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Forced Entries- The Downtown Diaries: 1971-1973

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,187 ratings  ·  69 reviews
The illuminating, shocking, humorous diary that tells all about the sex, the drugs and the atmosphere of New York in the late '60s and early '70s. A supremely entertaining book that will expand the legion of Carroll's fans.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 7th 1987 by Penguin Books USA Inc. (first published June 1987)
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3.90  · 
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 ·  1,187 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Paquita Maria Sanchez
Shut the fuck up, Jim Carroll. Sure, I thought The Basketball Diaries was a raw, true-to-life, gritty drama when I was 12 years old. More truthfully, my admiration was probably the result of a combination of wanting to make kissy faces with Leonardo DiCaprio, wanting to save this "hunk" (that was for you, eh!) from his own desperate shortcomings, and feeling shocked at the realities of drug addiction. Fortunately (and unfortunately), since I was a whee 12 year old lassie, a few things have chang ...more
Feb 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
The abcess part of this book was revoting and hilarious. You all have been warned....
Katya Mills
Jan 12, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading Jim Carroll's movement from all out junkie in NYC to mostly clean weedhead in California then traveling back to NYC to re-experience it like a challenge he was taking on for himself in his new sparkly dried out persona. - may he rest in peace - You almost think the kid didn't stand much of a chance, hobnobbing with celebrity at Max's and getting dissed by Warhol over the phone, because Warhol only wanted to talk to him when he was wired on speed (and recorded these phone calls ...more
Patrick O'Neil
Nov 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Jim, Jim, Jim. What can I say? Well, I probably wouldn't be saying that I didn't really like your book if you were still alive, because I have way too much respect for you. But then because you died I was thinking about you when I was looking around the used book store and I came across Forced Entries and wondered how in hell I'd never read it. The Basketball Diaries was like an anthem when I was growing up. When I saw you play with your band at the Mabuhay Gardens in SF you didn't disappoint. Y ...more
Greg Swallow
Jul 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the first Jim Carroll book I've ever read. Sure, I watched "The Basketball Diaries" and it was interesting years ago, but nothing to crow about. I had two other books in my hands from the local library and I saw this one on the "new / featured titles" section so I added it to the stack.

The book is just journal entries, embellished a bit to be sure, but Jim Carroll has a way with metaphors that I really dug. Sure I've read a little about 1970's lower east side Manhattan, and this book rei
Jessica C.
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What do I think? Well, with Jim it's forever how do I feel after I finish a book, or a poem, or listening to a tune of his? His visceral connection to the Raw, the bleeding without dying by the age of 35 forced him to continue to write. To breathe for Carroll is to write and reflect. (and shoot dope more off than on so sad). But I read him anyway. His wisecracks and singular perspective peddled him all over NYC and introduced him to the biggest names of the day. Jim liked the situation. I liked ...more
Oct 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
At the beginning of this one, Jim Carroll's working at Warhol's Factory and hanging out at the St. Mark's poetry project. His writing's much better here than in the more famous Basketball Diaries. He's housesitting for none other than Billy Burroughs, Jr. (given a fake name) near the beginning and houseguest Allen Ginsberg has a misadventure offstage with Carroll's girlfriend's vibrator, reprising his role as the loyal old warped uncle type--as he was to Burroughs, Jr and Jan Kerouac before Carr ...more
Bob Schnell
Best known for "The Basketball Diaries" and the song "People Who Died", Jim Carroll was a young man on the NY art scene in the bohemian heyday of the late 1960s and early 1970s. This book/journal covers 1970-1973 and deals primarily with his heroin and methamphetamine addictions. There are plenty of anecdotes that students of the Warhol scene will find amusing and/or illuminating. There are also plenty of gross-out scenes that I could have done without. All in all, it is a nice collection of sto ...more
Melissa Arguello
Dec 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
Jim Carroll is brilliant, a true artist of literary proportions. Sounds like B.S., but its true. Reading about his crazy life, one adventure to the next, and realizing that he actually lived through it all, not just survived, is really inspiring. He has an air of honesty mixed with a pose of smug streecat ambition. But he is also raw, and that part of him always wins out in the end. So, I personally recommend anything by him, if you want your skull ripped off and replaced with illuminating optim ...more
May 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those with strong stomachs
Recommended to Wendy by: Paul Grimsley
Warning! This book is not for anyone with a weak stomach. You may feel the need to scrub yourself with a Brillo pad after reading this book, but I say it's worth it if you really want to get into the gritty folds of a New York poet and all of the elbows he rubs in this journey. See the likes of Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and even Salvador Dali and Bob Dylan at their worst in this tale of a writer who struggles with his addictions, his faith, and his muse, and some other inte ...more
Feb 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
I've read this book over and over, though I've only read the Basketball Diaries once. This diary takes place in the early 70's, when Jim Carroll is the new hotshot poet on the block (imagine a world where it's possible to even be a hotshot poet!), hanging out at the Factory with Andy Warhol, having Allen Ginsberg sleep on his couch, and getting tongue tied around Bob Dylan. And of course there are drugs. Lots and lots of Warholian superstar drugs. The writing style is unpretentious and funny, wh ...more
I can't say I enjoyed this as much as I thought I would due to the fact that the names were changed and composite characters substituted to protect the guilty. In spite of this, I thought I recognized some of the people like Patti Smith and Brigid Polk. Also, for someone who spent every night at Max's Kansas City, we get very little detail about the infamous watering hole.

Still, there were some funny stories which make this worth reading. It just won't add much for folks who have read Please Kil
Jul 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
The part about meeting Bob Dylan and Auden is great. Ginsberg with a vibrator is gold.

A very enjoyable, personal, and unpretentious look at the art and drug worlds in the '70s. Evokes New York in a way many other books cannot. The humor is warm, and despite all the drugs and craziness, it is really a celebration of life.
Nov 11, 2008 rated it liked it
More clever and evolved than basketball diaries... seems like Carroll was in the right place at the right time. From a chance run in on the street with Dali to working for Warhol he's really sucking the marrow out the bone... the chapter on Ginsberg entitled "the poet and the vibrator" is priceless...
Virginia Davis
May 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A gritty, humorous, sometimes frightfully disturbing portrait of day-to-day life from multi-media artist, Jim Carroll. Only the talented Jim Carroll could portray drug addiction, seedy New York City life in the seventies, and raw,conflicted emotions to read as beautiful poetry. Outstanding "creative fiction" from one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century.
Courtney Morse
Jul 05, 2007 rated it liked it
I read this while living in NYC, it makes you realize how much the city has changed, but also how much it hasn't changed. I dogeared some of the sights that he frequented and did my own little Jim Caroll tour of NYC - it was nice.
Paul Grimsley
May 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A real look at the inside of a world where characters such as Ginsberg and Warhol's Factory commingle. I was disappointed when I found out there were only two volumes of Caroll's diaries because they really zip along and there is not a single bit of unnecessary text in this book.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I saw Jim Carroll do a reading of his work at Central Park's Summer Stage in 1996, not long after first seeing and then reading The Basketball Diaries. I had liked the movie and quite enjoyed the book, and the reading was quite fun: nothing can really compare to hearing the words directly from his mouth, and recounting tangential stories and background information on the material he chose to read.

