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Goat: A Memoir

3.09  ·  Rating Details ·  1,307 Ratings  ·  184 Reviews
Reeling from a terrifying assault that has left him physically injured and psychologically shattered, nineteen-year-old Brad Land must also contend with unsympathetic local police, parents who can barely discuss “the incident” (as they call it), a brother riddled with guilt but unable to slow down enough for Brad to keep up, and the feeling that he’ll never be normal again ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2004)
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Franco  Santos
Este libro es un desperdicio de papel. ¿Qué carajo es esto?

Relato autobiográfico de Brad Land, quien luego de ser asaltado de forma violenta debe lidiar con las secuelas psicológicas que ese hecho le dejó. Ahora bien, entiendo este trabajo del autor como un intento de ser profundo, algo que no le sale para nada. Ni siquiera logra transmitir lo que supuestamente estaba sintiendo en esa época. Y, para más inri, el libro no posee una trama definida, sino que esta es difusa, no tiene sustancia y ca
Peter Monn
Aug 26, 2016 Peter Monn rated it it was amazing
This book is unreal. Beautifully written and yer tragically told. A modern day version of The Outsiders but true. Check out my full video review on my Booktube channel at
Jul 11, 2008 Karyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
In college, Land joined a fraternity, and they hazed him. The hazing traumatized him, and he wants us to feel bad about that. He writes nice sentences, but there's nothing compelling about this story.
Abel C
Mar 07, 2008 Abel C rated it did not like it
After a promising start, this memoir drearily deteriorates into the author's vain, fruitless, and ultimately frustrating search for profundity in a thoroughly mediocre life. If your daily dose of Good Charlotte and telling your parents you hate them isn't making you feel "emo" enough, this book might do the trick.
Men D.
Nov 09, 2010 Men D. rated it liked it
A friend's friend was president of his frat in college. He freaks out every time you say "frat." He is a long-necked geek who laughs like Professor Frink on the Simpsons. He says, "You can't abbreviate that way. Would you call your 'country' a . . . ?"

This book was the first thing that came up when I Googled "frat memoir," so I bought it for a penny on Amazon. Well worth the money. Land has a strong, unique voice that expresses dread well. And what dread - the subjects of the memoir are his abdu
Aug 11, 2007 Clare rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well. What a lot of bad things happened to this guy. This is Brad Land's story of surviving a brutal carjacking and how it affected his life and in particular his relationship with his brother. The desire to stay close to said brother led Land to pledge a fraternity that, I don't know, maybe is typical but Jesus I hope not. I hope this particular fraternity is totally unique. It is made up entirely of sociaopaths. Are people seriously doing this stuff? To get into a fraternity? And if so, why?
Mar 30, 2007 Jake rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one, really
As a Kappa Sigma, I was intrigued by this memoir that allegedly dealt with the hazing-intensive pledging period of a young man in the mid-90's in South Carolina. What I ended up reading was more like a pathetic attempt at ripping off Dave Eggers.

Not only was the entire book pretty much void of cohesion or punctuation, the plot struggled to stay linear and relevant, with so many names of brothers and pledges dropped that it quickly became difficult to distinguish between tormentor and victim. But
Jul 24, 2011 Thomas rated it liked it
Maybe my reviewing is skewed a bit high for this let-down of a novel - because I was in a fraternity and I know my writing ability is not worthy of published material. And I say let-down because it starts off as compelling. I hate to say this because it is based on a true story and I wish abduction was nonexistent. The psychological repercussions are endless for all victims and friends/family of victims. The recollection told is perfectly vivid and absent of descriptive detail to be relentlessly ...more
Sep 11, 2009 Chris rated it it was ok
This was a really unpleasant book. I'm sorry that Land went through a brutal attack the way he did, but joining a sadistic fraternity and giving a ride to yet another stranger and spending the rest of the book smoking and moping was not a good way to deal with his trauma. There's no one really to like in this book, even the author is not very sympathetic or likable. And for the love of pete, how hard would it have been to give us poor readers quotation marks? I loathe books where the dialogue do ...more
Wynne Kontos
Feb 04, 2016 Wynne Kontos rated it really liked it
I loved this because it served all parts of of my life as a writer, a social worker and a former Sorority member. That being said, it has to be known that I am not an unbiased reader.
Brad Land's memoir about personal tragedy and the following fraternity hazing he endured has likely done immense damage to an organization that is near and dear to my heart. And that's okay.

