Pills A Go Go
by Jim Hogshire
Jim Hogshire loves his pills. By this, I don’t mean that he just loves to take pills — he has a genuine fascination and appreciation for these little capsules, a feeling for not only their effects on the human body and psyche but also their role as they course through the bloodstream of our society. Pills A Go Go builds from the ‘zine of the same name (also edited by Hogshire) with an impressive collection of essays on all facets of pilldom — and I bet you didn’t think of even half of them.
There’s the obvious litanies of pills and their effects, an essay on the Physicians Desktop Reference (the Necronomicon of drugs), what it takes to go to pharmacy school, lethal doses of the most popular suicide cocktails, a historical perspective and more. But there’s also some unexpected twists, such as the positive side effects the drug companies DON’T want you to know about, an examination of the techniques of pharmaceutical advertising, and an inside look at the complicated manufacture of the little buggers.
Where Pills A Go Go shines is in its even-tempered approach to the whole pill thing. I can’t say that its tone is neutral — overall, it’s a very pro-pill book. On the other hand, it does present several rational arguments for the use of pharmaceuticals, and their proper place in society, and demonstrates that most anti-pill hysteria is exactly that, a pre-conditioned societal stigma given to the use of chemicals for the regulation of bodily processes. The essays themselves are of an easily accessible length and style (perfect bathroom book). There are plenty of fascinating pill-related visual treats, from ads to pill- and drug-related clip art through the ages. About the only complaint I have is that the book could have used some additional proofreaders. Or maybe those copy editors were on something…
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