I wish I could say the same about this later set of "diaries" (quotes used because he acknowledges i
"...I don't want to become a cynical prick."- Jim Carroll, 1973

"TOO LATE, MOTHERFUCKER!!!"- Dimestore Liam, 2017

At his best, Carroll was an incredibly talented writer, but this book is at best uneven, and at worst so hopelessly bad and worthless that I greatly resented the fact that I paid $5.00 for it. I thought the most telling scene in the book was fairly early in the narrative when he was watching the NBA All-Star game, and said "I fucked up."; that is most likely the most honest sentence
Annie. Gable
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved the basketball diaries a lot and it's now one of my favorite books. But this second one didn't get to me as much as that one did. Maybe it's because when Jim Carroll wrote the basketball diaries he was a teenager and I'm a teenager. But this book didn't stick to me as much as that one did. But I did really in joy it.
Brandon Mclaughlin
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing read it, in one night, I love his writing.
Jul 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
Cynthia Moore
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nitty gritty- great stuff.
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: truetrue, druuuugs
I used to really go in for books like this when I was young and thought that New York was the epicenter of all things cool.
Stephen Kaldon
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've just re-read this book after first reading in 1987, now that I have a commute that leaves me some time to catch up on my reading. My only regret in life is that I was born 10 years to late to really experience what was going in the NewYork art scene circa late 1960's early 1970's, as I came into it as a semi-participant, late 70's and early 80's. My re-read gives me a feeling of nostalgia and longing for a time that was the last great inclusive movement for art, music, and culture in New Yo ...more
Schuyler Arnold
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I bought Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries (FE) by Jim Carroll off of Amazon because this novel is the sequel to one of my favorite books/movies, The Basketball Diaries. The Basketball Diaries is a memior by Carroll about his teen years, when he was abusing drugs and pushing the limits of life. Now, in FE, Carroll is in his early twenties, and still abusing herion just as much as he did in his teen years. Despite living with a controlling addiction, Carroll was a rising star in the creative d ...more
Jenny Gonzalez- Blitz
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiography, nyc, drugs
A lot of things have changed since the NYC of Jim Carroll (these are journals circa 71-73) yet there's something essential about art and New York that still seems relatable in sanitized, Disnified 2013. Struggling in squalor on day and brushing elbows with cultural icons an evening later. Feeling a desire to escape this town and one's history here, and finding other places not really livable, though there's at least one hilarious vignette during Jim's brief suburban California stint that involve ...more
Dec 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own-it, 2010
I really could not get into this. I'm not entirely sure why. It's the 1st Jim Carroll book I read. I can't compare it to other work.

I eat lunch with a 70 yr old, artist/genius/local character known as F.U. Bob. Here's what he had to say about it:

"Rachel, what are you reading? Jim Carroll? Does he ever write anything besides diaries? What? It says here he was in a band. It's nothing I've heard. Was he a rock star of some sort? I didn't know he was dead. Was it drug related?

He seems to only hang
Sep 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Jim Carroll was such a wonderful soul and the world really lost something when he died. This book is essential. On the surface, yeah, it's about a super interesting time in history and there are plenty of stories of Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol and sex and drugs in NYC, but the real strength is Jim Carroll's prose, which is simply incredible. I've never read any of his poetry (oddly, since that's really what he's known for- then again I'm not really a poetry guy) but he wr ...more
Feb 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I'm a big Jim Carroll fan. I've read The Basketball Diaries multiple times, own copies of some of his poetry books and can shout the lyrics to "People who Died" at the top of my lungs.

But I never realized that this book was in existence until someone told me about it on twitter. So then I got myself a copy through interlibrary loan, and dove in.

It basically follows the period after The Basketball Diaries. Carroll is still having major problems with heroin, but he's getting more into writing and
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James Dennis "Jim" Carroll was an author, poet, autobiographer, and punk musician. Carroll was best known for his 1978 autobiographical work The Basketball Diaries, which was made into the 1995 film of the same name with Leonardo DiCaprio as Carroll.
“That, I realized, is the great beauty of dreams: the devil may inevitably find a way to jerk you off, but you can always wake up before he makes you cum.” 37 likes
“Violence is so terribly fast . . . the most perverse thing about the movies is the way they portray it in slow motion, allowing it to be something sensuous . . . the viewer's lips slightly wet as the scene plays out. Violence is nothing like that. It is lightning fast, chaotic, and totally intangible. ” 30 likes
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