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The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy
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The Lords of Discipline (original 1980; edition 1996)

by Pat Conroy

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1,380185,525 (4.06)39
Member:tutmarie
Title:The Lords of Discipline
Authors:Pat Conroy
Info:Transworld Pub (1996), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy (1980)

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I’ve apparently gone about reading Pat Conroy all backward, having started with The Death of Santini and now filling in with his earlier work.

In Death of Santini, Conroy provides an autobiographical recap to his earlier work through the prism of dealing with his father’s (The Great Santini) death. Having read this recap, I can now read his earlier “fiction” stories in a different light, recognizing them for their autobiographical underpinnings.

I must confess to a strong dislike for the dialog of the author’s character, Will McClean. In fact, it has the same, relentless, never ending, over the top, smarmy sarcasm as displayed by the author himself in The Death of Santini. A little goes a very long way, and 500 pages of it goes way too far. If this is in fact the way the author actually converses, I can come to two conclusions; he doesn’t have any friends, and he must be pretty tough, otherwise he would have taken innumerable butt whippings over the years (apparently he did, at the hands of his father. Now I know why). It is distracting and counterproductive to enjoyment of what would otherwise be an enjoyable and beautifully written expose of 1960s The Citadel.

The underlying story is fascinating, especially given its quasi-autobiographical nature. The plot twists are well conceived and executed. This would be a five star reading experience were it not for the irritating dialog. ( )
  santhony | Jun 16, 2014 |
I read Prince of Tides years ago and loved it. This book, while displaying Conroy's eloquent writing style, was not as good. Perhaps the subject matter (morals and hazing at a South Carolina military college) was a bit dated and disturbing. ( )
  Becky221 | Aug 27, 2013 |
Read it, don't remember it - to read again sometime.
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
When I attended the Citadel this book had been around for eight years. Many alum were sore about its publication and the portrayal of life at the institution. For my part I found the book - while fictitious - generally portrayed the attitudes and mores of the cadets accurately. Notice I did not say institution. The school tried for years, and by and large has succeeded, to eliminate much of what is portrayed herein. How much credit Conroy should get for that I cannot say. The book itself is a very good read. Conroy is an excellent writer. I read this book once before attending and once after attending and will read it again now that my twenty year reunion is approaching. ( )
  galacticus | Dec 30, 2011 |
This book began slowly as a character study. The narrator draws you into himself until you feel as though you become him, living his life with his disappointments, triumphs and pain. The prose is rich in drama and beauty. The characters are well-developed and it is difficult to put the book away when you put it down. The theme of how to maintain your humanity along with discipline and strength is a universal one. How does one do it? Some people go over the edge. This is a story about living on that edge. Gripping, dramatic and seemingly very unreal until you realize that it is not. It is very, very real in so many places for so many people.

WARNING: there is language in this book that will be painful for people. There is use of the n-word -- seemingly to make a point about widespread racism in southern and military society -- but some readers might still find it objectionable even in that context. ( )
1 vote krazy4katz | Jun 30, 2011 |
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Pat Conroyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Häilä, ArtoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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With heart at rest I climbed the citadel's steep height, and saw the city as from a tower, hospital, brothel, prison, and such hells, where evil comes up softly like a flower. Baudelaire's Epilogue
Dedication
This book is dedicated with love and gratitude to Lt. Col. Thomas Nugent Courvoisie, U.S.A. (ret.), the finest military officer I have ever known. And to Joseph Michael Devito and Robert D. Marks, friends and brothers.

And to James T. Roe III and John C. Warley. And to my friends, teachers, classmates, and teammates at The Citadel from 1963 to 1967. And to the boys who did not make it.

Special thanks to these five remarkable people from Houghton Mifflin: Norman Berg, Shannon Ravenel Purves, Jonathan and Susan Galassi, and to Anne Barrett, whose retirement was a great loss to publishing and to the writers who loved her.
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I wear a ring. (Prologue)
When I crossed the Ashley River my senior year in my gray 1959 Chevrolet, I was returning with confidence and even joy.
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Met mijn hart gerust beklom ik de steile hoogte van de citadel en zag de stad als vanuit een toren, gasthuis, bordeel, gevangenis en soortgelijke helse oorden waar het kwaad zacht opbloeit als een bloem. (Baudelaires Epiloog)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553381563, Paperback)

In this powerful, mesmerizing, and acclaimed bestseller, Pat Conroy sweeps us into the turbulent world of four young men—friends, cadets, and blood brothers—and their days of hazing, heartbreak, pride, betrayal, and, ultimately, humanity. We go deep into the heart of the novel’s hero, Will McLean, a rebellious outsider with his own personal code of honor who is battling into manhood the hard way. Immersed in a poignant love affair with a haunting beauty, Will must boldly confront the terrifying injustice of a corrupt institution as he struggles to expose a mysterious group known as “The Ten.”

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(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:24 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Young black military cadet Will McLean, with a code of honor all his own, boldly confronts the terrifying injustice of a corrupt insititution as he struggles to expose a mysterious group known as "The Ten."

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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