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The Great Santini by Pat Conroy

The Great Santini (1976)

by Pat Conroy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,634376,367 (4.02)75



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English (36)  German (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
I’ll say upfront that The Great Santini holds the title for the best book I’ve read this year and has a very good chance of retaining that title all year.
Santini is the late Pat Conroy's first novel and he always claimed that it is largely autobiographical. In fact, in his penultimate book, The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son, Conroy describes his actual life with his family and his father, Marine fighter pilot Col. Don Conroy, the original Great Santini. This nickname even appears on his military gravestone at the National Cemetery in Beaufort, South Carolina.

I usually read two books at one time, one text and one audio and often make sure the books are of different genres so that I don’t mix them up in my head. This time, though, I read The Great Santini while listening to the audio version of The Death of Santini. The experience was a bit confusing but overall it was fascinating. It reminded me of “Ghosts of History” a website where images of soldiers from past wars are superimposed over recent photograph of the same location. It also showed me how actual people from Pat’s life became characters in his novels. Bernie Schein, Conroy’s best friend from high school can be none other than Sammy Wertzberger in Santini.
Bottom Line: This is a great novel and its greatness comes from the author’s ability to write what he knows. Ernest Hemingway once said “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Conroy clearly took this advice to heart. Don't miss this one. ( )
  Unkletom | Jun 15, 2017 |
This book had a huge effect on me, to the point that I could barely stand to finish reading it. I detested the Great Santini and I really do not like Pat Conroy for the boundless, endless, limitless stream of excuses he will make for his father. What a horrible bunch of people, what a lot of excuse-making, what a dreadful tale. It gets four stars because it certainly did make an impression on me, and no one could logically say Conroy is a bad writer. Completely lacking in logic and any insight into himself, sure, but he's a good writer. I had managed to forget about this book, and now it's back in my head, dammit. ( )
  Tonestaple | Jan 9, 2017 |
Wonderful. ( )
  Laura_Drake | Aug 19, 2016 |
Read this one may years ago while living in Atlanta and working at Chapter 11 Books. Second time around was even better, listened to the audio version on my kindle.

Conroy is not only a first rate storyteller, he is a master of description. The story main character is Lt. Col Bull Meacham: a marine, a husband a father and a friend. Bull is a top notch Marine pilot who leads men. He tries to be a good husband and father but treating his family like they are cadets is not the best course of action. His wife defends him and knows he has a softer side that the children rarely see. She also knows his triggers and when it is wiser to back down. He is so strict his children fear him but deep down they also love him.

You want to hate Bull and despise his wife but then you come to understand and ultimately respect this man. His eldest son, Ben, hates his father and all he stands for yet there is a point in the story once pushed by his sister he does exactly what Bull Meacham would of done in the same situation.

( )
  yvonne.sevignykaiser | Apr 2, 2016 |
Enjoyed parts of this book but found Conroy's use of language overly florid and too many parts of the novel were poorly integrated. Many of the characters are stereotypes or charicatures. Overall, I was disappointed with the book. I expected it to be more of a worthwhile read since the book had been made into a movie (I've not seen it). I think the movie might possibly be better than the book... ( )
  Cricket856 | Jan 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Conroy, Patprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hazenberg, AnneliesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Tämä kirja on omistettu
rakkaudella ja kiitoksin Frances "Peggy" Conroylle,
äideistä ja opettajista suurimmalle,
ja eversti Donald Conroylle, evp., isistä
ja merijalkaväen lentäjistä suurimmalle.
First words
In the Cordova hotel, near the docks of Barcelona, fourteen Marine Corps fighter pilots from the aircraft carrier Forrestal were throwing an obstreperously spirited going away party for Lieutenant Colonel Bull Meecham, the executive officer of their carrier based squadron.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553381555, Paperback)

Step into the powerhouse life of Bull Meecham. He’s all Marine—fighter pilot, king of the clouds, and absolute ruler of his family. Lillian is his wife—beautiful, southern-bred, with a core of velvet steel. Without her cool head, her kids would be in real trouble. Ben is the oldest, a born athlete whose best never satisfies the big man. Ben’s got to stand up, even fight back, against a father who doesn’t give in—not to his men, not to his wife, and certainly not to his son. Bull Meecham is undoubtedly Pat Conroy’s most explosive character—a man you should hate, but a man you will love.

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(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:31 -0400)

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Marine pilot Bull Meecham's stern and unyielding personality challenges his southern-bred gentle wife and his top athlete son to stand up and fight back against the hard knocks of life.

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