Two teenagers fresh out of stir set their sights on what looks like easy money in this classic thriller from 1958, only to get a painful education in how quickly and drastically a simple plan can spin out of control.
Dolores Hitchens wrote crime novels that were both tough and compassionate, with a sharp eye for the emotional scars that violence leaves. The basis for Jean-Luc Godard's film Band of Outsiders, Fools' Gold is a swift and unadorned tale of three young people--two boys just released after being incarcerated for a juvenile offense, and an orphaned girl living in a house full of secrets--whose lives are rapidly torn apart by what starts as a simple plan of robbery. It echoes other classic American narratives of youth astray and on the run, and with its headlong pace catches the rhythm of adolescent crisis, as Hitchens's protagonists find themselves caught up in a situation spiraling beyond their control.
Fools' Gold by Dolores Hitchens
Library of America 2020