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Living at the Movies

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  418 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Originally published in 1973, Living at the Movies was the first aboveground publication of the work of Jim Carroll, author of the now-classic Basketball Diaries and a singer-songwriter whom Newsweek called "contender for the title of rock's new poet laureate." In these poems, all written before the age of twenty-two, Carroll shows an uncanny virtuosity. His power and pois ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published September 24th 1981 by Penguin Books (first published 1973)
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4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  418 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Eddie Watkins
Sep 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Jim Carroll died last week so I revisited this, my favorite collection of his poetry.

Reading it now one thing that stands out, besides my own abiding affection for the work, is his strange fixation on the word “blue”. Poets should have strange affinities for particular words, using them as all-purpose condensations of meaning, as noun as adjective as whatever. It emphasises the malleable and fluid nature of language, and puts language in its proper place as something that we can use, like paint
Feb 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. It's so hard for me to understand why he isn't more famous.
Dana Jerman
Jun 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Poetry. The not so great kind. But nevertheless a solid effort.
Sometimes cruddy poetry leaves you with an inspired feeling about your own.
Jon Vreeland
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been a Jim Carroll fan since I was a teen and like a stupid asshole I never read his first book until now. It’s the ultimate Jim Carroll poetry with the veracity of a true immortal—Jim is highly underrated. That is all.
Deborah Edwards
Oct 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal-faves
Reposting this review: RIP Jim Carroll, poet, punk rocker, inspiration. Thank you for expanding the boundaries of my mind at an early age. May all of the other "People Who Died" be there to greet you.

I read this book when I was twelve years old. An aunt gave me a tattered copy of it, knowing I liked poetry, but not knowing that Jim Carroll's poetry might change the chemistry of my brain cells forever. At twelve, I found it strange and dangerous. By the time I was seventeen, I had researched the
Oct 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
I've heard that you really need to read this book as a companion to "The Basketball Diaries," and I haven't read that book nor seen the movie, so perhaps that is my problem with this book. A strikingly effective image every five pages or so doesn't qualify as poetry to me; the words need to be spot on a much higher percentage than that for me. This book could use some heavy editing but then there wouldn't be enough for a book, I guess.
Jan 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
His first collection of poem before NODThe Book of Nods. Although I read it much after Nod.
I find the imagines fresh and abstract.
There is a fantastic sense of scale. I picture a boat in a cup of coffee. A dutch oven being dragged around on the floor.
It is like entering a dream.
The poet is aware of Rimbau, another of the young talented and reckless.
Melissa Arguello
Jun 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Written during the time of Basketball Diaries and Forced Entry( both are like a pt. 1 and 2 of eachother)these poems so far are like glimplses into what he calls nods-high on smack, or not, and reflecting on his life, the moment. Something I wish i had mastered.
Nov 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
One of the reasons I tried to write poetry (and if you've read any of mine, you'd know that that's probably not the best endorsement for Carroll's work). Totally inspirational at that time in my life.
Nom de Plume
Mar 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Found a worn out copy in a used book store, owned by a strange old man with two fat cats wandering through the shelves. I sat down in one of his beat up easy chairs and read from cover to cover before leaving buying it.

Love at frist READ!
James Payne
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Not great. The best poems in the collection are good in the sense that derivations of Frank O'Hara are generally good. The collection was written before Carroll was 22, but that caveat alone doesn't add much to the reading experience. There are good lines, some good poems, but it's uneven at best.
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Sublime imagery
William Lawrence
Sep 11, 2009 rated it liked it
I didn't get into this collection until about halfway through. The middle of this book glows.
Cynthia Paschen
Oct 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
These poems made me fall in love with Jim Carroll. I still remember staring at his face on the front of my paperback copy.
Apr 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Read this and The Basketball Diaries at the same time. Not a poetry expert, but I enjoyed it enough!
Jun 21, 2008 marked it as to-read
Jim is the man
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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.