counter create hit Fools' Gold: A Library of America eBook Classic - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Fools' Gold: A Library of America eBook Classic

Availability: Ready to download

Two teenagers fresh out of stir set their sights on what looks like easy money in Dolores Hitchens’s Fools’ Gold (1958)—and get a painful education in how quickly and drastically a simple plan can spin out of control. The basis for Jean-Luc Godard’s film Band of Outsiders, Fools’ Gold is a sharply told tale distinguished by its nuanced portrait of a sheltered young woman w Two teenagers fresh out of stir set their sights on what looks like easy money in Dolores Hitchens’s Fools’ Gold (1958)—and get a painful education in how quickly and drastically a simple plan can spin out of control. The basis for Jean-Luc Godard’s film Band of Outsiders, Fools’ Gold is a sharply told tale distinguished by its nuanced portrait of a sheltered young woman who becomes a reluctant accomplice and fugitive. This classic novel is one of eight works included in The Library of America's two-volume edition Women Crime Writers: Eight Suspense Novels of the 1940s & 50s, edited by Sarah Weinman.


Compare
Ads Banner

Two teenagers fresh out of stir set their sights on what looks like easy money in Dolores Hitchens’s Fools’ Gold (1958)—and get a painful education in how quickly and drastically a simple plan can spin out of control. The basis for Jean-Luc Godard’s film Band of Outsiders, Fools’ Gold is a sharply told tale distinguished by its nuanced portrait of a sheltered young woman w Two teenagers fresh out of stir set their sights on what looks like easy money in Dolores Hitchens’s Fools’ Gold (1958)—and get a painful education in how quickly and drastically a simple plan can spin out of control. The basis for Jean-Luc Godard’s film Band of Outsiders, Fools’ Gold is a sharply told tale distinguished by its nuanced portrait of a sheltered young woman who becomes a reluctant accomplice and fugitive. This classic novel is one of eight works included in The Library of America's two-volume edition Women Crime Writers: Eight Suspense Novels of the 1940s & 50s, edited by Sarah Weinman.

30 review for Fools' Gold: A Library of America eBook Classic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carla Remy

    Pretty entertaining crime book. The inept sinners (well one of them is inept) die bloodily, while the not fully evil find redemption. I've never seen the Godard movie based on this (Band a Part, 1964). I've also never encountered so many typos in a Library of America book as I noticed in this, the fourth novel in the Women Crime Writers of the 1950s.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Wow, I've never read a more hard-boiled crime novel by a woman author. This is as good as anything else written in the 1950s. It's also the only heist novel I've read by a woman. This book is extraordinarily well-written—a masterpiece of the genre.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Quite a surprise. This is one of the most "noir" books I've ever read. Up there with Jim Thompson. A tale of losers who try to break out but only make things worse. No one comes out well in this book, but it's a fascinating story, with continual twists and surprises and very well written. Over the course of the book, I found myself both disliking and then empathizing with each of the main characters. I read this in the LOA's Women Crime Writers first because it was the basis of Godard's film "Ba Quite a surprise. This is one of the most "noir" books I've ever read. Up there with Jim Thompson. A tale of losers who try to break out but only make things worse. No one comes out well in this book, but it's a fascinating story, with continual twists and surprises and very well written. Over the course of the book, I found myself both disliking and then empathizing with each of the main characters. I read this in the LOA's Women Crime Writers first because it was the basis of Godard's film "Band of Outsiders." Godard took the basic story of the heist, left out many of the twists, and turned it into a love story (which is also in the book, but it's not as cinematically romantic as Godard makes it). Both are worth checking out.