I first heard about this memoir after reading about the recent film adaptation that debuted at Sundance 2016 to rave reviews.
Jan 04, 2014 kelly rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book, but it's not very compelling at all. The story is interesting--a young man is a victim of a terrifying carjacking (which he hasn't quite healed from) and becomes a victim of the same kind of violence as a fraternity pledge shortly after. I feel bad for this guy, I really do, but I have to wonder exactly what he expected as a part of the pledging process. He talks about having to sit with his brothers for breakfast every morning as if he was being stretched on a tortur ...more
Siarra Marchant
May 03, 2017 Siarra Marchant rated it really liked it
Goat: A Memoir by Brad Land, is a story told about two brothers and their journey heading off the collage together. It all starts at a party, Land gave two strangers a ride home from a college party, Land winds up in a ditch, brutally beaten and robbed. The next year, he transfers to Clemson, determined to follow his smart big brother in pledging to Kappa Sigma. They are desperate to get into this fraternity and hazing week arrives with crazy dangerous stunts. Some may be regretting joining.. I ...more
Lisa Manke
Mar 25, 2017 Lisa Manke rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 09, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it
Wow. This book is very depressing and disturbing, but although I've been on a crusade of late to be more selective with the books I keep after reading (since I have boxes full of unread books and overflowing bookshelves), the author's writing style is so amazing to me, this one will HAVE TO be a keeper.

The book is a memoir of the author as a teen, when, just before he goes away to college, he is the victim of a violent attack by two men who beat him brutally for no apparent reason. This book tak
Sep 18, 2009 Jill rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
I surprised myself by liking this book. The writing is mostly stream-of-consciousness, with no quotation marks for dialogue, and unclear edges of events. But instead of coming across as self-conscious, it felt more realistic, as though I was actually inside this guy's head. Sometimes life is more like a half-remembered dream than a clear sequence of events, and Land catches this eloquently.

I also liked the fact that Land is telling a story that is not often told - about a man who admits fear and
Feb 26, 2008 Chris rated it did not like it
The style of this memoir was odd and engaging but the substance was far less compelling.

(Spoilers ahead)

While in college, a kid is carjacked and beaten. He later attends a different college with his brother and is hazed when he pledges a fraternity. He drops out before he's accepted. While I can intuit certain ties between these events, the author draws none himself which I found surprising. The book's unfocused. There's no special insight into frats or hazing. The events that unfold aren't surp
Jarrod Scarbrough
Mar 07, 2013 Jarrod Scarbrough rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
This is a tough memoir to get through. In part, I can see how the hipster writing style would be a roadblock for some. Mainly, the subject matter is full of triggers for those who have been victims of violence. Land was abducted, carjacked, beaten and abused. It took him a long time to be able to function after the attack, and he and his brother drifted apart. They end up going to the same school where the author decides to pledge his brother's fraternity. The process is one full of things that ...more
Nov 22, 2012 Michael rated it it was ok
Shelves: autobiography
This was one of the first books I read when I started reading as a hobby. It is basically a story of a guy that gets assaulted and just can't seem to get over it. And how it affects his life. Not really a bad book but not very great either. I have personally known people that have suffered much worse than this guy and their life didn't turn into a pity party. If someone has been through similar experiences and are unable to let it go and live everyday of their life haunted by a single bad event. ...more
Mar 23, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
The author writes about a traumatic event (kidnapping, robbery, and violent assault) that scars him emotionally and distances himself from his brother, and his attempt to gain a stronger relationship with his brother by joining his fraternity. This further traumatizes him due to the intense and violent hazing he experiences. I think its a very honest and insightful look at false masculinity. Even before the violent trauma, he talks about being too scared to have sex or smoke weed but lying to fi ...more
Donald Jans
Sep 22, 2015 Donald Jans rated it it was amazing
Wonderful honest, easy to read memoir, with some pretty scary scenes, and honesty about how life can turn into crap on a dime.
Nov 27, 2014 Fayette rated it really liked it
Pretty intense book, not for everyone. Tough language, even tougher reality, confirms all my previously held ideas of fraternities and more.
Erenik Dujaka
Nov 12, 2016 Erenik Dujaka rated it liked it
Finished it for 3 hours, and it was a bold analysis of American college life, but the plot did not build up to have a great resolution at the end.
Dec 27, 2016 Shawn rated it liked it

