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Slightly Out of Focus

4.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  766 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
In 1942, a dashing young man who liked nothing so much as a heated game of poker, a good bottle of scotch, and the company of a pretty girl hopped a merchant ship to England. He was Robert Capa, the brilliant and daring photojournalist, and Collier's magazine had put him on assignment to photograph the war raging in Europe. In these pages, Capa recounts his terrifying jour ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 12th 2001 by Modern Library (first published 1947)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,503)
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Jun 17, 2016 Parastoo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
روایت کاپا جالبه اما عکسهاش چیز دیگرند!
نه تنها کتاب ویرایش نشده، بلکه نمونهخوانی هم نشده. پُره از اشتباههای تایپی متأسفانه
Apr 01, 2015 Genevieve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine a very charming funny man buying you drinks, and telling you fantastic stories, and it's very late at night, and you don't want to leave because everything is too wonderful. This is what this spare book is like.
He is all at once hilarious, funny, self-deprecating, clever, frustrating, and so beautifully heart-breaking.
The scenes where he describes what was around him during combat are astounding. I think it helps that he wrote all of this so soon after the events vs. waiting twenty/thir
Ally Armistead
Feb 20, 2011 Ally Armistead rated it it was ok
I picked up Robert Capa's book after finishing Alex Kershaw's brilliant biography about the famous photographer, "Blood and Champagne." Mesmerized by Kershaw's documentation of such a fascinating life, I couldn't wait to get my hands on "Slightly Out of Focus," an account of the photographer by none other than the photographer himself.

Unfortunately, while Kershaw's biography left me reeling and entrenched in a raw honesty about Robert Capa (the man, the photographer, the Hungarian), Capa's book
Nov 25, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robert Capa may have the looks of Gene Kelly, the charm of Humphrey Bogart, and the style of Frank Sinatra, but it was something else that made him stand out from the average American celebrity: the grit of a journalist. Whether he was gulping back whiskey with Hemingway or propelling from an airplane while bullets flew over his head, Capa’s memoir Slightly Out of Focus demonstrates the courageous insanity that it takes to be a war photographer. The life of a war correspondent is far from romant ...more
Nov 06, 2008 Eric rated it really liked it
Fast paced WW2 memoir of one of the great photographers. The tone is very different from similar books from the Iraq war like Generation Kill or The Forever War. This is has more of a jet set vibe as Capa hops planes to get to the front, take war photos, and then retreat back to hang out with Hemmingway or Ernie Pyle. Its certainly a different perspective from books like To Hell and Back or With the Old Breed. Here, the battles are often just sideshows to the drinking bouts & dead Americans ...more
Sep 06, 2013 trang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant! I think 4.5 stars would be fairer but goodreads certainly does not have it that way.

Capa's writing is both humorous, warm and has a touch of irony, which is like a mirror to his own photo during the first pages of the book. He seemed to always have that smirk in the corner of his mouth.I laughed with his professional "ups" and "downs" and even almost shed tears on seeing the little feet poking out from the wooden coffin in Sicily. The photos are amazing. I

