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Homeboy

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  275 Ratings  ·  31 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
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Hardcover, 390 pages
Published May 12th 1990 by Random House (first published 1990)
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Patrick O'Neil
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jim
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
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
Guy
Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Liam Green
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a sin against God that Seth Morgan had to die just after publishing his first novel, an epic of crime and punishment, good and evil and every shade of gray in between them. An escort's hideous murder, a stolen diamond, a corpulently evil mobster/pornographer, a cop with a guilty conscience - all these elements of HOMEBOY are tropes. But what can't be imitated is the vision and the knowledge of hard living that Morgan earned as a biker, pusher, addict, and prison inmate.

And then there's t
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Pat Wagner
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite book. Seth Morgan was gone way too soon.
Dave
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is a literary tour through the drug alleys and strip clubs of San Francisco's North Beach and Tenderloin. With an amazing descriptive verbosity slightly reminiscent of Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid and a sense of hellish despair that has been likened to William Burroughs, Morgan has peopled this novel with the most unforgettable and tragic characters line Rings And Things who acquired her nickname after a three day drug addled sojourn with a motorcycle gang, only to wake up with every inc ...more
Scott Mock
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lyrical sleazy slither through the world of the Homeboy: pimp, hustler, lout, neer-do-well, and sometime ethical hustler working the streets of pre-Katrina N'awlins, you'll be rootin' for the Homeboy, knowing he's on a downward spiral, but rootin' nonetheless for him, his hopeful Homegirl, and Ring'sNThiings, who'll remind the reader-and her johns-that '...it's just a piece a gut-you cain't wear it out." Yet the plot wraps around this tattooed pro-slut and her determination to survive. ...more
tamarack
Nov 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Kit Fox
Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Alex
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Printable Tire
Nov 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Cort McMeel
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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...
Robert McKinnon
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Homeboy is a fascinating look at a world most literary readers seldom see. Imagine a Morgan--of the J.P. Morgans--going to prison and living to tell about it long enough to write this novel before he drove his Harley into a bridge in New Orleans. That's Seth Morgan and Homeboy.
Phil Spinks
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Valissa
Oct 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: house-of-flail
"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 . . ."
Libby
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can't believe it's been more than 20 years since I first read this book. It's exactly as I remembered: a manic burst of words from start to finish. Wears me out to read it, but it's worth the energy that it takes. Wild, imaginative, and very alive.
Michael Scotto
Jul 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Stuart Barr
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
andrew
Apr 24, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  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.
Steve Rosenstein
For those so inclined, here's my review at Open Letters Monthly:

http://www.openlettersmonthly.com/sec...
Marek Słodkowski
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The filthy, the insane and the desperate, perfectly captured.
Kaylie Demeglio
its is a goood book to read! is a lote all mad whold that he vose in this book
Derren
Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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?
Henry
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Writing at it's finest, cut short way too soon. The underside of New Orleans.
Stephen Barr
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sean Condon
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ih8booksmischa
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Debbie Hoskins
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This would probably be too edgy for me now. When I read this in my 30's the writing was so exciting and titillating.
John
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Agnes, this is most likely your Ignatious.
Cherie
rated it it was amazing
May 23, 2016
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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
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