In the tradition of Jim Carroll's Basketball Diaries, Eddie Little's debut novel traces the outlaw life of a young Irish American. A teenage speed freak and petty thief, Bobbie and his Puerto Rican girlfriend, Rosie, are taken under the wing of an all-round criminal opportunist named Mel, who is old enough to be Bobbie's father, and Mel's girlfriend, Syd. Bobbie's chance to get back on his feet begins as the inside man in a pharmaceutical company break-in. The ensuing crime spree takes the foursome across the Midwest and California of the early '70s--and deeper into the dark world of heroin addiction.
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A gutsy, fresh, and fierce drug novel, something like walking over broken glass barefoot, by first-novelist and former addict Little. Most of the story, set during the late '60s and early '70s in the Midwest and California, has an autobiographical tang. Bobbie, the 14-year-old Irish hero, has been on the street since he was 11, and hasn't much hope of living to 20. As Bobbie matures into a copper-bottomed Huck Finn on heroin, pursuing a life of crime and bloodshed, one fears that the novel's big rainbow buzz will fade and Bobbie head for rehab. But since 12- step programs haven't yet been invented, all stays hopped up and oblivion-bound till the end. Before the drug takes charge of him, Bobbie is braced--even empowered--by the heroin. But after a year of this, no amount of the stuff can return him to well-being. The good days, he realizes, are gone forever, and the need to support his habit with various crimes, petty and big-time, only intensifies. And so little Bobbie takes up with a professional burglar named Mel, twice his age, who recruits him as a worthy sidekick for drug errands usually run around midnight. Bobbie, near the same time, falls in love with Rosie, a star-crossed 17- year-old, also a druggie. Little's strongest suit is to suggest Bobbie's masked fear of exposing his love and friendship for Rosie and Mel: A pro, after all, is supposed to show no feeling. Little keeps Bobbie's emotions capped but pulsating at every step of the way. Little, who runs an AIDS assistance organization in Los Angeles, writes like a bad dream on wheels, unique in the electric authenticity that he brings to every sentence. The stages of addiction have seldom been so vividly drawn. (Film rights to Miramax; author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
At age 13, Bobbie leaves the violent, abusive home where he was raised, and this book details his following year. He has an older girlfriend, carries a gun, takes drugs, and is on an ever-tightening spiral to hell, his crimes escalating until they include murder. The plot, which highlights Bobbie's increasing dependence on the highs of violence, is not pointless but instead emphasizes a frightening reality. For Bobbie, read Little. He's been there, and his graphic story is written with an immediacy and realism that will make normal thinking people cringe and parents anxious to protect their children from the harshness in which some youth live. Movie rights have been sold, so expect some interest.?Andrea Lee Shuey, Dallas P.L.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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