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The Boo

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  1,394 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
Conroy's first book, published after he graduated from The Citadel. Colonel Nugent Corvoisie, better known as "The Boo," was the Lt. Commandant in charge of discipline at the military college. He was both loved and feared by his "lambs." The book is a collection of stories explaining life at The Citadel and interactions between the cadets and The Boo (Conroy twice nearly g ...more
Hardcover, 174 pages
Published December 1st 1983 by Old New York Book Shop Press (first published 1970)
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Aug 04, 2012 Todd rated it liked it
Pat Conroy is one of my favorite authors. "The Water is Wide", "The Prince of Tides", "My Losing Season", "The Great Sabatini"...all are American classics. "My Reading Life" was the first of his books that I read (I've read them all at this point...the only exception being his cookbook :), and it provided a great many other selections for my reading addiction. I'm not exactly certain why he is a favorite, although he was a basketball player at the Citadel, was/is an eclectic renaissance student/ ...more
Paul Aslanian
Apr 20, 2010 Paul Aslanian rated it liked it
This is Pat Conroy's first book. He graduated from the Citadel in 1967 and wrote this book in 1969. He had to pay to have it published. I think it is not easy to find a copy. In the edition I read, Conroy has a fairly lengthy introduction wherein he states that the book crys for the editing of a seasoned writer, but decides not to edit the book, but leave it the way "the young man wrote it"

It is a book about the number two guy at the Citidel who was among other things the disciplinarian, but muc
Jan 30, 2009 Argott rated it liked it
My cousin Michael went to the Citadel. He is smarter, more successful, and even better looking than I am. (Actually, that describes a lot of people. However, Michael is actually smarter, more successful, and better looking than almost every other man in America.)

Pat Conroy went to the Citadel too. He wrote The Boo as an homage to the Citadel. I read The Boo to gain important insights into my why my cousin has outpaced me in such a brutal fashion. If I could prove to myself that it was the Citad
Randall Yelverton
For hardcore fans of Conroy and "The Lords of Discipline" only. Episodic, by design, and lacking any narrative cohesiveness.
Mar 18, 2017 Bat713 rated it liked it
I have always loved Pat Conroe's books. This is his first and least favorite book of mine. I can't get into admiring a man who worked and supported the viciousness that was the Citadel in the 60s. I found the short stories hard to read. The early Conroy showed glimpses of the future author.
Oct 01, 2013 Sandie rated it really liked it
As most readers know, Pat Conroy spent his formative years after high school at The Citadel, a military college in Charleston, SC. The Boo is Conroy's first book, recently re-edited by him. It is a memoir of that time, but especially of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Nugent Courvoisie, the Commandant Of Cadets, nicknamed 'The Boo' by the cadets he oversaw.

Courvoisie was in charge of cadet behavior, and he was feared and respected in equal measures by those young men. Although those who broke the rul
Dec 17, 2010 Susan rated it it was ok
This is not my kind of book. You were forewarned in the very beginning. If you have any connection with a Citadel, in SC. You may feel a connection to the book. The only connection I have is, I live in SC, and my son did go into the military, specifically the navy for a short time till he was medically discharged. But other than that, I had at times liked the snippets of the "Boo"( stories). At other times I did not enjoy it. Pat Conroy warns us this is his first attempt. It is self published. I ...more
Kent Miller
May 29, 2016 Kent Miller marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

Acclaimed author Pat Conroy’s debut novel about life at the Citadel in the 1960s is a profound exploration of what it means to be a man of honor

Lt. Col. Nugent Courvoisie, known to the cadets as “the Boo,” is an imposing and inspiring leader at the South Carolina military academy, the Citadel. A harsh disciplinarian but a compassionate mentor, he guides and inspires his young charges.

Cadet Peter Cates is an anomaly. He is a gifted writer, a talented basketball player, and a good student, but his

