Today I’ve been thinking about the late, great Drugstore Cowboy, the movie and the novel. The latter was a fictionalized account of some of the author’s experiences as a drug addict and criminal. He wrote it in prison.
It turns out author James Fogle passed away about three and a half months ago. He had been released from prison some years ago (and some years after the film’s 1989 release). He was arrested again in 2010 for robbing a drugstore in Redmond, Washington. He robbed another in Seattle in 2011, and was sentenced to 15 years and nine moths in prison. He died on August 23, 2012, of “probable malignant mesothelioma,” a kind of lung cancer.
I love both the film and the novel, but the novel was a concrete writing influence on me, particularly on my noir fiction. I would say there is a certain amount of Bob Hughes in Dante Bogart.
Writing one great book, or ten or a hundred of them, doesn’t make anyone a saint, but then, I don’t think robbing drugstores makes one a demon.
Here’s to James Fogle, lifelong career criminal and author of one damn good book. Rest in Peace, Bob Hughes.