The book was given to me by m
Vic Richardson
May 11, 2014 Vic Richardson rated it really liked it
Alcohol and a good time are apparently two major ingredients to the success of famous war photographer, Robert Capa. In his memoirs, Slightly Out of Focus, he elegantly describes drinking and photographing his way across war torn Europe during the 1940’s. It was surprising to read Capa’s personal account in comparison to his almost heroic depiction in movies, newspapers, and books. Despite the adventure and fame that his close up photographs captured, his memoirs portray him as an everyday man a ...more
Gaía Passarelli
Jul 02, 2015 Gaía Passarelli rated it really liked it
Shelves: life-favourites
Who would know Capa had such a particular voice? His memories of life, love and war are just as great as the images he collected. A must.
Alisson Sellaro
Feb 13, 2012 Alisson Sellaro rated it it was amazing
Shelves: photography
This book is about passion in a very broad sense. Robert Capa reports the World War II as a witness, responsible for maybe the most significative and important set of photographs taken during WWII. Though inserted right in the middle of this terrible moment of our history, his sense of humour and extreme humanity bring balance to a story that could be translated as an easy cliché on barbarism.
Marisol García
Es mejor como crónica de guerra y política internacional de mediados del siglo XX (escrita con gracia, con agudeza, con detalle), que como el testimonio de un fotógrafo. Son escasas las descripciones específicas sobre fotografía, equipos, criterio, etc. Se entiende que la intención del autor era otra, pero es mejor no esperar acá una autobiografía del grandísimo fotorreportero. Quizás lo mejor esté en su vibrante recuerdo del llamado Desembarco de Normandía, y del cual sobrevivieron sólo seis de ...more
Matti Karjalainen
Robert Capan värikkäät ja vauhdikkaat vaiheet tuovat mieleen romaanin - tai oikeammin sanottuna epäuskottavan romaanin, sillä tuskinpa kukaan voisi ottaa vakavasti kirjailijaa, jonka sankari ehtisi elämänsä aikana niin valokuvata kansainvälisiä kansainvälisiä prikaateja Espanjan sisällissodassa, osallistua ensimmäiseen maihinnousuaaltoon Normandiassa, kohdata Ernest Hemingwayn, Billy Wilderin ja John Steinbeckin kaltaisia kuuluisuuksia eri puolilla maailmaa kuin seurustella Ingrid Bergmanin kans ...more
Jun 08, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it
As his brother Cornell Capa says in the foreword to this book, Robert Capa "gave himself the assignment to report on man's self-created inferno, war. His compassion was for all sufferers in war, and his photographs transformed into eternal moments not only crucial events but also individual ordeals." This book is the photographer's own account of his work during the period that began in summer 1942 through the end of the war in Europe. It includes a selection of his photographs, including those ...more
Dec 09, 2014 Nora rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Beautifully and simply told, a true joy to read. The autobiographical story of a photographer, whose stories are usually told with pictures - and there are some amazing examples of this in his book - but whose lovely sense of humor, of people and stories shine in his engaging story. A war book with a love story, not so uncommon, but gently told, with a lot of heart and humor. And then again, if you read it you will find out what Alt-J's "Taro" is about. Yeap.
Douglas Spadotto
Dec 16, 2014 Douglas Spadotto rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
He didn't finish Journalism school, and the World is better for that. His photographs weren't "action" but "emotion". War is too big to be caught on film, but Capa caught the emotions surrounding it, translating War into images like no one else. This book, in line with "A Moveable Feast", is semi-fiction, but that doesn't keep it from telling the truth.
P.S.: and they drank a lot. Real alcohol back then.
Thomas Wictor
Apr 06, 2014 Thomas Wictor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exceptional autobiography. Really puts you in the thick of things back when men were two-fisted drinkers who saw war as part of the natural order. No self-pity for these guys. It may as well have been written four centuries ago. Quite a glimspe into an era that was in many way superior to ours. Except for the drinking. My God, how he drinks!
Jun 21, 2016 Licia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lo straordinario talento di Capa come fotografo e l'abilità di raccontare i fatti della seconda guerra mondiale sono racchiusi in questo capolavoro, conosciuto purtroppo da pochi, soprattutto in Italia.
Le fotografie sono testimonianze della distruzione di massa che la guerra ha portato e la sua testimonianza è quella di un fotografo, ma anche di un uomo che ha vissuto in prima linea gli avvenimenti più importanti del secondo conflitto. Ogni buon lettore, amante della storia e amante della fotogr
May 05, 2015 Evan rated it really liked it
A fun, fast and interesting account of Capa's experiences in WWII. When he runs into Hemingway you know there's equal counts memory and imagination at work. Not a replacement for. A proper biography but definitely worth reading for anyone interested in WWII or Capa.
Engaging account of his time photographing WW2, with all the mishaps, narrow escapes, successes and horror. Great photos accompany the stories.

I have to say I'd not heard of Capa until I happened to visit the International Center of Photography in NYC (which was founded by Capa's younger brother, Cornell Capa). The main exhibit there was Robert Capa's photographs, and I decided to get his memoir in the gift shop. So glad I did.
Jan 26, 2014 Polevka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the beginning was hard, author has a specific style of writing. for someone to whom, war on the West is completely distant the book seems abstractive. but with every page the a bit sarcastic, a bit distant writing shapes into a real picture and brings step closer all the events. definately a book worth reading illustrated but amazing shots.
Oct 20, 2015 Beáta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imádtam! A téma persze nem vidám, de neki sikerült humort csempésznie bele. A képek magukért beszéltek. Néha megrendítőek voltak, és arra gondoltam, nagyon remélem, hogy nekem nem kell hasonlót megélnem...
Petter Wolff
Jul 31, 2015 Petter Wolff rated it really liked it
En lättsam bagatell om det varken lättsamma eller bagatellartade kriget. Väl värd att läsa, speciellt tillsammans med fotografierna då förstås.
Michael Hsiao
Mar 02, 2014 Michael Hsiao rated it it was amazing
This is a very interesting perspective on the war and it's publicity. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in 20th century history.
Tisha Shaughnessy-Sullivan
Jun 09, 2016 Tisha Shaughnessy-Sullivan rated it it was amazing
Love Capa, loved his book. If you're a fan, you'll enjoy this.
Gergő Tóth
Sep 22, 2015 Gergő Tóth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amusing, mirthful and honest writing in a witty way about one of the most disgraceful human acts, wrapped into an airy love story.
Dan Markham
Jan 30, 2015 Dan Markham rated it it was amazing
I can't recommend this highly enough, buy it.
Mar 08, 2016 Arf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
as fun and breezy as a capra...
Leanne Whitehead
Jan 21, 2015 Leanne Whitehead rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favourite book.
Dro Sohrabian
Jun 04, 2015 Dro Sohrabian rated it it was amazing
Damn Hemingway
Bjørn André Haugland
Apr 13, 2013 Bjørn André Haugland rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant, such a fast-paced, witty and observant account of the greatest human conflict to date. I read it cover to cover in under 24 hours, and I could almost start it over again already. Complete with amazing photos from the author himself, which really hit home what Capa is describing. However what really stands out is Capa's voice. His narration is personal, clever and so incredibly brash that you can't help but be taken along for the ride. Impossible to put down.
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