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Off Magazine Street

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  293 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Fallen from grace and shunned by respectable society, Bobby Long is joyously content drowning his past in cheap hooch and bedding any woman with low standards and high tolerance. His partner, an unproductive writer named Byron Burns, is happy to join him for the long ride down. Their distant salvation is an unwritten manuscript sure to redeem their standing and pride-thoug ...more
ebook, 248 pages
Published September 25th 2009 by M P Publishing Ltd. (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 595)
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Richard Sutton
It's not the movie, A Love Song for Bobby Long. The movie is one of my favorites, but if you expect the movie in the book the sceenplay was adpated from, you won't find it easily. This is no clear-cut, cause and effect storyline; rather, it is a place and an assortment of "outsider" characters who have many issues and failings. Aging reprobates traveling blithely on their chosen road. Only their exuberance for life and learning redeems them and confers salvation on a young girl thrown by fate, i ...more
Santino Hassell
If you picked up this book with hope of reading a richer and more detailed version of A Love Song for Bobby Long, you will be very disappointed. Names are the same, the location is the same, and there are glimmers of the book in the way of dialogue and parts of the plot, but A Love Song for Bobby Long tells a very different story than Off Magazine Street. It is the sanitized Y2K Times Square version of a book that is gritty, real, and extremely uncomfortable.

Off Magazine Street is the story of t
...more
Kristen
The movie "A Love Song for Bobby Long," which used this book as its premise, is one of my favorite movies. No matter how many times I watch it, I will always cry at the end--cry for the redemption that Bobby Long found in his life before he died, depicted perfectly in the verse he quotes from TS Eliot: "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time"; for the journey he went through in life, only to m ...more
Sarah
One of the most accurate descriptions of New Orleans characters I have read. It is right up there with Confederacy of Dunces in my book. If you live in New Orleans when you read this book you know the characters as much as sometimes you wish you didn't. It is dark and twisted but so are the stories of many transplanted New Orleanians who chose to stay here because there is a certain tolerance for a style of living that isn't acceptable anywhere else.
John
When I used to go to New Orleans a couple of times a year, the urge to fall out of society and write creatively overcame me as I walked Magazine St. The people were so open for conversation so the dialogue would have been easy. You just felt like you were in a place that was right and there was no need to leave it.

Then after a few days of hard drinking, I had to get out of there to stay alive.

The two main characters in this story, Bobby and Byron, don't leave. This is their conversations, appre
...more
Tiffani
This turned into the amazing movie A Love Song for Bobby Long. I was so enamored with the movie, I picked up the book. Couldn't get off the ground with the book, and don't know how the movie turned out so brilliant (except that it stars J. Travolta and the S. Johanson). I'll give it another shot someday.
Kai
Può un libro dai presupposti bukowskiani nascondere tra le sue pagine un romanzo di formazione?

Di storie di sbandati, debosciati e derelitti, circonfuse di alone poetico, ce ne sono molte in circolazione sugli scaffali delle librerie e tra gli ingranaggi dei proiettori; ce ne sono talmente tante, e sono tutte talmente simili, che di poetico non è rimasto nulla.

Le prime pagine di Una canzone per Bobby Long di Ronald Everett Capps (Mattioli 1885, pp. 308, € 18) potrebbero trarre in inganno. Il ton
...more
Diann Blakely
The first novel published by Alabama author Ronald Everett Capps, OFF MAGAZINE STREET is the charming story of two lecherous, drunken, and inarguably failed native sons who take to the French Quarter with a morbidly obese former mental patient who freely dispenses sexual favors between bags of Oreos and potato chips. The bathetic woman dies and her daughter Hanna pops up on the two men's doorstep, wearing jeans and insufficient underclothing in addition to spouting even worse language than they ...more
Chris
I had seen the film ("A Love Song For Bobby Long") that was based on this book a few years ago and it is one of my all-time favorites. I finally got around to reading the book and I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, the book is so different from the film that I have trouble figuring out how that film was ever made from this source material. On the other hand, on its own merit, without being compared to the film, the book is wonderful, as well. The characters of Bobby and Byron are much less ...more
J
Può un libro dai presupposti bukowskiani nascondere tra le sue pagine un romanzo di formazione?

