Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

South of Broad by Pat Conroy

South of Broad

by Pat Conroy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,2351452,875 (3.65)104



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 104 mentions

English (141)  Spanish (3)  Finnish (1)  All languages (145)
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
Charleston, Friendship, Hurricane, ( )
  mgriel | Apr 27, 2016 |
All I can say is wow. This is the first Pat Conroy book that I have read, and it won't be my last. ( )
  vgebhardt10 | Jan 23, 2016 |
The only reason I finished this book was because it was our monthly bookclub selection. Way too much purple prose, un-southern dialogue, improbable collection of characters. I agree with those who suggest that as a first novel, it would never have been publislhed. ( )
  Jeannine504 | Jan 23, 2016 |
Ugh...not my favorite. Read as part of a book club so I stuck with it otherwise probably wouldn't have gotten half way. It wasn't bad but it wasn't good either. Tedious. Scratching my head on why so many others have liked it as much as they have. Was expecting so much more. Oh well... ( )
  Charlie-Ravioli | Jan 18, 2016 |
Leo stole my heart. I like the way Pat Conroy gave his character a sense of humor and flaws, a brain, and immeasurable loyalty. Loved this book. ( )
  ER1116 | Jan 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
Conroy thanks his editor Nan A. Talese in his acknowledgments, but South of Broad merely adds urgency to the question of what it is this woman does, exactly, apart from pick up the tab.
Conroy remains a magician of the page. As a writer, he owns the South Carolina coast. But the descriptions of the tides and the palms, the confessions of love and loss, the memories “evergreen and verdant” set side by side with evocations of the “annoyed heart” have simply been done better — by the author himself.
Conroy is an entertaining storyteller -- he has a corker of a final twist here -- yet much of “South of Broad” shows a weakness for emotional fireworks, two-dimensional characters and rough or purplish prose.
added by Shortride | editBloomberg, Jeffrey Burke (Aug 11, 2009)
Conroy reels his teenage characters through cliché showdowns of racial and class divisions, trying to make those broad social issues the backdrop to the personal stories in the narrative -- including the recurring presence of the shadowy and vicious Poe father. But Conroy doesn't have anything new or interesting to say about the racial and class divides. And too many of his characters are set up as types instead of fully fledged people, incapable, at times, of anything more than the most mundane of dialogues.

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pat Conroyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deakins, MarkReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
This book is dedicated to my wife and fellow novelist, Cassandra King, who helped more than anyone in bringing South of Broad to its publication. To me, she is the finest thing ever produced on an Alabama farm.
First words
It was my father who called the city the Mansion on the River.
Being a failed teenager is not a crime, but a predicament and a secret crucible. It is a fun-house mirror where distortion and mystification lead to the bitter reflections that sometimes ripen into self-knowledge. Time is the only ally of the humiliated teenager, who eventually discovers that the golden boy of the senior class is the bald, bloated drunk at the twentieth reunion, and that the homecoming queen married a wife beater and philanderer and died in a drug rehabilitation center before she was thirty.
So there I was, a delivery boy making my rounds in a city where beauty ambushed you at every turn of the wheel, rewarded every patient inspection, and entered your pores and bloodstream from every angle; these images could change the way the whole world felt. It was a city that shaped the architecture of my memories and dreaming, adding cornices and parapets and the arched glooms of Palladian windows every time I rode those streets, full of purpose and duty.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Charleston, S.C., gossip columnist Leopold Bloom King narrates a paean to his hometown and friends in Conroy's first novel in 14 years. In the late '60s and after his brother commits suicide, then 18-year-old Leo befriends a cross-section of the city's inhabitants: scions of Charleston aristocracy; Appalachian orphans; a black football coach's son; and an astonishingly beautiful pair of twins, Sheba and Trevor Poe, who are evading their psychotic father. The story alternates between 1969, the glorious year Leo's coterie stormed Charleston's social, sexual and racial barricades, and 1989, when Sheba, now a movie star, enlists them to find her missing gay brother in AIDS-ravaged San Francisco. Too often the not-so-witty repartee and the narrator's awed voice (he is very fond of superlatives) overwhelm the stories surrounding the group's love affairs and their struggles to protect one another from dangerous pasts. Some characters are tragically lost to the riptides of love and obsession, while others emerge from the frothy waters of sentimentality and nostalgia as exhausted as most readers are likely to be. Fans of Conroy's florid prose and earnest melodramas are in for a treat.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Leopold Bloom King, the 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. Eventually 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.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
196 avail.
34 wanted
3 pay8 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.65)
0.5 7
1 26
1.5 6
2 41
2.5 18
3 160
3.5 41
4 240
4.5 37
5 136


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,813,600 books! | Top bar: Always visible