Thursday, August 20, 2009

South of Broad

South of Broad: Pat Conroy: I love Pat Conroy; he is probably one of my favorite Southern writers. His ability to inject South Carolina's Low Country into his novels as a character, not just a setting, is breathtaking. Every time, a new Pat Conroy book comes out, I'm thrilled and can't wait to read it. That said, I'm really disappointed in South of Broad. All the usual Conroy
themes are there -- suicide, depression, abusive families, chosen family -- and there's nothing wrong with these, in general. What's wrong with them specifically in South of Broad is that Conroy does nothing new with them. The reviewer in EW
said that the main character reminds him of Tom Wingo in the far superior The Prince of Tides. I wouldn't go that far, but Leo King doesn't bring anything interesting to the world of Conroy characters. What's frustrating to me about a less than wonderful Conroy novel is that we have to wait so long in between books; he's not prolific like Stephen King, so that I can ignore the books I don't like, knowing a new one will be coming along soon. Beach Music was his last novel and that was in 1995. I hope the next Conroy novel is better -- maybe I'll still be alive for it.


Medianewstime said...

The first book of Conroy's that I read was The Great Santini - and I loved it!! It was so different from anything I had read as a teenager! My two fave books of all time are The Lords of Discipline and Beach Music. Even though I know what happens in both books, I am still overcome with emotion each time!

Katya said...

Oh me too! I should probably reread Beach Music though as I've only read it once and can't remember much about it since I read it when it first came out.