Lp's Reviews > Beach Music

Beach Music by Pat Conroy
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's review
Aug 05, 07

Possibly one of the worst books I have ever had the misfortune to read. I bought it after hearing Nan Talese, Conroy's editor, talk about how it was put together. In retrospect, I should have realized that her telling of how Conroy was impaired by drink and depression during the writing of the book, and her active role in putting the book together meant it would be a crazy-quilt hodgepodge rambling Faulkner wannabe of a book. When the Nazis showed up, I though, Oh My God.

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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Sherry My thoughts exactly. I didn't think it would ever be over.

message 2: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Hawkins I don't think you could appreciate sunshine if you don't appreciate this book.

Emily Wilson This was an eloquently written work with depth, joy, heartache and family. I'm genuinely surprised you didn't like it.

Sherry I guess that's it. I see a difference between eloquently written and overwrought purple prose. If one of my students had turned in writing like that, I would have suggested a major rewrite.

message 5: by Eva (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Bradshaw-Burnett I have to wonder that you got nothing from this book and what you do find to be a good book.

Sherry A good book: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Cutting for Stone, A Fine Balance, Middlesex, Animal Dreams. Fine writing by fine writers.

message 7: by Eva (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Bradshaw-Burnett I feel sorry for your students because your reading preferences influence what their imaginations tell them. That you got nothing positive from Beach Music says a great deal about you.

Caity Booman I second this review. I would like to add that the dialogue is painfully unrealistic and completely distracting. The conversations he has with the other characters, and especially the brothers, read like a bunch of one-liners.
The book carried me up until, after making such a big deal about cutting dysfunctional family ties and relocating to the other side of the world (which made me root for the guy), he GOES BACK without a second thought. After finishing the book, I can see why he left, and I wish he would have stayed away.
Shock value is the phrase that comes to mind when I think of Pat Conroy. Beach Music has its entertaining moments, but overall seems to be the literary equivalent of a crazy quilt.

message 9: by Jan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jan Patetta To each his own, I guess. I'm thankful to have sooo many great authors out there. I personally love Conroy, as well as Kingsolver. Another wonderful Southern writer is Rick Bragg. I will purchase anything by any of these writers.

message 10: by Leona (new) - rated it 1 star

Leona I agree with your assessment. I'm no literary expert, but this had sensationalism written all over it. It was clear he was out for "shock value". I have no issue with difficult reads, but I do have issue with writers who do it for exploitation purposes in the hope of lining their pockets.

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