Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 307
Although many today only know Carroll's prose writings, he made his start in the literary world as a poet. Fear of Dreaming: The Selected Poems of Jim Carroll (1993) includes poems from Living at the Movies (1973) and The Book of Nods (1986) as well as several more recent poems. This collection gives a portrait of Carroll as an artist in various stages of his writing career.
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Carroll's Forced Entries (1987) continues the autobiographical story of the author's drug addiction, starting five years after the last entry in The Basketball Diaries. However, in his first diary collection, Carroll detailed how he became a heroin addict. In this one, he describes his fight to overcome his addiction.
In 1954, Aldous Huxley, a well-known author, published The Doors of Perception, a small, journalistic book detailing his experiences while under the influence of mescaline, a hallucinogenic drug. First-person accounts of drug use from later journalists like Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe have since overshadowed Huxley' s book, which was very controversial in its time.
Hunter S. Thompson is infamous for the massive amounts of drugs that he uses in the course of writing his provocative journalistic pieces. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream (1972), his best-known work, documents the journey of Thompson and a friend through Las Vegas. Over the course of the journey, the two men consume large amounts of alcohol, marijuana, mescaline, acid, cocaine, and various other drugs, while seeking the elusive American Dream.
Irvine Welsh's first novel, Trainspotting (1993), offers a gritty portrait of heroin addiction among teenagers in modern Edinburgh, Scotland. The main character, Mark Renton, like Carroll in The Basketball Diaries, spends most of his time on the street with a gang of delinquents who do whatever it takes—including committing a variety of crimes—to get their next heroin fix.