Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Book Review: The Great Santini, by Pat Conroy

The Great Santini by Pat Conroy book cover and review
My sister-in-law has read a couple of Conroy's books and recommended him, so I found The Great Santini at the library and decided to give it a go. Loved the writing, not so much the story.

Basically, it's a story of the life of Colonel Bull Meecham, or The Great Santini, a name he has given himself. He's a Marine pilot with a wife and three kids. This takes place in the '60s, and the family is once again moving to a new place because Bull has been reassigned. He's a jerk. And the book goes through example after example of his physical and mental abuse. He's not nice to his family or his Marines. 

We see his son's struggles on the basketball team, and myriad other problems his kids have. There isn't really an overall story arc, something I found lacking. The story just meanders through Bull's life. There is a life-threatening event towards the end of the story. And then the dramatic ending. But that all happens very quickly.

The redeeming quality of The Great Santini is the writing. Conroy uses sophisticated vocabulary. I found myself having to look up a few words, which given my vocabulary, doesn't happen very often when I'm reading fiction.

The Great Santini has been made into a movie, which I haven't seen but may check out. Conroy has written many other bestsellers, and I may eventually give another one of his a go.

Published by Random House, 1976
eBook obtained from the library
512 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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1 comment:

  1. I haven't read this novel, but have read a couple other Pat Conroy's that I enjoyed (years and years ago!).


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