about Carroll's life in this period that is not pretty. His growing dependency on drugs is readily apparent as the book progresses, as is his willingness to do almost anything to pay for his next fix. There are graphic descriptions of both the drug use and his sexual encounters, but even so there is a sense of honesty in the account that somehow seems to be redeeming. In the end, this is a powerful glimpse into a life on the streets.

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