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Drugstore Cowboy

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  300 ratings  ·  28 reviews
The novel that inspired the highly acclaimed film directed by Gus Van Sant

Bob Hughes, the offbeat, edgy, and slightly skewed leader of a crew of traveling junkies, describes himself as "one of the cleverest and ringiest and most notorious dope fiend drugstore cowboys on the entire West Coast, including Alaska." Bob, his wife, Diane, Rick, and Nadine have a penchant for
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Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 1st 1990 by Delta (first published 1990)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  300 ratings  ·  28 reviews


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Katya Mills
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I loved the movie so I decided to read the book. Much of the material is based on the author's personal experiences as a junky who knocked off pharmacies with his partners on the West Coast to maintain their habits, and as a result were marginalized and meshed into a subculture exposed to violence, degradation, incarceration, and often on the run. The narrator owns his experiences like an adventure he takes part in 'by choice' and as an exercise of free will. The tone is one of dark comedy. The ...more
Joshua
Feb 26, 2008 rated it liked it
The main character of Drugstore Cowboy, Bob, is a junkie who leads a crew that includes "his woman" Dianne in robbing pharmacies. Bob is described in heroic terms; his actions and exploits are narrated with the same shortsighted zeal of a six year old who pulled one over his parents. He is repeatedly called loyal and trustworthy, and his character is lauded for looking out for his crew. But as is any junkie's outlook, the story fails to go beyond a straightforward narrative to express any larger ...more
Tommy
Jun 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: hipsters
If you have seen the movie, you got to read this. If you haven't seen the movie--get with it!
Robert
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: x2009-10-season
A dated but moving portrait of the life of a junkie in the 50's 60's and 70's. Despite the pontificating of the lead character (which is understandable in light of his being modeled on the author) he is, in the end, worthy of sympathy if not pity.
Caty
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Ultimate junkie novel, & yes, yes, better than the movie. Contains vital fragments of the informal Junkie Code of Honor.
Abigail Munson
Nov 29, 2018 rated it liked it
the hat got them all in the end
Lezlee Hays
May 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is written in a style that I really liked. And the idea is certainly interesting. Not just a tale of your typical druggie looking for his fix - but rather a man who fashions himself as a true cowboy, or "hold-up" man, like those who robbed the Wells Fargo wagons. His matter-of-fact outlook on life. And deep belief in luck and ominous signs, it makes for interesting read. Probably also because I saw the movie years ago, with Matt Dillon, I had a hard time not picturing the main character as ...more
James
Dec 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
One of my very favorite movies. Scene for scene, the novel is an almost identical experience. Good hard-boiled tone. I read that Fogle got arrested this year for robbing a pharmacy.
Zoe
Jun 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Fogel was in jail when he wrote this & its a great book, & story of a misspent youth! The movie wasn't bad either, good cast, nice cameo of the godfather of heroin -Bill Burroughs, at the end.
Miss Dee
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A very quick read. Having not seen the movie, I loved the book. Fast paced and to the point. It reads like a biography of sorts.
Lukas Evan
Made into what may be my favorite Portland movie. It was unpublished at the time the film came out. Fogle died in prison.
Lenny
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Saw the movie years ago and enjoyed Matt Dillon. The book was just as good if not better. I didn't know that James Fogle wrote it from a prison cell.
Jen Dee
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent.
Christen
Jan 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Kind of beautiful in places, kind of tedious in places, in dire need of chapter breaks.
Michael S
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
True story...the movie is like a verbatim from the book...Fogle died in prison...still entertaining, if you like crazy stuff like this!!!!
Mary Shanley
I am currently reading, but I love the real-life drug hustle to make it for another day. James Vogle wrote what he knew. He recently died, in prison, for robbing drugstore.
LuciaSimonelle
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Soy fan de la película y creo que es una adaptación muy buena.
En cuanto al libro, que para eso estamos aquí, tengo que decir que me ha gustado mucho. Creo que no es un libro de fácil lectura: tiene diálogos larguísimos sin interrupciones, faltan descripciones y la acción da la sensación de estar a veces algo incompleta. Pero es que lo escribió un señor en la cárcel contando su vida por lo que yo, personalmente, "perdono" esas cuestiones, que creo que se solucionan con la práctica.
Me ha
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Steve
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not a good as the movie, but well done. Couldn't get the movie characters out of my head while reading, not bad though...
Mel
This is a damn fine piece of literature.

Read it and then watch the movie, which is also great.

Also, always watch out for the "tv babies" and of course, "the hat".
Dorlana
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Note: This is a review for the book and the movie.

Quick Book/Movie Summary:

Novel by James Fogle (Summary from Amazon): This rich and compelling story of four traveling junkies who lives revolve around looting drugstores was made into the movie voted best film of 1989 by the National Society of Film critics and is published here for the first time.

Movie: Screenplay by and directed by Gus Van Sant : (Summary from IMDB): A pharmacy-robbing dope fiend and his crew pop pills and evade the law.

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Nay
Mar 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
Not worth the trouble. At first glance this book seemed interesting however pretty soon into it you realize that the whole purpose seemed to be that the author (a drug addict and con who modeled the main character after himself) just wanted a place to rant about how "pure" junkies are and corrupt the police are. Yes it seems to be a look from the inside and has a fresh voice however it isn't well written, nor is it particularly engaging. I was given this book to read by a friend and after ...more
Sterlene
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Quite an interesting classic. This story follows the exploits of Bob and Diane. As far as I can tell, this book is set sometime during the late 60's or early 70's. Bob and Diane live for the score. Addicted to pharmaceuticals, they provide for themselves and their "crew" by robbing drugstores in whatever manner is needed. From distracting the pharmacist; to driving their car through a wall to break in... Although I didn't enjoy the story or the poetic-justice-style ending, I can tell that the ...more
Elliott
Mar 30, 2010 rated it did not like it
My name is Elliott and I read "Drugstore Cowboy." I should have put "Drugstore Cowboy" back on the shelf when I noticed that the back cover quoted critical praise for the movie and not the novel itself. But I didn't. And I didn't stop reading it even when I realized how truly awful it was (about 10 pages in). Now I'll never have that time back. Thanks for letting me share.
Ashley
Jul 22, 2013 rated it liked it
One day I'm going to learn to read the book before I see the movie but I always find out after the fact that the movie is a book. This is a great film adaptation. Bob is a strong narrator. Solid short read. It's amazing that James Fogle was in prison when this book was published.
Nikolay G
Jun 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is really good book.taste of reality.I NOW JAMES FOGLE[JIMMY:],personaly,he is my good freand.He wrote at least 8 more books.
Sarah Marchitto
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Helped me understand what I did not understand
king sullivan
Nov 01, 2009 rated it liked it
i might have liked it better had there not been about 30 pages missing from my copy. does anyone remember what happened to the neighbor next door that bob set up to be spied on by the cops?
Bernd
Dec 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Harmless story about drugs made into a movie that is better than the book I guess.
Jimi
rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2014
Gilli
rated it liked it
Jan 30, 2015
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James Fogle was the American author of the autobiographical novel Drugstore Cowboy which became the basis for the film of the same name.

Fogle was in prison at the time of the film's release in 1989. A career criminal with a sixth-grade education, Fogle had been in trouble with the law many times starting in his teens and throughout the rest of his life. On May 27, 2010, Fogle was arrested, along
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