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South of Broad [Large Print] [Paperback]

Pat Conroy
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 11 2009 Random House Large Print
The publishing event of the season: The one and only Pat Conroy returns, with a big, sprawling novel that is at once a love letter to Charleston and to lifelong friendship.

Against the sumptuous backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. Leopold Bloom King, our narrator, is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, an ex-nun, is the high school principal and a well-known Joyce scholar. After Leo's older brother commits suicide at the age of thirteen, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him. Eventually, he finds his answer when he becomes part of a tightly knit group of high school seniors that includes friends Sheba and Trevor Poe, glamorous twins with an alcoholic mother and a prison-escapee father; hardscrabble mountain runaways Niles and Starla Whitehead; socialite Molly Huger and her boyfriend, Chadworth Rutledge X; and an ever-widening circle whose liaisons will ripple across two decades-from 1960s counterculture through the dawn of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

The ties among them endure for years, surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, and Charleston's dark legacy of racism and class divisions. But the final test of friendship that brings them to San Francisco is something no one is prepared for. South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest; a long-awaited work from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds.

From the Hardcover edition.

Frequently Bought Together

South of Broad + The Prince of Tides: A Novel + The Water Is Wide: A Memoir
Price For All Three: CDN$ 56.28

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Product Description


Praise for South of Broad

"Conroy is an immensely gifted stylist…. No one can describe a tide or a sunset with his lyricism and exactitude."—Chris Bohjalian, The Washington Post

"Conroy writes with a momentum that's impossible to resist."—People, 3 of 4 stars.
"Beautifully written throughout…. Conroy is a natural at weaving great skeins of narrative, and this one will prove a great pleasure to his many fans."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Conroy is a master of American fiction and he has proved it once again in this magnificent love letter to his beloved Charleston, and to friendships that will stand the test of time."—Bookpage
Praise for Beach Music

"Astonishing . . . stunning . . . the range of passions and subjects that brings life to every page is almost endless." —Washington Post Book World

"Blockbuster writing at its best." —Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Pat Conroy's writing contains a virtue now rare in most contemporary fiction: passion." —Denver Post

"Reading Pat Conroy is like watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel." —Houston Chronicle

"Incandescent." —Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Grand." —Boston Globe

"Lyrical . . . evocative . . . Beach Music is one from the heart, and it beats with a vibrancy that cannot be denied." —Hartford Courant

"Breathtaking . . . perhaps the most eagerly awaited book of the year . . . a knockout." —Charlotte Observer

"Beach Music attains an almost ethereal beauty." —Miami Herald

"Few novelists write as well, and none as beautifully . . . Conroy's narrative is so fluid and poetic that it's apt to seduce you into reading just one more page, just one more chapter." —Lexington Herald-Leader

"Compelling storytelling . . . a page-turner . . . Conroy takes aim at our darkest emotions, lets the arrow fly, and hits a bull's-eye almost every time." —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

PAT CONROY is the bestselling author of The Water Is Wide, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, and My Losing Season. He lives in South Carolina.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Utterly dumbfounded and bewildered = Me Nov. 27 2009
By Schmadrian TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I have to declare this up-front: Pat Conroy is one of my five modern literature gods.

But I could not finish this novel.

I tried.

I got to page 206.

But trying to complete it began to take on a particularly masochistic bent.

I would sum up 'South of Broad' in several different ways:

"It is the bastard-child of a middle-aged English professor and the immature student he's having a woefully ill-advised affair with. He's provided the solid expositional material, while she's indulged her over-the-top side with the dialogue."

"Clearly, Conroy has undergone a massive mid-life crisis, resulting in his system being flooded with estrogen, perhaps even channeling some silk-robed effete from the 20s, resulting in what can only be categorized as the most scabrous sound-bites from the most execrably melodramatic films of the 30s and 40s."

"What was he THINKING?!?"

The novel is an utter mystery to me.

I cannot comprehend why it was published.

His editor should be brought up on charges.

I've never witnessed such a profound literary misstep...nor so calamitous a regression of talent.

I had no desire to find out how the story ended...not with the personal cost involved.

My final declaration is that my rating is inflated.

(Personal rating: 4/10)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I was very excited to get an advance copy of "South of Broad" through a friend of the authors. Conroy has been one of my favorite authors since I read the excellent "Prince of Tides" Years ago. The author is one of the best at developing living breathing characters that you actually care about and can believe in.

