- Hardcover: 549 pages
- Publisher: DOUBLEDAY. NY 1995; First Edition edition (1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385405847
- ISBN-13: 978-0385405843
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (753 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,570,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beach Music. Hardcover – Import, 1995
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|Hardcover, Import, 1995||
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Top Customer Reviews
Every character is a tortured soul who has a tale to tell -- one more heartbreaking than the other. The main story follows Jack McCall, who flees to Rome with his young daughter Leah after his beloved wife Shyla has committed suicide. He leaves behind a bevy of colorful family and friends in an effort to escape his torment and begin a new life in a new land. As a travel writer by trade, Jack is able to pick up and live wherever he chooses. It is a telegram from a family member that will finally bring Jack back to South Carolina to face his demons and learn the stories of all those he loves.
Conroy has the ability of dropping crumbs along the way leading you to each character's hidden story. He touches on times in history involving the Holocaust and the Vietnam War -- each decade so real that I don't even want to think about the horrors. But it is these horrors that have come to shape the characters whose cards have been dealt and whose hands must be played. They are all part of a finely interwoven story with South Carolina as the stage for the grand finale.
In reading the book, I can only wonder if the author can write the last twenty pages and not cry himself. I don't usually cry when reading a book but I must admit that this one did me in.Read more ›
I love Conroy's writing because it is always so contradictory. He makes you love and hate his characters at the same time. I started out by being completely annoyed with John Hardin in this novel, and then he ended up being my favorite character--he was so funny and outrageous. I felt the same about his mother--loved and hated her at the time time. I remember this was also true of his characters when I read "Prince of Tides." He has such an ability to play with the reader's emotions.
Beach Music was harder than his other novels because of so many subplots & characters, but instead of wishing it hadn't been so long and gone into so much, I found myself wishing it was longer, and he had developed the characters & subplots even more.
There is always a feeling of "letdown" when you finish one of Pat Conroy's novels because you don't want it to end. Nobody writes about "dysfunction" with his sense of humor.
But this book of Pat Conroy's doesn't fall in that category; I loved and cherished every word of it. It's rich, lush, full of atmospheric detail.
Pat Conroy at his best, and it makes me want to go to Italy and the South.
I wouldn't say this book is for everyone. I wouldn't recommend Beach Musi to people who like extremely fast paced books and don't have the patience for character development. I also would not recommend it to people who would have a hard time dealing with the issues he brings up like suicide, rape, mental instability and the Holocaust. However, I think Conroy's book has great value.
Beach Music is probably the best, and longest, of Conroy's books. The melodrama begins when Jack McCall, an Southerner who moved to Italy to raise his young daughter after his wife committed suicide, is called back to his home town--Waterford, SC--because his mother is dying. The book describes Jack and his four younger brothers (including wonderfully written scenes with his youngest, and craziest brother John Hardin--who happens to be my favorite character) as they struggle with their family's past, their mother's dying, and the pitiful-excuse-of-a-human-being that is their father.
Secondly, this book describes Jack's attempt to understand why his wife killed herself, and his attempt to reconcile with her family. This part of the book, Jack's in-laws' stories, are probably the hardest emotionally to read. Both of his in-laws were survivors of concentration camps, and their stories are truly heart-wrenching.
Thirdly, this book tells the tale of Jack reuniting with his best guy and girl friends from his teenage years. This part tells how Jack fell in love, how he met his best friend, and what happened to each of their lives. For whatever reason, this section of the book reminded me of the Big Chill (probably because of the reuniting of old friends), but I found this part very enjoyable.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Like most of Conroy's stories, this one started out sad.
When the backstories came to light, it became a treasure trove of interesting and lovable people.
I just kept thinking this novel is a reflection of Pat Conroy's life....and if you know anything of his writing, you will know that it is. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Bevo
A good understanding of the impact of the sixties on the later lives of middle class Southern childrenPublished 16 days ago by Ernest Mcafee
"BeachMusic" is long on words but has me reading & not wanting to put it down. I'm enjoying the characters very much & love the sense of humor throughout the book.Published 19 days ago by Pamela F. Pitchford
What a wonder movie this would make. This is the best most entertaining book ever. Unforgettable.Published 27 days ago by Kim
I'm tackling this book for the third time, only because it's my husband's favorite and he's read it several times. Maybe this time I can get through it, but I don't know. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lonni H. Lees