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Off Magazine Street

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  418 Ratings  ·  51 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 - tho ...more
Paperback, 401 pages
Published January 30th 2005 by MacAdam/Cage (first published 2004)
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Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈

Read a book set in a place you've never been but want to visit.

So I'm really sorry about all the review bumping I'm giving this review. I'm seriously not like this. It took me hours to write today and I keep coming back to it because I just can't get out what I need to say. And after reading a few more reviews, I think I know why.

This is a very uncomfortable book. That is the perfect way to describe it. This book is like culture shock. Its the equivalent of getting invited to a party with a bunc
Santino Hassell
May 11, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Sep 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
Richard Sutton
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
New Orleans. Sudiciume, dissolutezza e, in ogni caso, poesia. «Con tutte le sue colpe e i suoi difetti, con la sua intelligenza inusuale - acuita o diluita dall'abuso di alcol e dai troppi pensieri - non era né buono né cattivo. Era soltanto un essere imperfetto che di nome faceva Bobby Long». Sbronzarsi è la regola, senza più fede o slanci di ordinarietà, non diversamente l'appetito per la cicciona Lorraine dalla personalità borderline. Quarantanove anni, Byron, lo scrittore, sempre a bere e a ...more
Shannon Yarbrough
Apr 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Byron and Bobby are your typical unreliable narrators. They are two good old boys who spend their time drinking and womanizing with little money and little worry. When their steady gal pal dies during their stay in New Orleans, her daughter, Hanna, shows up to collect her inheritance only to discover there is none. Hanna ends up staying with Byron and Bobby and so begins an unlikely friendship between the three as Byron and Bobby proceed to help Hanna get a formal education.

As I said, Byron and
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.
Rachel Bullington
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Love Song for Bobby Long has been my favorite movie since I first watched it, which made reading this book scary, for fear that it would ruin the movie for me. At first the fact that there is a good bit of difference between the storylines bothered me, but there are enough similarities to make it feel comfortable.

My love for these characters comes from their deeply flawed and broken, yet not quite devoid souls. Their own drinking and perversion never ceased, their careers and social standing
Aug 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, because I loved the movie, Love Song for Bobby Long, which was based on the book.
Danielle Godwin
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 27, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2009-reads
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
Mar 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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
Sep 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un libro che lascia l'amaro in bocca. Sin dal primo capitolo si capisce che bisogna andare oltre la prima impressione e avventurarsi nella mente dei personaggi. Nonostante sia un romanzo di formazione, in cui Hanna migliora la sua condizione grazie a Bobby e Byron, questi ultimi continuano a risultare odiosi agli occhi del lettore, indolenti e senza alcuna voglia di redimersi. Il finale lascia un po' a desiderare. Insomma, un libro affascinante quanto strano. Peccato per i contenuti misogino, ma ...more
Zach Freeman
Sep 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sullo-scaffale, 2016
I due personaggi principali, Bobby e Byron, sono davvero il cuore di questo romanzo. Sono fastidiosi, disturbanti ed eccessivi, ubriaconi ma colti, arrapati ma paterni, disperati ma creativi e decisi comunque a godersi la vita nonostante tutto. Il romanzo sono loro e la loro quotidianità fatta di amicizie anch'esse disperate ma sempre presenti. Hanna sarà la loro luce, ma riceverà dai due "maledetti" più di quanto creda e saprà aspettarsi.
Nov 14, 2009 rated it did not like it
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.
Jul 19, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Jun 11, 2007 rated it liked it
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.
Jan 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
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.
Feb 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
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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.” 8 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.” 7 likes
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