Joanie's Reviews > South of Broad

South of Broad by Pat Conroy
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's review
Sep 03, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: own, 2012, audio-book
Read in August, 2012

This book has been sitting on my shelf for far too long. I was about to give birth when I tried last time and the stuff about his 10 year old brother committing suicide was too much to take at the time. Going to make it through this time!

Okay-I finished. Once I started I wondered why I ever waited. First off I want to say that I feel like in some ways the description did this book an injustice. Yes, it starts in Charleston and they travel to San Francisco but the desription makes it sound like the book is all over the place when it's really not.

Pat Conroy is a writer who wears his heart on his sleeve. Reading his books are like spying on his family reunion. I can't help reading his books and trying to figure out who represents who. In his past books he has written about fathers who brutalized their sons-The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides, Beach Music (there are two in that one actually) but in South of Broad he writes about a loving and tender father who seems to get and appreciate his son in ways no one else (certainly not the cold, James Joyce loving mother) does. In interviews Conroy claims to have made peace with and fallen in love with his father before his death and he seems to attest to that on every page. Granted, there is another father in the book that makes Santini seem like a pussy cat but he's not Leo's father. Of course it does make me wonder about how he currently feels about his mother but maybe I'm reading too much into things. This is also the second book that features a broken and wounded wife for the main character and the fourth that features suicide (there could be more that I haven't read.) Again, makes me wonder.

Conroy's writing may be a bit over the top, he may be a bit long winded and overly effusive but I can't help but love him. He does hurt and flawed and broken characters like few others and he never fails to make me weep. I am perfectly willing to overlook his little flaws.
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Reading Progress

08/12 page 3
09/04 page 32
6.96% "Didn't pay attention to the dust jacket when it says the brother committs suicide when he's 10-ugh"
09/26 page 112
24.35% "Getting into this more-the writing is beautiful as always."
09/29 page 132
28.7% "I will finish someday...maybe when the baby goes to college!"
08/27 page 245
53.0% 1 comment
08/28 page 320
70.0% "My copy actually has 512 pages-don't know why I can find that version on goodreads"
03/24 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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Cookiesue9x Joanie, Pat Conroy is one of my ALL TIME faves, I hadn't even heard of this....whatever it is or about I can't wait !!!

Joanie I know, I'm so excited too! I was reading something about him and it said he had finished his next book so I looked on Amazon and there it was available for pre-order! I don't even remember what it was about other than it's set in Charleston-yeah!!!!

George I'm taking off from work the day this comes out!

Joanie That's awesome!! In situations like these I'm always torn between wanting to hole up and read the whole book in two days and wanting to read slowly to make it last.

Cookiesue9x My husband bought this for me yesterday to give me for my has gotten terrible reviews, BUT, I don't CARE.hope I am not as disapointed as I was with the last Wally Lamb.

Joanie Oh no, I hadn't heard it had gotten bad reviews! I'm still optimistic!

message 7: by Meghan (new) - added it

Meghan I just bought this one. Beach Music is my favorite though and by which I judge all his others.

message 8: by Sharon (new) - added it

Sharon Thurner I am excited to read South of Broad, he is coming to our city for a book signing in September!!

Joanie Meghan-I agree, Beach Music is great but I also love The Prince of Tides. I don't know that I could pick just one!

That's awesome Sharon! Is he speaking too?

message 10: by Meghan (new) - added it

Meghan I think Barbara Streisand ruined TPOT for me. But it was pretty good. I read BM before TPOT which I think is why I prefer that one more.

Joanie You're right about BS but even with her I still love the book and movie. Beach Music is wonderful-it's got so many different story lines-I loved it.

message 12: by Meghan (new) - added it

Meghan I love books that make me cry.

Chris Kirkland Meghan wrote: "I think Barbara Streisand ruined TPOT for me. But it was pretty good. I read BM before TPOT which I think is why I prefer that one more."

I have heard that about TPOT...I kind of found it difficult not to piture Barbara as well...but I never mentioned that to my friend who borrowed my copy. That was the first negative thing she mentioned....hmmmm. To read the book first, or see the movie?

Joanie I think that a lot of people know she was in the movie even if they haven't seen it. Guess you can't escape Babs!

Chris Kirkland Your right, there is no escape! :)

message 16: by Meghan (last edited Aug 03, 2010 11:27AM) (new) - added it

Meghan Chris - I hope you read the book first. It's really good. And I don't think the movie would be a complete let down watching it second.

Anita I read for the enjoyment of the read and Pat Conroy delivers. His opening description of Charleston alone is worth the read. The language is rich and full. I liked the characters mostly, and there's enough going on to turning pages-maybe it's not one of his best, but its certainly better than a lot of the crap that receives rave reviews these days.

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