Goat: A Memoir
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Goat: A Memoir

3.09 of 5 stars 3.09  ·  rating details  ·  876 ratings  ·  135 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,208)
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Men D.
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...more
Clare
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?
La...more
Abel C
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.
Karyn
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.
Thomas
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
Jill
Sep 18, 2009 Jill rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Jake
Mar 30, 2007 Jake rated it 2 of 5 stars 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...more
Michael
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
Jarrod Scarbrough
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
kelly
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
Dave
This is one of many books that I judged by its cover and ended up enjoying quite a bit. I still remember being in the book store and seeing this strikingly simple book cover and instantly picked up and read the description and bought it on the spot. It's the author's memoir about going through two particularly horrible moments in his life...an incident when he was more or less abducted and assaulted and another where he suffers through various hazing rituals at a Southern college. While reading...more
Jason
May 04, 2008 Jason rated it 4 of 5 stars 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
Noaho
My overall rating of the book Goat by: Brad Land was 2 stars. I thought this because while it was a good book it just wasn’t for me.
Brad in this book had to go through a traumatizing experience. This book explains his recovery from that and the challenges he faces. He joins a fraternity to try and take his mind off things. What he doesn’t know is the challenges he will face with his fellow beginners.
I think that the strongest part of this text was that Brad Land did a good job of portraying th...more
Genevieve Wandro
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...more
Shari-lynn Pringle
I liked this book although the entire time while reading (via Audible.com) I couldn't quite figure out why I had placed it on my reading list in the first place. I suspect it was recommended by someone but I can't remember. It has been on my reading list for about 2 years so I felt it was time to get through it. It isn't great writing but it isn't so bad that you can't buckle down and get through it. I was encouraged to get through it because I truly cared to know what happened to the main chara...more
Meagan
Another memoir. Normally I space my nonfiction material, but a little over a year ago Brad Land came to SIUE to read from Goat and for a book signing. I hadn't read the book, mostly I was going out of curiosity and the suggestion of one of my English Teachers. I missed the introduction, but I got to hear him read.

Anyway, I felt moved and bought the book and had him sign it. I didn't get around to reading it until just now though. Such is life.

Anyway, it is very well written. Mostly it is in stre...more
David
goat is a memoir that i found to be very engaging.
in the beginning of the book brad is attacked and almost killed by two men who ask him for a ride. throughout the rest of the book brad tries to find a way to cope with the horrific event while finding himself in some difficult situations. brad has a younger brother who ends up going to a college where he joins a fraternity; brad is very attached to his brother and decides to do the same. however, he always feels that he is holding his brother ba...more
Leanna
Land's memoir is written in a variation of stream-of-consciousness. Victimization is a common theme in Goat, which includes multiple scenes of graphic violence. The abuse takes place between complete strangers and "brothers," and runs parallel to the dissolution of the close relationship between the author and his familial brother. Ultimately, I found the SoC writing style to be a bit distracting, and sometimes there seemed to be too many unrelated details during scenes that would've had more im...more
Gage
Goat by Brad Land is a decent book. Its an easy read, and also easy to follow. I say 3.5/5 stars. This book is about Brad’s life as a young adult. It goes to show how messed up peoples lives can be. Brad goes from going to parties all the way to being kidnapped. I Really liked how the author wasn't scared to say what he said, or did what he did. He isn't scared to admit stuff like getting the crap beat out of him. Or beating up other people. This is a big strength in the book. But this book also...more
Terry
Great cover. Good idea: young man is mugged, feels shame and fear because he was attacked and didn't live up to the Vin Diesel ideal, so he goes off to college and rushes a fraternity, only to feel attacked again. Land never got me to care, and when the climactic event unfolds, it just feels flat and pointless. Sort of like the rest of the book. So while I wanted to like this book, there was nothing to hang onto: no creative use of language, no memorable characters, no theme about masculinity, v...more
Chris
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...more
Susan
Jun 29, 2010 Susan rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: fans of memoir, brothers, people interested in fraternities
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
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...more
Tracie


I wanted to like this book; I really did. The story is intriguing in that it is about a young man who survives a terrifying assault only to relive part of the experience as a fraternity pledge. My biggest issue with the memoir is that the main character comes off as unsympathetic. Yes, bad things happen to him, but he makes terrible choices and puts himself in risky situations against his own better judgement. The writing style, kind of a poor man's stream of consciousness, forces the reader to...more
Andy
Essentially a true-crime book in substance, if not in style. The main thrust here is a one-two punch of violent experiences (a carjacking/mugging and a fraternity hazing), reported in stream-of-consciousness form that has the scent of "Emo" about it. The fact that the lead player here (i.e. the author) seems to be an almost absurdly pacifistic individual, lacking in the will to even cooperate in the investigation of his violent assault (he seems to be willfully trying to prevent these creeps fro...more
Angie
I think Brad needed a little more distance before writing this book. The only thing I really enjoyed about this was the unique writing style. Beyond that, it's a mere re-telling without much insight into any of the characters thoughts. I felt the parts about the fraternity hazing was merely for shock value, perhaps to get this book on shelves. There was no history to the fraternity (I found myself on wiki to fill in the gaps), no depth to other pledges experiences beyond what Brad himself witnes...more
Sarah
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
Molly
A moving description of a young man's abduction and his subsequent experience with fraternity hazing. I found the first part of the book gut-wrenchingly emotional, and I admire the hell out of Land for exposing the inner workings of the fraternity system in the second half. Even though some fraternities and sororities have cracked down on the kind of hazing described in this book, Land's portrayal of Greek life still rings true because it is the psychologocal trauma experienced just by being a p...more
Mike Moskos
Tortured. Probably designed as some sort of artistic effect but it doesn't make for an enjoyable book.

I picked this up because of an interest in fraternity hazing: for many years, I catalogued hazing related deaths (until Hank Nuwer picked it up).

Virtually anyone can put up with any amount of hazing. The tragedy is taking all that abuse and then discovering that the chapter you've worked so hard to get into is, well, a pile of smoldering crap. The resentments don't end simply because pledgeship...more
Karen
kinda funny how stereotypical college boys can be. I've noticed a lot of mixed reviews on this book. yeah the structure sucks it was a hit or miss with that. but the story is a pretty decent read. its short enough that it's not drawn out and its direct. its nice to get into someones world briefly and see things how they do and that is something the author did wonderfully. weather you are annoyed by his self loathing or feel pity you can still get attached for him. and by the end of the book you...more
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