Cover image for Pills-a-go-go : a fiendish investigation into pill marketing, art, history and consumption
Pills-a-go-go : a fiendish investigation into pill marketing, art, history and consumption
Hogshire, Jim.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Venice, Calif. : Feral House ; distributed by Publishers Group West, c1999..
Physical Description:
viii, 247 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
General Note:
Inspired by Jim Hogshire's 'zine of the same name, this cultural study of pills covers weird pharmaceutical ads and history, exposes of FDA lies, pill reviews, contents of celebrity medicine chests, acquisitional tips, and hundreds of photos and illustrations.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD9666.5 .H64 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
HD9666.5 .H64 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A cultural study of pills and pharmaceutical culture.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The drug-appreciative likes of Hashish! (1998) and Opium [BKL S 15 99] get lighthearted companionship. Besides "the best tidbits" from the 'zine Pills-A-Go-Go, Hogshire showcases stuff about drug paraphernalia and "inspiring graphics" concerned with "the many taboo, absurd, ignored and forgotten ways pills continue to shape our lives." And then there are the instructional pieces. The kind of instruction offered is practical, especially for home labs, and includes "Making Hard Drugs Out of Mom's Codeine Pills" and "Hacking Valium" (i.e., making diazepam). If offering such information to library patrons seems dicey, think of it as just so many home-schooling science exercises. Mostly, this is a history of popular pills and an exploration of the pill-head lifestyle. The graphics are a treat. Juxtaposing images condemning pill-popping with contemporaneous ones marketing it, they rouse nostalgia for the consumer icons of the past. Later, in an appendix, they amount to a gallery of druggy paperback book cover art. Valuable resource or pop-culture conversation piece. --Mike Tribby

Publisher's Weekly Review

As the editor of an eponymous underground 'zine devoted to celebrating pills "from the point of view of unrepentant drug takers," Hogshire seeks to demystify the contents of our medicine chests. Calling pills "the quintessential icon of Western Civilization," he bemoans the fact that America's attitude toward pills is ambivalent at best, and blames this state of affairs on both an elitist medical profession and public information campaigns that create undue hysteria about the consequences of recreational drug use. Dividing the book into such chapters as "Another Clean-Cut, All-American Speed Freak," "Amphetamines and Football," "I Raided Tom Clancy's Drug Stash" and "Great Pharmacist Authors," he mixes cheerfully blistering rants against doctors, pharmacists and the FDA with overviews of the history, uses and side effects of various widely taken medications. Readers are told what security measures to take when breaking into a pharmacy, what combination of meds is most likely to prevent jet lag and how to forge a prescription. Brash, lively and lavishly illustrated, this is a fun and often informative read, although some of Hogshire's pollyannaish conclusions about the benefits of pills should be taken with a grain of salt, if not a dose of Valium. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved