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Love is the Drug
by Sarahbeth Purcell

Category: Fiction / General
208 pages; ISBN: 0743476166

Rating: 8/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Love is the Drug
Sarahbeth Purcell
Atria, Feb 2004, $23.00, 208 pp.
ISBN: 0743476166

Tyler Tracer lives life through American 80’s pop culture whether it is television shows, music, or some other former in from a decade known for furthering the arts (just ask Senator Helms). She makes up top ten lists that Letterman would envy often with four letter words used as participles. As her daddy dies, Tyler draws up a list of why he must not and writes another top ten of why she belongs with her true love David, who lives in Los Angeles.

Her David list persuades Tyler to drive to L.A. from her Tennessee home because she knows he needs her. Tyler also talks in four-letter adjectives, four letter nouns, and four letter verbs, at times all in one phrase, as her road trip includes bad sex with losers and using drugs like cigarettes and crystal meth as fast food. Between road kill and her car killed, Tyler tastes America and conversely America tastes Tyler, but no one knows when either will be ready for the other

Though at times amusing and poignant, LOVE IS THE DRUG never fully captures its audience because the list maker seems too self-centered, self-destructive, and simply inane (this reviewer’s top three list). The road show story line pays homage to the Reagan Era so that even those who moved the Reagan film off network to cable will find the book acceptable (Atria will not have to take it off the bookshelf). Sarahbeth Purcell displays a fine comedic touch with a humorous story line, but the chick in her chick lit tale is shallower than Hal as she makes her top ten rules of the road regardless of impact on others.

Harriet Klausner


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