Margie's Reviews > The Great Santini

The Great Santini by Pat Conroy
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Jul 12, 11

bookshelves: abandoned, fiction
Recommended to Margie by: Mark
Read from July 10 to 11, 2011

I gave it the old Air Force try. At about page 33 I told myself that I would read to page 100, just to give it a chance. I literally dropped it about page 70. Just couldn't do any more.

It may have a good story line, as many people obviously enjoy the book. But I just couldn't get past the flat characters, insipid dialogue, and uninspired writing. It's not that I can't handle unlikable characters (cf. Wuthering Heights), it's that I'm not willing to put up with bad writing.

Unfortunately I picked up Wallace Stegner immediately after dropping the Conroy book. It almost brought tears to my eyes, as the writing was so beautiful, so nuanced, so damn good.

Recommended only to those who can swallow writers like James Patterson (whose writing I also find flat and insipid, but with engaging story lines).
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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 ~☆ Alice♥♥ I can't stand James Patterson either but I read this book for the story which I think is an important story. An Air Force brat who related to this tale.


Margie Alice, did you find it believable? I couldn't imagine a pilot allowing his family to be so disrespectful to him. The families of pilots I knew were pretty rigid and under the thumb. None of them would ever have dreamt of being so disrespectful.


message 3: by ~☆ Alice♥♥ (last edited Mar 23, 2012 02:40PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 ~☆ Alice♥♥ Margie wrote: "Alice, did you find it believable? I couldn't imagine a pilot allowing his family to be so disrespectful to him. The families of pilots I knew were pretty rigid and under the thumb. None of them..."

Oh, yes as I knew a man very similar to this. He beat up his whole family and drank just like this. My own father was not far behind this type of behavior. Its very common on military bases from my experience and I heard the Marines are the worst but I was an Air Force brat. The stories I could tell almost no one would believe me.
I do believe they were not disrespectful enough to him but they at least tried. It has been about 28 years since I last read this very revealing book.


Doug I agree with Alice. I am an Air Force Brat as well as well. I saw a lot of Santini in my father and others I knew. I myself would never have talked to my dad in the disrespectful manner Bull's kids did or I wouldn't be writing this now. My dad was a Drill Instructor and if you think pilots are bad, think again.


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