Feb 10, 2017 Lauren rated it really liked it
Conroy's first effort at publishing and as Conroy himself stated on numerous occasions, it was poorly written. Obviously, Conroy soon learned how to become a far better writer. The book at times reads like notes that Conroy collected about Colonel Nugent "The Bool" Corvoisie of The Citadel. A collection of miscellaneous tidbits of information and stories that are never weaved together. Despite this, I enjoyed it, providing some of Pat's real experiences which got incorporated into his novel, The ...more
Robert Scott
Feb 09, 2017 Robert Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
--A picture in time depicting a forceful figure at the Citadel 1961-1968. Consist mostly of vignettes ranging from 1/8 page to 4 or 5 pages. T. N. Courvoisie was a disciplinarian, a detective, a bugaboo, and a father figure to the cadets during his tenure as Assistant Commandant of the Charleston, SC military academy. He was influential for many lives, even those that were ousted from the school.--
Brandon Pytel
Jan 12, 2015 Brandon Pytel rated it it was ok
In Conroy's defense, he did warn in the introduction that this was a bad book. A coworker recommended it to me, and I've never read Pat Conroy, so I'd thought I'd give it a go. I only wish she recommended a book other than his first and clearly inexperienced first novel It was an interesting depiction of The Citadel, a military school in South Carolina, but it wasn't much of a book at all. Rather, it was a collection of pieces and journal entries that characterized both The Boo and The Citadel. ...more
Dec 10, 2010 Mike rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book. I've always look forward to finally reading Pat Conroy. But it was awful. I gave up on it about 40% in to it (I'm an e-reader) All it was was individual paragraphs of little stories like "some guy did something wrong, (like snuck out of the Citadel for a beer), The Boo let him off" or "The Boo made him stand guard all night" or whatever. He states at the beginning that non-military types might not understand or dig the book. I was in the Army for many years and this b ...more

I have read other Pat Conroy books and liked them a lot, especially The Lords of Discipline which is about The Citadel and thought I would like this as well. I was wrong. The introduction here on Good Reads is not even an accurate description of what the book is about. It is about life at The Citadel written by Conroy after he graduated. He makes no apologies that this was his first book, or attempt at a book and knows it wasn't very good. I will still read other books of his, but I really
Gage Mcnally
Oct 26, 2011 Gage Mcnally rated it really liked it
I chose to read The Boo by Pat Conroy because it was recommended to me by a friend who is actually featured in the book. I asked him what he did to get in the book and his response was "Nothing, which is probably why I was put in it."I immediately knew this book would have a comical side to the military and it was just that. The book revolves around the life of cadets in the Citadel, a military school in Charleston."The Boo" was in charge at the time the book takes place. This story showed a bon ...more
Linda Taylor
Sep 07, 2015 Linda Taylor rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books
As the author tells you in his introduction, it was not his best work, but I still think it was a good one to read, especially with my new-found obsession with Pat Conroy. I don't have that much interest in the Citadel at all, but my interest in Pat Conroy and Charleston, made it still interesting to read. I didn't have any prior knowledge of military school life, which sometimes made it confusing or boring, but the chapters that related the author's first hand experience with "The Boo" as well ...more
Jun 06, 2013 Carla rated it it was amazing
It's odd that this and Lords of Discipline were my first introductions to Pat Conroy, but I was dating a Citadel cadet (later married and divorced, but who's counting?) at the time that I read it and The Boo was still alive, even though he was already a subject of much discussion and many legends. What a colorful character the Lt. Col. was, and what an enjoyable book for people who have some familiarity with the college and its customs. If you've ever been in the military and have known a tough ...more
May 22, 2014 Rob rated it liked it
I love Pat Conroy, and really enjoyed reading this book. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I was a Citadel grad. The Boo was easy to read and the stories were classic. Conroy does a great job of painting a picture of the Boo himself and helping the reader to appreciate this man. He makes him out to be a great man who does great things for the boys of the Citadel. He also does a great job of showing the problems in the institution and the injustices against the Boo as an employee and a man. ...more
Mar 26, 2011 Danielle rated it did not like it
This is Pat Conroy's first book, which I just recently got as an e-galley from NetGalley. It tells the story of the one of The Citadel's Commandants affectionately known as The Boo. There is very little narrative in this book. It is mostly telling specific stories about The Boo and specific cadets. It might be of interest to people who attended The Citadel and perhaps some people involved with the military at large, but I found it pretty boring and found myself skipping long passages of it. It's ...more
Sophia Koehn
Feb 10, 2014 Sophia Koehn rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, read-2014
Wow. Never thought I'd find a book by my favorite author that I wouldn't like. But I did. And he kinda warned me, dammit. In his new intro when the book was re-released he fully owns up to a poorly written book done in such a way that it probably is only enjoyable for those who have attended military school. But I kept reading. I'll say this. Pat was right. :)

