5.0 out of 5 stars
The Great Santini, Jan. 26 2003
This novel by Pat Conroy is an amazing contemporary novel that leads you through the life of a military family in the late 1950's. This book hits home having several family members, two being pilots and one a marine, that have served in the military, and it was a difficult book to put down. In many ways, the "Great Santini" reminded me of my father; a man that at times is both loved and hated by his family. Colonel Bull Meecham is a marine fighter pilot that demands respect as the "Great Santini" by both his family and his flight squadron. His oldest son Ben, a senior in high school, struggles with the relationship that he has with his father, who he hates very much but loves and respects. If not for Lillian Meecham, wife of the "Great Santini" and peacekeeper of the household, the harsh and sometimes abusive father would release his wrath without a second thought. From the witty remarks of Mary Anne to the competitiveness between Ben and his father, The Great Santini creates a family persona that many can relate. The Great Santini takes you through the difficulties of a year in the life of a southern marine family after the Korean War. I highly recommend entering the past and becoming a member of the Meecham family by reading The Great Santini. This non-stop novel reaches heights of laughter and tears and is well worth reading.