This is the story of a diverse group of teenagers, from Charlston, NC, who form a friendship in the late 1960s having to grow up under the changes of that time period. They are a diverse group but all come from a particular place and a particular time. Over the following twenty years Conroy portrays the life and times of each of the characters in dramatic fashion. And the characters do live pretty dramatic lives from the legal profession to the music industry and Hollywood. But they all come from the same place yet with different backgrounds (the privileged to the struggling, from black and white). Within the story racism, religion, love, and lust are all explored . In the end they are all brought back together to face test none of the ever expected that will test the bonds of the friendships. Great, engaging fiction; fans of Conroy will be very pleased!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars South of Broad: Another Conroy gem Sept. 15 2009
South of Broad: Over the years, I have read all of Pat Conroy's books and have passed them on to friends and relatives and in the case of Prince of Tides, to perfect strangers! At one bookstore close out I bought about 20 copies and they became my present of choice that year. Prince of Tides remains the standard against which I judge other book's characters and locations. I smell the magnolias or the salt marshes and taste the foods he describes. Pat's writing to me is magical. I just finished South of Broad and could not put it down. Once again I felt the honesty and pathos and beauty of his characters. Thank you for the SanFrancisco memories and the events described. I am putting Charleston on the must see places I need to visit. Thank you again for the beauty you give us all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Have never not loved a Pat Conroy book! April 12 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Once again, Pat Conroy writes a book where there's a poem on every page! The first Conroy novel I read was "Prince of Tides"... then consumed his earlier books and now wait, not terribly patiently, for every new offering! "South of Broad" did not disappoint!
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4.0 out of 5 stars the story moves like a river Jan. 25 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Full of descriptions of Charleston that are like paintings with scent,the story keeps tumbling along like a river, taking the reader to unexpected places. It could be titled "Every Ugly Kid's Fantasy Senior Year", but it's a great fantasy and goes way beyond high school.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Winner!! Dec 4 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have always enjoyed Conway'w writing and often I read sentences over again just to appreciate the structure and vocabulary. This book is wonderful!
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very well written account of the City of Charlston with a great plot and excellent character development.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Follows A Group Of Friends Through The Years Oct. 14 2009
Not surprisingly this book has a strong southern tone both in the narrative and in the dialogue between the characters. The story originates out of Charleston where Leo King, the principal character through whose eyes we see the plot develop, grows up under the shadow of his brother's death, a fact introduced early and that colors the rest of the book. He grows up trying to emerge from destructive forces in his own life such as his reaction to his brother's death, a domineering mother and the problems of some other people roughly his own age that are destined to become lifelong friends. These include Sheba and Trevor, Betty and Ike, Chad and Molly and others. This group of people with whom he marches through time form an ever changing dynamic of love affairs, deep friendships, destructive personal habits, and events that tend to destroy personalities or build them and take them to extraordinary heights. Conroy takes one to the extremes in personal relationships, therefore. The dialogue is colorful, emotional and at times salty and bawdy or even locker-room like but generally speaking stimulating and entertaining.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Right Down the Middle!
I love Pat Conroy's novels, so I eagerly dove into this one. It was interesting and very conroyesque!!! Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2011 by catterwally
5.0 out of 5 stars Re South of Broad by Pat Conroy
This is the first book that I have read by Pat Conroy-wonderful!
This was amazing & so true to life, not offensive. We do live in a messed up world. God must cry a lot. Read more
Published on July 23 2011 by Jane Ellis
4.0 out of 5 stars South of Broad- my read of the summer
I loved this book. I laughed, I cried, I reflected on love, sexuality,death, and life in general. It was a very satisfying read.
Published on Oct. 2 2010 by Charlotte
1.0 out of 5 stars South of Broad - A Joy and a Delight
I absolutely loved South of Broad, but then I expected to, but not even I could predict what a GLORIOUS read it would be! Read more
Published on July 27 2010 by Shiela White
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT BOOK. HELD MY ATTENTION.,
"My freshly shined shoes moved across the Oriental carpets as I looked for a uniformed guard to halt my progress towards the inner sanctum of the club, but the few men I passed... Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2010 by Heather Negahdar
5.0 out of 5 stars Pat Conroy in fairytale mode
Pat Conroy has written another book that presents life's realities in all of its cruel forms, but in this book he protects the protagonist (himself? Read more
Published on Feb. 15 2010 by L. Patricia Dickinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth the Wait!
I have been waiting for his newest book, as Beach Music has always been my favourite book.
The characters in his latest book , South of Broad, are ones that we all recognize... Read more
Published on Dec 26 2009 by Sara Campbell
Published on Nov. 23 2009 by Sharon A. Charboneau
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