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My Losing Season: A Memoir
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My Losing Season: A Memoir

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  6,161 ratings  ·  373 reviews

“I was born to be a point guard, but not a very good one. . . .There was a time in my life when I walked through the world known to myself and others as an athlete. It was part of my own definition of who I was and certainly the part I most respected. When I was a young man, I was well-built and agile and ready for the
Paperback, 432 pages
Published August 26th 2003 by Dial Press Trade Paperback (first published January 1st 2002)
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Best Memoir / Biography / Autobiography
333rd out of 2,990 books — 3,345 voters
The Prince of Tides by Pat ConroyThe Lords of Discipline by Pat ConroyBeach Music by Pat ConroyThe Water is Wide by Pat ConroySouth of Broad by Pat Conroy
Best of Pat Conroy
7th out of 13 books — 32 voters

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Community Reviews

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There's a scene in a 1970s movie in which Gene Hackman tries to grind up a broken wine glass in a garbage disposal. Reading this book is a lot like that.

I picked up "My Losing Season" not as a great fan of Pat Conroy or as a former athlete. I was attracted more by the theme of loss and its lessons. And I expected a different personal story than the one Conroy tells. The losing basketball season in his last year as a cadet at The Citadel in Charleston, SC, is a pretext for a much deeper theme - s
As a basketball player and a major participant in several losing seasons i am probably biased. But, Conroy does a great job of telling the story of his losing season as a senior at the Citadel. Lots of basketball action, but a great underlying message that goes far beyond the sport.
This is a good book, albeit one that needed a more forceful editor. Pat Conroy is a particularly emotional and effusive author who has a tendency to use superlatives about everything in his life. I didn't mind that for 90% of the book, but after a while, it begins to grate. Conroy is always a failure, a bad husband, an unworthy friend while the people in his life are giants of humanity, saints and true companions. Of course, neither is the case. The same emotional element holds true with his wri ...more
"My Losing Season" is a powerful book that uses the author’s losing 1966-1967basketball season at The Citadel to explore whether one learns more from winning or from losing. From the opening line, “I was born to be a point guard, but not a very good one,” to the end, Conroy has a gift for memorable, descriptive writing.

I should preface my review by stating I don’t enjoy basketball, which includes playing it growing up and now watching it live or on TV. In High School P.E., they nicknamed me “Th
Eh, this was an OK book. I'll start by saying that I'm an admittedly hard sell on memoirs.

I found this one to be slow moving. Pat Conroy seemed to vacillate between being absolutely full of himself to being completely self-degrading. That got on my nerves. Which was it? Likely, it was somewhere in between and he should have just stayed there in his narration.

"Oh I sucked so much at basketball. Oh I got the basketball MVP. Oh I was such a mediocre player. Oh I took them to the hoop and scored 25
Linda Hart
If you *love* basketball you will love this recounting of Conroy's senior season as a member of the Citadel basketball team. A touching meditation on loss and pain, Conroy's diction in this work is masterful; If, as I, you are merely a Conroy fan, you will enjoy learning more of who and what shaped this writer. In writing about basketball, Conroy finds a vessel to chew, interpret, and shape so much of his past, and out of it life's meaning.

