Drugstore Cowboy

James Fogle, Author Delta $15 (224p) ISBN 978-0-385-30224-1
Fogle's story of four marauding drug addicts who travel through the Pacific Northwest looting narcotics from drugstore pharmacies was the basis for the movie of the same name. Drawing on his own experience, the author, who has spent 35 of his 53 years in prison, has taken a decidedly downbeat topic--drug addiction--and transformed it into a wry, often satirical commentary on the potential for anarchy and aimlessness in the lives of American youth. Bob Hughes is the ringleader of the group, planning elaborate schemes to distract checkout clerks and pharmacists from the treasured--and locked--narcotics drawers behind the prescription counter. In one such incident, Bob has his ``old lady'' Diane set fire to a section of merchandise while his partner Rick sets off smoke bombs, with Rick's girlfriend Nadine screaming ``Fire!'' at the top of her lungs. Fogle's description of the thieves' drug use is realistic yet restrained. The dialogue tends to be hokey, with characters venturing into various ungrammatical speech patterns, and there is annoying sermonizing about rotten police, corrupt politicians and virtuous dope fiends. But overall this is an extremely likable, fast-paced, humorously wrought tale of losers living on the edge. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
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