Tasha's Reviews > The Great Santini

The Great Santini by Pat Conroy
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May 04, 2007

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bookshelves: southern-fiction

Pat Conroy is one of those writers who can write only one story (John Irving and Amy Tan come to mind, as well). Conroy seems obsessed with the idea of a Southern family trying to navigate the high school experiences of a sensitive son and a smartass daughter. Again there is the angry, abusive father and the rather ineffective mother who is mostly concerned about what the neighbors think. Again there are themes of forgiveness and redemption and racial tension. Again someone gets raped. Again there are pages of descriptions of high school sports.

What's different about this novel is that there are a lot of plot points that are dropped and never picked up again. What happens after the girl is raped? Why should the reader care about the high school basketball tryouts? A thorough editing and pruning would make for a much shorter book, but one that is cleaner and much more fluid. The action is too bogged down by these tangential subplots.

That said, Conroy's descriptions are amazing, as in other books he's written. However, I'd start with The Prince of Tides and not this one.
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Reading Progress

May 4, 2007 – Shelved
May 4, 2007 – Shelved as: southern-fiction
Started Reading
July 1, 2007 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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I.d.d I do agree with you on Pat Conroy being repetitive with his themes and plots but I also think each iteration offers a new insight.


Mark Yes, I agree wholeheartedly, and Michael Jordan can only play one sport.


message 3: by Shane (new)

Shane I actually think that his prose are so absolutely musical and he writes with a truely endearing heart that in a word I would say eloquent. Beach music was fantastic.


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