  4. 4 out of 5

    robin friedman

    Dolores Hitchens' "Fools Gold" Dolores Hitchens' 1958 novel "Fools' Gold" is the fourth and final book included in a new Library of America anthology, "Women Crime Writers: Four Suspense Novels of the 1950s" edited by Sarah Weinman, an authority on crime fiction written by women. A companion LOA volume includes four suspense novels by four different women written during the 1940s. Of the eight novels included in the set, "Fools' Gold" may be the most obscure. Before its inclusion in the LOA antho Dolores Hitchens' "Fools Gold" Dolores Hitchens' 1958 novel "Fools' Gold" is the fourth and final book included in a new Library of America anthology, "Women Crime Writers: Four Suspense Novels of the 1950s" edited by Sarah Weinman, an authority on crime fiction written by women. A companion LOA volume includes four suspense novels by four different women written during the 1940s. Of the eight novels included in the set, "Fools' Gold" may be the most obscure. Before its inclusion in the LOA anthology, the novel had long been out of print. It is a real discovery. I am pleased to see that it has been reissued as a kindle book in addition to the hardcover LOA anthology. Hitchens' novel is set in the Los Angeles area in the mid-1950s. The book combines a story of adolescent rebellion and juvenile delinquency with hard crime. The major characters are two young men in their early 20s who have just been released from reform school, Skip and Eddie, and a slightly younger woman, Karen who lives as the ward of an old, eccentric widow, Mrs. Havermann, in a large deserted house. Brash and impetuous, Skip is the leader of the three, with a reluctant Eddie tagging along and an even more reluctant Karen assisting the two young men because of her feelings for Skip. Karen lets Skip know that a friend of Mrs. Havermann from Las Vegas keeps a large stash of money in the house. Skip, alert for the opportunity to escape a grinding, dull and poor life, plans a robbery. But he tells his uncle, an ex-con, and soon experienced hardened criminals move in to take the heist away from the "punks". The seasoned criminals include a sleazy defense lawyer and a tough ex-convict known as Big Tom who had sought to escape the allure of crime but returned through the appeal of a large sum of apparently easy money.The cons and the punks find themselves working against each other in their conflicting plans for the heist. The book traces the characters' stories through the byways of southern California, Las Vegas, and Reno. In its focus on juvenile delinquency, the book shows its 1950s themes and perhaps will remind the reader of the film, "Rebel without a Cause." But serious criminal actors get developed as well in this taut novel. The author, Dolores Hitchens (1907 -- 1973) was a prolific writer of mysteries and other fiction from 1938 until her death. "Fools' Gold" is probably her most lasting work. In 1964, it was adopted into a film by Jean-Luc Godard, "Band of Outsiders.""Fools' Gold" is too good a book to be forgotten. Sarah Weinman and the LOA have done a service in finding and preserving this work so that it will be accessible to readers interested in American literature or in crime fiction. The LOA kindly provided me with a copy of the two-volume box set of Women Crime Writers for review. I have enjoyed working through the volumes and reviewing each title separately. Robin Friedman

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    An unguarded pile of money just gathering dust in an old defenseless widow's house? Just sitting there under a coat in an unoccupied room? Of course a couple of young ne're-do-wells hatch a plan to just walk right in and grab it, but loose lips instantly sink ships. Right out of the gate there are too many crooks in the kitchen, sometimes one entering just as another left moments ago, creating a convoluted mess of a crime scene and a delightful read. From the street thugs to the seasoned looters An unguarded pile of money just gathering dust in an old defenseless widow's house? Just sitting there under a coat in an unoccupied room? Of course a couple of young ne're-do-wells hatch a plan to just walk right in and grab it, but loose lips instantly sink ships. Right out of the gate there are too many crooks in the kitchen, sometimes one entering just as another left moments ago, creating a convoluted mess of a crime scene and a delightful read. From the street thugs to the seasoned looters to the Las Vegas white-collar criminal, everyone is far too blinded by the thought of getting their hands on that cash to think/act reasonably. This leads to a revelation for one character, a nondrinker, who chooses an AA meeting to be his alibi as the crime goes down (way down). Listening to the stories of one member he realizes, tearfully, that crime is his booze, but from here on out he will live his life crime-free! After he gets his payout for this last one, of course... then he'll quit. The story is messes upon mishaps upon misfires which makes for great pulp.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bradley Scott

    I read this as part of the Library of America's collection "Women Crime Writers: Four Suspense Novels of the 1950s." It begins simply. Two small-time delinquents catch wind of a cache of money they weren't supposed to know about, and plot to snatch it. But things don't go smoothly, especially when a bigger fish finds out about their plans and moves in on the action. They should have paid attention to The Shadow's sinister warning, repeated at the beginning of each episode of the contemporaneous I read this as part of the Library of America's collection "Women Crime Writers: Four Suspense Novels of the 1950s." It begins simply. Two small-time delinquents catch wind of a cache of money they weren't supposed to know about, and plot to snatch it. But things don't go smoothly, especially when a bigger fish finds out about their plans and moves in on the action. They should have paid attention to The Shadow's sinister warning, repeated at the beginning of each episode of the contemporaneous radio program: "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does NOT pay." It all goes wrong, of course, with blood and guilt and worse, but with just a shred of a hope for redemption for those who pause at the last, and step back from the precipice.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Delinquent kids want to rob a house of what looks like dirty money. Various mobs get involved. IT all goes wrong... So far so ordinary. This was probably 3 1/2 stars, 3 seems a little mean. But, there simply isn't enough to justify the 4th. Yes it held my attention, as another of the 1950s Women Crime writers. It was all too tv episode. Even the tagged interesting character Karen, was for me one dimensional. It's an unfair comparison, but this was published at then end of the 1950s when 'The Galt Delinquent kids want to rob a house of what looks like dirty money. Various mobs get involved. IT all goes wrong... So far so ordinary. This was probably 3 1/2 stars, 3 seems a little mean. But, there simply isn't enough to justify the 4th. Yes it held my attention, as another of the 1950s Women Crime writers. It was all too tv episode. Even the tagged interesting character Karen, was for me one dimensional. It's an unfair comparison, but this was published at then end of the 1950s when 'The Galton Case' appeared. It's not on the same block. The points of interest for me were for me the archetype male characters, mined so successfully a few years later in 'In Cold Blood'.

