Jack McCall comes to terms with his dysfunctional family after a time spent in Rome. He returns to South Carolina to a dying mother. While in SC he confronts his demons from his young adult years and his brothers. The smart a$$ dialogue between Jack and his brothers is hysterical. The only drawback for me is that this novel is intensely liberal. I - as a conservative - found this objectionable. The center line has been moved so far to the left that I appear radical. All of that aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the humour.
Pat pulled me right into the story and made me feel like I was right there in it. I felt like I knew well each of the important people that brought the story to life.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves beautiful writing, characters you fall in love with and story that is hard and heartbreaking but resolves in a way that leaves you smiling with your heart full.
I have read his books but really appreciate what an excellent writer and poet he is when i hear it read out loud.
This is a rich beautiful novel that you won't want to be over.
A Book and a Cat: Nothing more
I am a Pat Conroy fan. His novels are complex, and there's always someone quite deranged in the plot somewhere. This venture is set once again in SC low country, steeped in Southern culture (with all its virtues and vices), and oozing with messy family relationships. There is romance, tragedy, and hard-won dignity.
Spend some hours contemplating how the characters got to this point, and how they will go forward.
A worthwhile read.
I love Pat Conroy...Love his books. When I could still read books I this one and loved it. It is tragic and awesome and epic. Beautifully written. Loved the interview Audible did with this writer.
After my first listen this narrator was good, sounds southern but he just talks too fast when the characters are talking to one another. That being said I have criticized narrators before and regretted it. I really appreciate the work they do.
Pat Conroy is timeless and his writing eternal. He will make you laugh and cry and break your very heart. Historically worldwide these things either break you or you perservere. I believe you can enjoy this book.
I don't quite know what to make of this book. I thought the first part was interesting, but then the author tried to write too long a book, in my opinion. The characterization of the protagonist and his life is quite good, but the other persons become mere sketches, which is probably OK in a book that deals a lot with the protagonist. It always irritates me when authors set their rather ordinary (invented) people up against real events, and Pat Conroy cannot resist that either in this book. I felt that the story was in essence told after the first part, and then you have three more parts, where very little development occurs. I actually thought the book ended after three parts, and to my astonishment discovered there was a fourth part. It could well have ended after the third part, because the fourth brings about a "Hollywood-type Happy End". I think the author and the readers would have benefitted from the author exerting more self discipline in embroidering the story, and Pat Conroy should have restrained herself more in outflow of mere words. Pat Conroy should have listened to the old rule: If you are unsure about what to write - don't!
Conroy swims in florid prose too often, but the story is captivating, and some metaphors and similes he uses are simply amazing. Jack's development as the protagonist is solid, though his and his friends' perspectives on the Vietnam War are a bit too weakly developed.
I can't recommend it.
The narration was mediocre. It did not add to the book. All the characters sounded similar.
Beach Music is not well written and the plot is ludicrous. This novel is full of cliche language and characters. I have liked Pat Conroy's other novels (e.g., Prince of Tides) but this ones is substandard due to poor writing and a melodramatic plot. It comes across as overblown, arrogant, and fake. Beach Music is like a silly soap opera where the main characters undergo a string of tragedies (e.g., suicide, terrorism, being lost at sea, the holocaust, rapes, murders, incest, mental illness, etc.) but in the end all is well. This novel is absurd and moreover, the the writing is terrible (i.e., mixed metaphors, poorly constructed sentences, bad grammar, rampent tense errors, etc).
The narrator is horrible. I thought I could get past that , but the story just doesn't go anywhere. I am horribly disappointed because I've saved this book knowing it would be great.