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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  195 ratings  ·  24 reviews
"Mr. Morgan mocks the limits of language to create an unnerving and uterrly persuasive rendition of hell, one that affirms him as an important new novelist."
- The New York Times Book Review

Homeboy, Seth Morgan's stunning novel, is a gritty, ribald, and frenetically lyrical odyssey through the Strip of San Francisco - a netherworld of whores, pimps, dealers and junkies - to...more
Hardcover, 390 pages
Published May 12th 1990 by Random House (first published 1990)
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Patrick O'Neil
I was in New York, on 6th Ave, over by the Village, and my girl friend Jennifer was, well, she was shopping because… ahhh, because it's New York and that's what she does when we're in NYC. And I was like, "no, no, no, not another trendy-ass boutique, you're on your own." And she goes, "look, it's one of the real housewives of NYC, the cool one." Only I didn't know there were any cool ones, nor did I really know what the hell she was talking about, because when she goes all project runway and rea...more
HOMEBOY, the only work by the sadly tragic writer (he was Janis Joplin's last boyfriend) Seth Morgan, is a wonderful, warped, wild foray into the drug-addled, sex-infused, violence-ridden criminal world of 1980s San Francisco and the penitentiary system of California during the AIDS explosion. Writing about what he knew---drug addiction, strip-club barking, robbery, and prison life---from personal experience, Morgan crafted a tough, eye-opening look at a world few would want to visit, and even f...more
Cort McMeel
The prose in this is off the hook...performs the same kind of lyrical somersaults as Kerouac and Robert Stone..but with the dark vision of William Burroughs and the seedy crime world of Jim Thompson...this AMerican classic is a on off by an author who died young..on his motorcycle..a tragedy for all who love good books and writers who perform magic with prose...
Lang geleden dat ik nog eens zo’n viriele oplawaai kreeg als deze keer. Ik ben nog maar goed halfweg, maar deze Homeboy (****1/2) maakt nu al aanspraak op een mooie plaats in het eindejaarslijstje en Morgan mag voor mijn part en ondanks z’n beperkte oeuvre in één adem vernoemd worden met genregrootheden als James Ellroy en George Pelecanos. Amerikaanse misdaadliteratuur dus, en die “literatuur” staat daar niet zomaar. Dit is niet zomaar pulp, wegwerplectuur, licht verteerbare bagger. Morgan liet...more
Nov 12, 2007 tamarack rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the loner
i meant to save this book for an upcoming plane journey, but i kept eating into it and was done long before lift-off. homeboy is written in a slang particular to the hollywood strip where the story takes place. i can only guess, but to me it feels authentic. i can't imagine this tale without the pretzeling language which i now find seeping into my sleep. this is a well woven story with a multitude of Characters (note the capital “C”): joe speaker, the junkie; kitty litter, the dancer/hooker; bab...more
I was introduced to this novel, oddly enough, by Seth Morgan's obituary. This was a man who was with Janis Joplin when she died, who had done his 'finding himself' journey across America on a Harley Davidson.

'Homeboy' is a tale of prison, heroin addicts, perverts, strippers, pimps and corruption. If that makes it sound depressing, believe me, it's not. It's a journey into a world that most of us will never see, but it's written so well that you almost want to.

The entire thing shows what a talent...more
Kit Fox
As a native San Franciscan, I'm terribly ashamed that I didn't know about this pulpy yarn, set in the seedy, scummy, slutty, smutty streets of the Tenderloin and North Beach neighborhoods. Morgan's prose is rich, shocking, refreshing, and downright Paul Schrader-ish in its detail and subject matter. It's really a damn shame that he only cranked out this one novel before giving up the ghost. And, as always, I love adding new words from good books to my daily vocabulary. I'm now rather fond of exc...more
Now this was a great, if utterly disgusting, first novel. Lovers of more graphic crime fiction will love it. The plot was weak enough to show the author was a first-time writer, and it is more or less a "slice of life" tale, but I enjoy such tales, and the claustrophobic portrayal of prison life is probably the best I've ever seen.

Unfortunately the author is dead. He was the last boyfriend of Janis Joplin, I believe. The book, in its way, is like a gritty Kris Kristoferson song.
Stuart Barr
A fantastic street level novel charting the day to day life of a small time heroin dealer. Full of forensic and unglamorous detail. The books description of the US penal system is terrifying.
Phil Spinks
Wow. Not since 'The Ice at the Bottom of the World' has the use of language so enthralled me. I am not ashamed to admit to having to re-read almost every line to try and understand what is being said. Morgan clearly had a gift and it's a shame that talent is no longer with us.
"It's these jones. I can tell you everything about gambling cept how note to place that first sucker bet. Just the same as i can tell you everything about jail cept how to stay out and most all there is about livin cept how not to die . . ."
Its an adventure and pretty damn funny, worth a look maybe if you like chuck pahulnuik,or irvine walsh? n things like that ... once you start you won't put it down, if thats your taste of course.
Sean Condon
It's been twenty years since I read the wild tale of Rings n Things (one of the characters) and I've forgotten pretty much everything about the book, except how much I loved it.
Rings and Things is one of the stand out characters of Seth Morgans only novel. Did Seth really have a relationship with Janis Joplin? Or was he just her dealer?
Michael Scotto
The plot is nothing special, though well handled. Ah, the language in this one! What a voice. I wish the author had gotten to write more before his death.
Steve Rosenstein
For those so inclined, here's my review at Open Letters Monthly:

Stephen G. Barr
Probably one of my top 5 favorite reads due mostly to the correlation between the subject matter and the secret side of my own life.
Apr 24, 2007 andrew rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who wanna get down and dirty
Shelves: oldstuff
strippers, drugs, crime...this book has it all. Bit of a cult title, if you see it it's a well-written slap in the face.
Debbie Hoskins
This would probably be too edgy for me now. When I read this in my 30's the writing was so exciting and titillating.
Kaylie Demeglio
its is a goood book to read! is a lote all mad whold that he vose in this book
Ron Davis
One of the finest, toughest books I've ever had the pleasure of reading.
Marek Słodkowski
The filthy, the insane and the desperate, perfectly captured.

Writing at it's finest, cut short way too soon.
Cee marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2014
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Aug 26, 2014
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Aug 21, 2014
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Boo Yo marked it as to-read
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Seth Morgan (1949-October 17, 1990) was an American novelist, the author of Homeboy, published in 1990.

Morgan was the son of George Frederick Morgan, heir to the Ivory Soap fortune. who was a poet and the co-founder and long-time editor of The Hudson Review. Seth briefly attended Berkeley. After dropping out he began a relationship with singer Janis Joplin and was her fiancé at the time of her dea...more
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