This is a troublesome novel because it paints a vivid picture of the sort of quagmire that affects and constrains a great proportion of the young men in the United States. Large segments of American youth are reared up in environments that consider alcohol, tobacco, and drugs a normality, even though these substances can clearly deteriorate ones ability to grow spiritually and achieve educational goals. This book is about the particular adverse culture that can erupt in college frate
The synopsis of the story has to do with the protaganist being involved or part of a severe hazing that resulted in death and whatever happened to him. Not a spoiler since it's in the jacket cover of the book. The author, Brad Land and his younger brother, Brett, were both enrolled in the same university although Brett entered a year before Brad. Brad held out for a year because of anxieties and PTSD (I believe it's what it was) that he had experienced. The year before entering school, Brad suff ...more
Jan 20, 2017 Vin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 25, 2016 Liesel rated it it was ok
I picked this book up after hearing it was based in Clemson. Overall, the writing was terrible. I'm not sure what the editor did to this book but grammar and overall sentence structure were horrid. The message of the book was a serious topic but I felt the poor writing style really took away from the tale. Additionally, I didn't like how the author kept harping on how awful Greek life was long after he quit. Wouldn't recommend this book at all to anyone as I struggled to finish myself.
Mike McAdam
Mar 03, 2017 Mike McAdam rated it did not like it
I have read and reviewed hundreds of books and this is my first one star review (I even gave Snooki's book 2 stars). I really wanted to like this and find some redeeming value but good grief is this book terrible! The writing style leaves a lot to be desired. Also, it is poorly written and poorly edited. I feel like there were necessary parts to the story that are missing and scenes in the book that are completely unnecessary and have nothing to do with the story. And, I hate to say this as this ...more
Genevieve Wandro
Oct 17, 2013 Genevieve Wandro rated it liked it
My overall rating for Brand Land’s memoir Goat is a 3 out of 5 stars.

After everything Brad has been through with getting beaten up by people he doesn’t even know he is very insecure and never feels safe. His brother Brett is in a fraternity called Kappa Sigma, Brad feels like that if he was with his brother he would feel less scared and insecure. Brad goes through the struggles of hazing and being a pledge and tries to find the right way to deal with it. Brett goes through the struggles of helpi
Apr 24, 2008 Jason rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: someone not full of shit
Recommended to Jason by: my babies
Stylistically reminiscent of James Frey, which is a sort-of cheap shot when it comes to memoirs. I read this in a day, which I don't get to do often, because of time - yes - but also because there hasn't been a book as gripping. I think the one thing most people won't like about this is his almost stream-of-thought, conversational writing style. It's definitely not academic. While it doesn't bother me I wonder if it's a good style to take on. At times it almost feels too easy. But I don't write ...more
Jul 08, 2015 Niamh rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-that-i-own
I can see now why there are so many negative reviews of this book. The writing is not for everybody- though I did, personally, very much enjoy this memoir.

Honestly, you shouldn't read it if you're expecting hugely descriptive and poetic prose or a tantalizing story of college boys, intertwined with metaphors and all that. The writing is, quite literally, a stream of consciousness thought process that comes straight from Brad's brain onto the page. So the lack of speech marks, or the intrusions
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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 1 11 Jan 25, 2009 04:03PM  
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