However it is fascinating to see the beginning author compared to the great author he has become. So for that reason, I'm glad I read it.
Becky Morlok
Dec 23, 2011 Becky Morlok rated it liked it
It's difficult to give a PAT CONROY book 3 stars....although it was his very first book I enjoyed it just the same. Nobody sees or writes about life like Conroy...his words come straight through his heart. Given The Lords of Discipline remains in my Top 3 books of all time, I cannot believe it took me this many years to read The Boo....and I had it in my bookcase. I chose it for my Christmas read this year and don't regret it....I gifted an autographed copy to my business partner and we read it ...more
Jul 01, 2013 Telaina rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned, e-book
This is Conroy's first novel and I *may* get through it at some point in time, but all it has done thus far is make me want to re-read "Lords of Discipline" which I think I will do soon. His whole prologue talks about how this isn't a very good book and that he didn't know much about story-telling when he wrote it, and I think that sort of set me up to be critical. A big chunk of it is just vignettes strung together of crazy things cadets did at the Citadel. None of these "characters" are develo ...more
Branche Steinbach
Aug 08, 2012 Branche Steinbach rated it it was ok
Pat Conroy is honestly one of my favorite writers - but I am glad I read "Lords of Discipline" first.
This was Conroy's first book after graduating from the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, located in the city of Charleston. This book is a conglomeration of what I would call articles and short stories - and, indeed, as Conroy said in an interview many years later, it proved that, at that point, he "did not know how to write a book."
But, do not let that - or me - dissuade you from
David Ward
Feb 03, 2010 David Ward rated it it was ok
The Boo by Pat Conroy (Old New York Book Shop Press 1970)(Biography)is Conroy's first book following shortly upon his graduation from college at the Citadel in Charleston, S.C. The book is a loving tribute to a man he obviously idolized while at school and who was known as the "Boo." The "Boo" was an assistant dean of students and served as a father figure to many Citadel students; he was memorialized in this book as a tough but fair disciplinarian and was a thinly-disguised substitute for Conro ...more
Melissa Acuna
Feb 03, 2011 Melissa Acuna rated it liked it
This is the only one of Pat Conroy's books that I had not read, so I was very excited to see it released as a Kindle book. It's the first book Conroy wrote and it's not at the level of his other books. That said, I'm glad to have read it, as it provided insight into the characters who appeared in The Lords of Discipline.

If you are a fan of Pat Conroy and more specifically, The Lords of Discipline or want to better understand the philosophy of a military academy, this is a worthwhile read.
Lori Anderson
Nov 26, 2013 Lori Anderson rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
I love Pat Conroy, but this book probably won't appeal to many of his audience. Outlining his time at the Citadel, it reads more like memoir NOTES than a novel, with short, often "you had to be there" stories and humor.

However, I rather liked it, being prior military. I recognized and understood a lot of the nuances in the stories. I do wish he didn't choose to italicize "The Boo" -- rather annoying after a while.

I personally enjoyed it, but don't expect this to be the Conroy you're used to.
Aug 28, 2013 Scott rated it did not like it
Conroy reprints his first piece of writing, unfortunately. This saga of a good man being undone by authority should be recast in a mature novel as a comedic drama, rather than being let forth as a fumbling first attempt of non-fiction. Seeing this work, which Conroy apologizes for in his introduction, is like seeing the notebooks of a twelve-year old James Joyce, years away from the Dubliners. To those who know Conroy as an intense writer with tremendous craft ... well this is the baby-steps sta ...more
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
I'm sorry,,,,I can't continue reading this. Conroy does warn you in the beginning that this was the very first book he ever wrote and he makes apologies because he knows it's bad. I wish I would have read that part before I bought it for my e-reader. Damn. It is bad. I'm disappointed that I paid money for this....:-(
Jun 08, 2015 George rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Start of Something about to Blossom

This was his first. It demonstrated in parts what was to come in his future writings--especially the final chapter on the demise of the Boo. If I had gone to the Citadel, especially during the time of The Boo, the book would be a 5 star success.
Heather G
Lots of controversy about the quality of the writing... I gave it five stars based on the storytelling and my biased opinion of Conroy. Lords of Discipline was my first Conroy novel and I fell in love with everything about that novel. The beginnings of it show up as bits and pieces in The Boo and make it that much richer.
Barnabas Piper
Feb 16, 2012 Barnabas Piper rated it liked it
This rating is boosted by the writer Conroy became. This first effort at a book just isn't that great but has flashes of brilliance. It sputters along mostly, but if you view it as a historic exploration of how a great writer came to be it changes shape. It ties in with a couple of his great books - Lords of Discipline and Ny Losing Season - too.
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Pat Conroy (1945 - 2016) was 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 Wate ...more
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