  8. 5 out of 5

    J

    A tidy little crime gets out of control, proving fictionally that the more people who know of a crime the more likely it is to go bad. Two amateur criminals get a young woman living with an old lady to cough up the dowager's secret: a gentleman has been coming to her house to secrete a large sum of money. Easy pickings, but once the leader of the two amateurs tells his ex-con uncle and the ex-con uncle turns the job over to professionals for a cut, territorial chest thumping leads to one disaste A tidy little crime gets out of control, proving fictionally that the more people who know of a crime the more likely it is to go bad. Two amateur criminals get a young woman living with an old lady to cough up the dowager's secret: a gentleman has been coming to her house to secrete a large sum of money. Easy pickings, but once the leader of the two amateurs tells his ex-con uncle and the ex-con uncle turns the job over to professionals for a cut, territorial chest thumping leads to one disaster after another. Hitchens' novel is a bleak one with glimpses of hope just a little beyond the characters' reaches.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Magnus Stanke

    Another great book in the omnibus Women's Writers of the 50s. This one starts off being quite detached from the action. Then, as gradually more characters are introduced, a kaleidoscope emerges, that portrays social backgrounds of all the involved. Nobody is all innocent or guilty and at the same time the suspense mounts. Incidentally, this was adapted by JL Godard as Bande a part. If you like the early films of this director (I do), it's a swell film, but any resemblance to the novel is accident Another great book in the omnibus Women's Writers of the 50s. This one starts off being quite detached from the action. Then, as gradually more characters are introduced, a kaleidoscope emerges, that portrays social backgrounds of all the involved. Nobody is all innocent or guilty and at the same time the suspense mounts. Incidentally, this was adapted by JL Godard as Bande a part. If you like the early films of this director (I do), it's a swell film, but any resemblance to the novel is accidental.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Helen

    This suspense novel put me in mind of Ruth Rendell’s work. Written earlier, clearly in the fifties style, but a book in which everyone gets what’s coming to them. I loved reading about the setting almost as much as I enjoyed the story – trying to imagine Los Angeles in which you could drive up into the hills and find dirt roads and new houses going up. Where a huge mansion could exist with only three occupants, no luxury, not broken up into apartments, and not far from downtown LA. I read this i This suspense novel put me in mind of Ruth Rendell’s work. Written earlier, clearly in the fifties style, but a book in which everyone gets what’s coming to them. I loved reading about the setting almost as much as I enjoyed the story – trying to imagine Los Angeles in which you could drive up into the hills and find dirt roads and new houses going up. Where a huge mansion could exist with only three occupants, no luxury, not broken up into apartments, and not far from downtown LA. I read this in one night.¬

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mystic Miraflores

    I believe everyone got their just desserts in the end. For the most part, the bad guys received punishment. I hope Eddie and Karen can have a happy life together, although it will be a struggle, of course. Uncle Willy's AA experience was amusing and relevant to the story; he tried to give good advice to folks. The story started slowly but really sped up towards the climactic ending.

  12. 4 out of 5

    John Youngblood

    Asorbing page-turner, made into a movie by Goddard, called The Outsiders (nothing to do with "Stay gold, Pony-boy"). A young girl, ward to a rich woman, participates in a "simple plan" to steal cash, and things quickly go awry.

  13. 5 out of 5

    John Marr

    An excellent caper gone-wrong novel featuring some expected plot twists, some unexpected, and one unsettling violent scene that for me at least was reminiscent of "The Honeymoon Killers." Highly recommended.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Wayne

    Great praise for the Library of America for bringing back great suspense novels written by women in the fifties. Really enjoyed this book, and now will look for others by Dolores Hitchens. Caper books are really fun, and this one doesn't disappoint.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    Closer to 3.5, but still very good. A bit boring at first until you start to empathize with all involved.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Simmons

    Crime apparently doesn't pay. Who knew?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Corey

    3 and 1/2 stars. Nifty caper novel which was made into an even better movie by Godard. The film, one of my favorite Godards, is called 'Band of Outsiders,' (O Anna Karina!) and, as you might imagine, could best be described as 'loosely based on.'

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kay Robart

    See my review here: https://whatmeread.wordpress.com/2018... See my review here: https://whatmeread.wordpress.com/2018...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Hozey

  20. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Story

  21. 4 out of 5

    Claribel

  22. 4 out of 5

    Don Hagge

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Bobker

  25. 4 out of 5

    Keith zimmerman

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rosa

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lena

  28. 5 out of 5

    Librat

  29. 4 out of 5

    King_In_Yellow

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sean

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.