I was so sad when I finished the book, I wanted more!!! Very well written and I didn't want to put down the book.
I really enjoyed the twist and turns this novel took. Loved the characters and how they handled hardships. I have visited Charleston and could experience the city again as I listened to the book. I would highly recommend Pat Conroy's South of Broad.
Like Thomas Wolfe or Faulkner, Conroy give's a deeply resonating voice to the South and the human condition. His superlative and nearly peerless descriptive powers continue to ripen and bloom. Many times when listening to this book my heart ached not only for the characters in his story, but at Conroy's ability to capture the the subtle nuances of human interaction and the inner world. Lengthening an already long book, over and over again, I simply could not stop myself from pressing the rewind button. The narrator (Mark Deakin's) hit the tenor and accent for the story just right.
This is a book I will read again, and Leopold King is an inspiring, lovable, and unforgettable
How many of us wish that we had friends like those in "South of Broad"? I thought I had some friends like those, and they were only cultivated in my 50's; but the friendships disappeared when I moved to another state, but I digress.
This is my first Pat Conroy and I found his use of the English language extraordinary. The characters were so well developed but Mr. Conroy was always able to, in his inimitable style, carve just another facet onto each persona. His words flowed like the most beautiful classical concerto I have ever heard!
I laughed out loud, and I cried, and I just had tears in my eyes throughout the book. Some occurrences had an eerie, though distant, similarity to my own life. And the book, to this point, has a distinct sense of plausibility.
I am well into the third part and do not want this story to end as I feel that my friends will be gone and will only remain as phantoms in my memory.
If Mr. Conroy has usurped the words in Merriam-Webster for his previous books as he has in "South of Broad" I am sure that I shall meet, greet, and make other friends, but they too shall sadly end up as phantoms.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
No, this isn't fine literature -- but it is 20 hours of an impeccably read story. The narration is superb. The characters are well developed and very real. While I prefer to be astounded or amazed, this is simply a very good listen -- and well worth a credit.
Because Pat Conroy is my all-time favorite writer, I set aside quality listening time to regale in his latest novel. Now I have spent the equivalent listening hours to determine why South of Broad was such a great disappointment.
1) The reader was aweful. He did southern accent okay .. it's just that all the southern accents were so similar that I couldn't tell which character was speaking without a "he said" or "she said" to indicate.
2) The characters were stereotypical and predictable. No surprises, even at the end when we were, I think, supposed to be shocked.
3) There was no subletly ... every nuance was clearly elucidated like Conroy didn't trust his own writing to deliver underlying thoughts, feelings or motives without explanation.
4) Attempts to make each of the characters memorable failed. I kept waiting to care about what happened to them, and just couldn't muster the empathy.
5) Despite its length, there was a sense of abridgement ... like the story was maintained but not the Conroy essence of it. When I fell asleep during part 2 I didn't bother to backup and listen to the hour I had missed, and predictably important plot parts of the missed scene were rehashed a few times
This novel is not representative of the man who brought us The Great Santini, Prince of Tides, Lords of Discipline, etc...
This book has every possible tragedy that can befall a community: suicide, incest, child abuse, alcoholism, terrible storm, murder, aids, and betrayal. What this book doesn't have is a point. It's a soapopera/fairytale; very unrealistic and disappointing.
Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!
Pat Conroy was of course, quite possibly the most beautiful storyteller in America. The Prince of Tides is still music to my mind when I think about the words, the love, the relationships and the way that Pat tied everything together- the beauty and the ugliness of people, places, and happenings. South of Broad is in effect, no different. I thought it fitting to listen to this beautiful audible after the untimely and very sad passing of Pat Conroy just last week.
The narrator is entrancing and makes one think of Patrick Swayze and his beautiful, sexy, slightly Southern voice. We start with 'Toad' or Leopold, who is just coming out of a few 'troublesome teen' years due to an older brother who committed suicide and a family who though he would indeed never be as good as his older brother. With Roman Catholic roots and a mother who was previously a nun, Leo starts to find out more about himself by meeting new friends- friends who he didn't know would carry him through the rest of life. A group of friends who held so much love for one another- they got through marriages, divorces, children, substance abuse, psychiatric anomalies, the early stages of the AIDS disease, death, destruction and precious, beautiful life moments.
This book is no less epic than anything the late, very missed Conroy has written. Some may not like the flamboyant characters, but they are all beautiful creations of true Southern hospitality and tradition.
I have listened to SOUTH OF BROAD twice, and will listen to it over and over. I fell in love with Leo! All the characters made fun of him because he was supposedly ugly. Leo's inner goodness and his love of people, and how people loved him proved, beauty is only skin deep.. Leo's character made me want to be more like the LEO portrayed in the SOUTH OF BROAD.
I would compare Pat Conroy's writing to that of James lee Burke when Burke describes his love for New Orleans. Conroy's description of Charleston, and his love for the city made me want to take the flight out to visit!
I loved the narrator's voice and the smoothness, and fluency which he told Leo's story. His deep southern accent made the words almost seem like I was listening to a song.
If this were to become a movie, my tag line would read," TRUE BEAUTY COMES FROM WITHIN!
I was dismayed to read so many negative reivews of this book! THE SOUTH OF BROAD has made me a PAT CONROY FAN forever! The people who did not like South of Broad, must have listened to a different version that I did! I could not stop listening to the book nor the narrator. I rated this book one of my best listens!