“There is no teacher more discriminating or transformin
Alice Parrish
I love this book. I was raised on ACC basketball. I firmly believe that the ACC & the reverence for basketball in the Carolinas is our true regional religion. Conroy uses his incredible command of the English language to write prose that might as well be poetry. I share Conroy's love & reverence for the game of basketball & particularly for the ACC so for me this book resonates with the very essence of my being. Given that I may be quite welling to overlook what other readers think i ...more
I didn't expect to like this book, as I don't follow basketball (or really sports at all). But this isn't a basketball story, it's a lovely and poignant coming of age story. It made me want my son, who is just a little tyke now, to know the beauty of being a part of a team.
Losing Season, by Pat Conroy, was imaginative, thought-provoking, and well written. Conroy had the imaginative idea to write a book about losers, with himself at center stage. He showed from his own experience that one can learn more from losing than from winning. He layers the vivid basketball story with his own painful coming of age out of an abusive home into an abusive miltary college environment with a dominating coach that leads by put-downs of his players. His writing carries the reader i ...more
Another deeply emotional character-driven angst-ridden exposé of the hell, honor, discipline, brotherhood of cadets at the Citadel. His prose is as tasty as a southern barbecue savory, spicy, and delicious.
This is an intense memoir that teaches lessons learned and perseverance even under losing circumstances. Conroy's early life that helped shape his later novels is all here--his abusive father, his military training and college life, etc... I'm not sure if a non athletic reader would lack the schema necessary for the basketball action parts. But if you have ever fell in love with a sport that helped you escape the troubles of childhood or gave you discipline and focus, this is your book. But even ...more
Another book I pulled from my bookshelves while riding out our snowpocalypse. I picked up this advanced reader's copy back when I was working at Barnes and Noble. The book was hugely popular when it was released, but I never got around to reading it until now. In the book Pat Conroy explores his life through his love of basketball, particularly through his senior year season on the Citadel basketball team. Although it is a lot about basketball and the games that team played, it also explores his ...more
I know this is a strange thing to say about a book that is mainly about basketball, but I enjoyed this book with the exception of the play-by-play basketball game parts. I thought the team dynamics, Citadel life, his crazy coach and his mean father were all really good but the basketball parts I could take or leave.

I am glad I read it because I liked learning about this authors life and how he came to be an author and the different parts of his real life and basketball career that translated in
Frederick Bingham
The story of Conroy's senior year basketball season at the Citadel in 1966-67. He played point guard on a team that won 8 and lost 17 games. The book is at its best when it describes the coach and the other players. It falls flat when it goes off on tangents, like a long one about the author's girlfriend in his sophomore year. Also unwelcome is an often sappy sentimentality about the Citadel and his reunion with the players in the 1990's. The last 1/4 or so of the book could have been deleted wi ...more
Paula Dembeck
I really enjoy this author. A great memoir, at times heart breaking.
This is the story of Conroy's last season playing point guard for the Citadel Bulldogs. He had a difficult home life and we see how the humiliating abuse from his father affected his sense of self. Basketball became a personal refuge for him as he battled to move from being a mediocre player to something better. At military college he endured the abuse of the plebe system, but a warm relationship with an English professor and hi
Conroy will always be one of my favorite writers because of "The prince of tides," "Lords of discipline" and "The great santini." He writes beautifully and has true command of the English language. But this book was so painfully boring that I finally decided to give up after reading 200 pages. There are way too many books I want to read, I shouldn't waste my time on books that I dread picking up.
Blake Miller
"My Losing Season" by Pat Conroy is one of the best books I have ever read. This is the first and only book I have read that was written by Pat Conroy. I wish I knew about more books that he wrote because this one was very good. My favorite part about the way the book is written is the fact that it is written through eyes and so it makes the book seem more real.

In the book, Pat is a member of the Citadel University basketball team. His childhood was rough because he had a father who was tough on
Feb 24, 2014 Mikala rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: bball fans

We all know the feeling of being assigned to read a book we don't want to read. These "forced" books are often times boring, uneventful and meaningless to us. Since we are enduring it for a grade reading becomes a chore (and that is just sad). I have had assigned reading books that bored me to tears and a few that I felt like I could actually take something away from. This one falls somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. There were times when I would rather take the zero on the quiz the next
To enjoy this book I believe you either need to be a basketball fan or a Pat Conroy fan.

I fall into the later category after picking up "The Prince of Tides" as a teenager and falling in love with most things set in the South. So the attraction for me was the autobiographical content of the book. For a long time I have wondered how much of Conroy's work was fiction, faction or fact as every book seems to have a different version of the same character and consistent themes run throughout.

