Off Magazine Street
Ronald Everett Capps
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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 — though both know it’s just a thin reason to get up and go to the bar. When their latest female companion dies in their fleabag hotel room, the duo find themselves putting up her young but futureless daughter, Hanna. Despite their own dishonorable intentions and aging desires, the pair cannot abide her lack of ambition and low expectations for herself. Together, they dust off their teachers’ instincts and conspire to use every means necessary — legal, illegal, fair, and unfair — to get Hanna into college. Fueled by the purest motives they can muster, the men battle the seduction of vice to give Hanna a chance, and discover for themselves that true character doesn’t drown easily. From the Author: "I started writing this book in the late 1980s, and finished it about ten years ago. It is fictional but based largely on my experiences and observations of my friends. I set the story in New Orleans, painting my own interpretation of places I familiarized myself with while my son was a student at Tulane University. The characters are born of a very real conglomerate of the memories I’ve formed over the years, and those memories have become a vehicle to explore things about myself. I used the character Byron Burns, based on the mannerisms of a friend now gone, as a way to express my ambition as a writer. Like the character Hanna, I grew up somewhat disadvantaged, and in many ways her story is mine. I was friends with a man whose name was Bobby Long. His character in the story is loosely based on my observations of his personality, although the novel is in no way meant to depict events in his life — only the...