The 'greaser' territory of The Outsiders is the scene of an updated novel in which Ponyboy Curtis is a minor character and gang fights have given way to drugs as the major youth problem. Now, "it was hard to tell a Soc from a greaser. Now the greasers wore their hair down over their foreheads instead of slicked back. . . and the Socs tried to look poor." Changes in the young author's style are similarly skin-deep: there is a bit more philosophizing of the "give a damn and you get blasted" variety, but the same sentimental, heavy-handed treatment of illustrative incident. And though the lights with the Socs are said to have "slacked off," greasers manage to get beaten up and sent to the hospital with the old regularity. A friend is killed protecting the narrator-protagonist from two tough Texans, and the fight scenes still contain Hinton's most effective writing. In contrast, the acid trip and its effects are overdone and the whole hippie scene unconvincing. Still superior to most of the contemporary anti-drug novels, this one will be popular with The Outsiders' many fans. But That Was Then -- is only superficially Now.