Di storie di sbandati, debosciati e derelitti, circonfuse di alone poetico, ce ne sono molte in circolazione sugli scaffali delle librerie e tra gli ingranaggi dei proiettori; ce ne sono talmente tante, e sono tutte talmente simili, che di poetico non è rimasto nulla.

Le prime pagine di Una canzone per Bobby Long di Ronald Everett Capps (Mattioli 1885, pp. 308, € 18) potrebbero trarre in inganno. Il ton
...more
Becky
Jun 03, 2009 Becky rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vanessa
Recommended to Becky by: The movie A Love Song for Bobby Long
Gritty and endearing, this novel features two main characters who's lives of golden possiblity dissolved and dissipated into debauchery, but they are unabashed by the change. They take a young, friendless, familyless girl under their wings, for lewdly nefarious purposes, but end up transforming her life into a life of potential and meaning. They teach her to accept her life as a whole and to see the world around her with transformed eyes. She realizes that the men are not wholly good or bad, but ...more
Georgia
Seldom said but the movie was light years better than the book--if you can measure quality in light years. Capps is an amateur writer at best. His sentences were choppy and his thoughts incomplete. The characters were poorly sketched; the details in general were poorly sketched, and the development of two-thirds of the main characters was sketchy, shoddy and inane. You want desperately to like them, but the author makes it nearly impossible. Whoever wrote the script for the movie, clearly used v ...more
Tamara
Getting past the creepy-old-drunk-men factor (and at times really creepy), this story actually has a lot of thought and a lot of heart. I really like what the author was trying to say, and I think he succeeded. I also thought the characterization was very strong - Hanna's character was intriguing, and the book as a whole, was a quick read. While the middle aged drunks eventually began to honestly care for Hanna - probably surprising themselves - I would have liked to have seen them develop more ...more
Joe
I haven't seen the movie but I loved the book. Hanna, the teenage girl, is one of the best characters I've encountered in a long time. She's had a tough life, lived in poverty, dropped out in ninth grade, been knocked around, has a foul mouth but is clearly smart as a whip. The two old alcoholics recognize her talent and become her mentors, which is a hilarious setup. They nurture her through high school even as they can see that they are creating a young woman who will leave them behind. It's t ...more
Christina Philippi-toro
This was a big let down after the movie A Love Song for Bobby Long but still a neat read. I was hoping for "the book is better than the movie" but in this case the reverse is true.
Margherita Dolcevita
E' bellissimo. Nonostante l'abbia letto in inglese e abbia fatto un po' fatica, mi è piaciuto ed è stato all'altezza del film (so che dovrebbe essere viceversa, ma avendo visto prima il film il mio metro di giudizio si è ribaltato), l'avessi letto in italiano, non padroneggiando così bene l'inglese, avrebbe persino superato la pellicola cinematografica. La copertina è molto evocativa (soldi ben spesi per avere QUESTA copertina) e il libro racchiude così tante cose che è impossibile descriverle t ...more
Zach
Sep 26, 2008 Zach rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zach by: Nico
This is the book that A Confederacy of Dunces wanted to be. Lots of misadventures and drunkenness with a vague plotline about two derelicts trying to put a teenager through high school. It starts out a little slow and I started wondering where it was going, but by the end I was definitely into it. After finishing it I found out they made this into a movie (A Love Song For Bobby Long) with John Travolta and Scarlet Johansson. Johansson sounds perfect but I have no idea how Travolta could pull thi ...more
Alicia
One of my favorite films "A Love Song for Bobby Long" was loosely-based on this novel. That's the primary reason I picked it up. While it was significantly different from the movie, it was still a great story. You will be surprised (if you've seen the film) by the character changes and ending, but you will feel like you know the characters better than you did. The poor, seedy side of New Orleans (pre-Katrina) still comes alive. This book was well-written and a fast and pleasurable read.
