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South of Broad
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South of Broad

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Title:South of Broad
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South of Broad by Pat Conroy

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English (134)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (137)
Showing 1-5 of 134 (next | show all)
Southern chauvinism, religiosity, and women with icy hearts all wrapped around a main character who is the second coming of Christ. At least it ended well but took a mighty long time to get there. ( )
  Citizenjoyce | Sep 10, 2014 |
Pat Conroy really does great character development. Quirky, funny, odd, sad, complex. It took me tw tries to get into reading this, but when I did, I found I could not put it down. Dramatic and tragic, all at the same time! ( )
  Dmtcer | Jun 3, 2014 |
Pat Conroy really does great character development. Quirky, funny, odd, sad, complex. It took me tw tries to get into reading this, but when I did, I found I could not put it down. Dramatic and tragic, all at the same time! ( )
  Dmtcer | Jun 3, 2014 |
A coming-of-age story, events and characters are quirky, strange, or downright disturbing.

Frustrating because:
- I struggled with the dialogue; it seemed overdone.
- For my tastes it could have been a good bit shorter and still told the tale.
-Also, the mysteries of characters — the revelation of how these teenagers are transformed into remarkable adults — remains beyond the reader’s grasp. ( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
A coming-of-age story, events and characters are quirky, strange, or downright disturbing.

Frustrating because:
- I struggled with the dialogue; it seemed overdone.
- For my tastes it could have been a good bit shorter and still told the tale.
-Also, the mysteries of characters — the revelation of how these teenagers are transformed into remarkable adults — remains beyond the reader’s grasp. ( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 134 (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.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pat Conroyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deakins, MarkReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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.
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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.
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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)

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