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Posts tagged ‘Pat Conroy’

South of Bend by Pat Conroy

OK, I can’t wait any longer. I’ve tried to get through Pat Conroy’s latest novel South of Broad (2010) for months now to write a review and can’t get past the first chapter. It’s too good. Might as well leave it alone and enjoy it piecemeal.

Conroy’s use of language is so delicious, that I keep devouring the same lines over and over again. Each paragraph is a masterpiece of description, dialogue, nuance and narration. Every time I have a little time to sit down and read, I get caught up in the first course and don’t seem to proceed to the next entree.

The story takes place in Charleston, South Carolina, which in many ways is like another character in and of its self. It’s about a the boy Leopold Bloom King, how he becomes a man, the community that surrounds him and how he and his family react to and live with the suicide of his older idolized brother Steve.

Here is but one example of the languid language that stops me in my tracks. The narrator, Leopold, says, “I carry the delicate porcelain beauty of Charleston like the hinged shell of some soft-tissue mollusk. My soul is peninsula-shaped and sun-hardened and river-swollen.”

Other than taking one quote after another from the novel, there isn’t much more I can say. Pat Conroy’s Beach Music has always been one of my favorite novels of all time and if I can ever get through South of Broad, I’m sure it will have my equal appreciation and praise.

Favorite Books of All Time

What are your 10 favorite books of fiction written so far (not including Buddha’s Wife, written by yours truly)?

Mine are (in no specific order):

Beach Music by Pat Conroy

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Feral by Deena Metzger

Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

The Street by Ann Petry

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Crossing To Safety by Wallace Stegner

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Stories of Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

On the other hand…

The 10 best books for living with loss are (nonfiction) CLICK HERE

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