Missy
The movie based on this book ( and I use that term loosely) is one of my favorites. Given that, I decided to read the book. Other than the setting, a few random story lines, and a name or two, they have absolutely nothing in common. That's ok though. It stands on its own. If you love New Orleans, this book (and movie) will haunt you. I love Capp's characters, seedy and disgusting as they may be. Sometimes that's New Orleans too, doesn't mean you love it any less.
Erin
The story is an interesting one, and I loved the movie made "loosely" based on this book, but I found Capps' writing not of particularly high quality, and his dialogue somewhat clunky and repetitive. Unlike other reviews, I do not find the comparative increase of lechery from film to book an inherent problem, but the (lack of) style and flow of Capps' prose made the quality of the plot and characterization somewhat irrelevant.
Jason
This collection of short stories looks to be amazing! One of the stories was the premise for the movie 'A Love Song for Bobby Long,' starring Jon Travola and Scarlet Johnannson. The movie was the closest thing I've seen to date on film that honestly captures a cross-section of New Orleans life rarely seen in fiction. I hope the book is just as great; it'd be nice to visit New Orleans again through the book.
Emily
What an odd book. Not one that I could really recommend in good conscience. Lots of language and innuendo. There's a good message somewhere in the story of these two men's sad lives, but it's buried pretty deep. Whoever proofread this book seemed to have fallen asleep on the job. There were so many inconsistencies in how things were spelled and in the grammar and punctuation that it was distracting.
Jon Coxwell
The movie is better. Don't waste your time attempting to further your interest in Bobby, you'll be supremely disappointed. It's painfully repetitive and not the least bit elegant like the movie.
Helen
I read this book after seeing the movie that was based on it. I liked the movie alot. I liked the book as much if not more. The book, centered on the lives of two men and a young woman. The good natured alcoholic men have taken in Hanna. This story tells of the caring, kindness, and boldness of all three.
Darci
It was enjoyable good story arc, complex characters, I have always avoided "Southern" literature I guess because I come from an oddball family and it hits a bit too close to home. Much more colorful than the screen version 'A Love Song for Bobby Long' which is what led me to this book.
Jerry Peace
We all got a place. No winners. No losers. Just we are. Best lines- "We have to have some cranberry sauce," Bobby was saying.
"And dressing," said Cecil.
"Do you know how to make dressing, Cecil?"
"Naw. My grandmmaw did though-'cept she's dead."
Jessica
I saw the movie first & loved it so much that I had to read the book. Well, the movie was definitely more romantic than the book. The book had more grit, the characters more rough around the edges. I wish I would have read the book first.
T.M. Spooner
Read this a few years ago, but evokes the feel of the seedier New Orleans, pre Katrina. Lots of literary references, booze, and atmospere. This book was the basis for the movie A Love Song for Bobby Long.
Laila
I don't know who read this book and thought it could be a movie. The ONLY story I have ever read that is better as a movie. The book was creepy and I only finished it because it is set in New Orleans.
Corinne
This is one of those ones where you see the movie first and then the book isnt what you expect it to be. See A Love Song Song for Bobby Long, its more sentimental and less child molesty
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“The word 'love' is a fucked up word that's been used and abused so much it no longer means shit. The same thing is true about 'beauty.' 'Beauty' doesn't mean anything anymore. Idots use the word, and look at what they use it for. Nothing! Anything! If you ever become educated, and I doubt if that will ever happen, you will have to understand that most of what you will learn is going to be just a lot of shit.” 6 likes
“People who have the ability to hear, I mean with their inner being, souls, wisdom, are the only ones who can grasp the...things that remain out of sight.” 5 likes
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