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The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son Kindle Edition
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|Length: 352 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
This book, however, is the nonfiction account of his life living with his abusive father, Don (the "Great Santini), his long-suffering mother Peg, and his damaged brothers and sisters. Conroy himself states, that of the the seven children Don and Peg created, five tried to commit suicide, and one did succeed (Tom, who threw himself off of a 14-story building).
Writing "The Great Santini" caused a rift in his family, father Don becoming angry and showing up at his book signings, reminding readers that the book WAS fiction.
But, writing the book also helped heal the contentious relationship he had with his father, a relationship detailed in this newest book, "The Death of Santini."
It is a difficult book to read, full of violence and pain, but also full of the beautiful language Conroy is known for. We do see the "Great Santini" stand up for his eldest son, and readers see that famous line from "The Prince of Tides" come to life: "In families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness."
You will grit your teeth in anger, clench your fists with rage, and weep at the power of forgiveness shown in this book.
It is well worth your time.
Pat Conroy grew up the oldest of seven children. His father was an Irish-Catholic from Chicago, and a fighter pilot in the Marines. His mother came from a poor, southern family but had a love of literature that she passed on to her children. Their marriage was toxic, "composed of terror and great violence, storm-tossed and seasoned with all the terrible salts of pain." For years, Colonel Don Conroy waged war against his family. The wounded child grew into a scarred man, and those scars damaged every relationship the author touched. But all that would change with the publishing of his novel, The Great Santini in 1976. The Great Santini was a fictionalized version of Conroy's father, and most of the hurtful family scenes were true to life. At first, The Great Santini caused great controversy among the Conroy family. The Colonel claimed it was all a lie. But with the divorce of Conroy's parents and his father moving nearby, the book helped to open a dialogue between the two. "There was something in my father that the book touched, and it opened up a place in his heart that I thought had closed off long before I was born. So we began a journey together, set off on a voyage that would take us to many places and shared experiences that I never thought were possible with such an incomprehensible man.Read more ›
Conroy was the oldest of seven children and seemed to have endured the brunt of his father's abuse. Five of the siblings would try to kill themselves before the age of forty; one succeeded. Conroy notes that his father "could have written a manual on the art of waging war against his wife and children. I can't remember a house I lived in as a child where he did not beat my mother or me or my brothers; nor do I believe that he would've noticed if both his daughters had run away from home. As the oldest child, my mother raised me to be the protector of her other kids, to rush them into secret hiding places we had scouted whenever we moved into a new house."
"When I was thirty years old, my novel The Great Santini was published, and there were many things in that book I was afraid to write or feared that no one would believe. But this year I turned sixty-five, the official starting date of old age and the beginning count down to my inevitable death.Read more ›
Another great southern writer, Harper Lee, described Boo Radley's horrible life in To Kill a Mockingbird by writing that Atticus Finch said you didn't know a person until you walked around in his shoes. "Just standing on Boo Radley's porch was enough," she wrote. That's how I feel about Pat Conroy: his books are written with such heart-aching beauty and torment that I never felt the need to find the person behind them. Just reading his books was enough.
But I am very glad that I read The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son. Learning about Conroy's father and the relationship they forged despite-- perhaps because of-- Conroy's truth-telling about the family was a fascinating read. Conroy's evocative southern style shines through the book-- while others might say they grew up in an abusive home, Conroy writes, "The Conroy children were all casualties of war, conscripts in a battle we didn't sign up for on the bloodied envelope of our birth certificates." Damn, he's good.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As with all of Pat Conroy's books it was excellent. I feel it should be read last in the series of his books.Published 6 days ago by Clifton Wike
A must read book. This explains all of Pat Conroy's writing inspiration. Jackie FisherPublished 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
Conroy at his best. I loved this book. It was a mixture of the best and worst of his life, told in the beautiful Pat Conroy style. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Liam Wulf
I LIKED THE WAY IN WHICH PAT CONROY DESCRIBES THE MADNESS IN HIS FAMILY. THE DESCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE USED THROUGHOUT HIS BOOKS MAKES WHAT WOULD BE MUNDANE COLORFUL.Published 19 days ago by traveltrip
A great read, especially after first reading "The Great Santini" by the same author.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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