I strug
I could be the only person in the world whose first Pat Conroy book was his sports memoir My Losing Season instead of one of his better known novels like Lords of Discipline, The Great Santini or Beach Music. But Charleston, SC made me do it. I just enjoyed my first trip to this southern stunner, and I toured the Citadel with a friend from SC who'd read this memoir. I can also blame my kids. My teenage son T-Bone and tween daughter The Bug both play basketball. He devours it; she's a work horse. ...more
I love this author, and expected so much more from his autobiography. It was thoroughly uninspiring and I would never recommend it. In fact, there was so much basketball in here, he should have just taken a ball to the court for all I got out of this. What a waste of a good writer's skill.
Feb 08, 2015 Dale rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Barbara Lanzer
Shelves: memoir
I like Pat Conroy's novels. I don't particularly like sports. So when I started reading this and realized that it was his memoir of his last season playing basketball at the Citadel, I groaned. I thought I would break my record for NEVER putting a book down until it was finished. But despite the blow by blow plays in every game and how many points were scored by this and that basketball player, I could not put this book down. Conroy continues to use his writing skills for cathartic purposes, but ...more
Howard White
Pat Conroy's life has been hell. Or it would seem that way if you've read his early work.

Conroy has mined his childhood and young adulthood for his fiction. The earliest works--the most directly mined--are his best and most powerful as a result. The Water is Wide, a thinly fictionalized memoir of his first job out of college teaching disadvantaged African American children on one of South Carolina's Sea Islands in the late '60s; The Great Santini, the classic novel drawn from his life as the so
I gave this book to my sons. Losing is a state of mind. You can take defeat and turn it into something that builds character and strength. More power to him.
Patis always good.
Nick DiNiro
This book is what made me love to read again. I had forgotten what a genuine novel felt like after being forced, over years of schooling, to read the "esteemed classics." I love and value works of literary significance, but often times it seems that focus is given solely to the author's writing prowess. The works then come off as otherworldly, with an air of superiority that detracts from their value. Reading should be an interactive experience of self acknowledgement and exploration. It is an a ...more
I love Pat Conroy's books. They stir up so much emotion... and this is no exception, regardless of it not being fiction. He is so good at describing the feelings of those in the book that you can at least at one point or another relate. Other times you can't believe that it's possible that life could be so horrible. I guess that that's what gives him something to write about - but I'm not sure that I'd want to go through what he had to just to be able to write a memoir as well as novels. Wow. Ju ...more
George Clack
Conroy is a florid writer for my taste. He seems to love every metaphor that occurs to him, is not at all troubled by clichés, and has a streak of sentimentality astonishing in a military college grad. But still. The stories he has to tell of his senior year as point guard on the The Citadel basketball team are marvelous. He’s got the deadpan locker-room humor of athletes cutting on each other down beautifully. Of course, this book is about much more than basketball, though it’s one of the top f ...more
I knew that Pat Conroy had written 'The Lords of Discipline', the fictional tale of life at The Citadel, but knew little about him personally. I'd seen the movie adaption of another of his works, 'The Great Santini'. A friend recommended this, and I gave it a try.

The book is a sort of an autobiography for Pat, who takes us from his childhood through his years attending The Citadel. Though the focus of the book is his senior year as captain of the basketball team, this is not a book about basket
This book was a biography of one of my favorite author's college basketball career with the Citadel. It helped me understand where he came from and why he writes the way he does and I just loved this book. It was about a boy with such huge basketball dreams and with such a love for the game but not the talent to back it up. I loved his positive out look through everything he went through. I loved how he showed how inadequate and insecure he felt. He slowly showed you through the book that he gre ...more
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Success of Pat Conroy's basketball career 8 23 Mar 15, 2013 06:05PM  
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Pat Conroy is the New York Times bestselling author of two memoirs and seven novels, including The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, and The Lords of Discipline. Born the eldest of seven children in a rigidly disciplined military household, he attended the Citadel, the military college of South Carolina. He briefly became a schoolteacher (which he chronicled in his memoir The Water Is Wide) befo ...more
More about Pat Conroy...
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