I favor history, non-fiction, lectures, and the occasional purely fictitious work. I also listen to many children's books with my family.
Well ... no.. not hated... but thought I wouldn't complete.
I felt that this book wouldn't be for me at all after listening for a hour or two, but I really loved Prince of Tides, and I listened on. The book was quite harsh in it's descriptions of the hazing and treatment of cadets and had me on the fence as to where things were headed. I would be reluctant to recommend this to folks who are easily put off by mental and physical torment, I know my wife wouldn't want to push through these.
Anyway, it didn't take Pat much longer to have me completely as he did with Tides. The story really is great and I was compelled to listen at every opportunity. One thing about the two Conroy books I have had the pleasure of listening to is that they are not feel-good books... and that's actually refreshing.
Well - I'm not really offering you much to go on here I guess... the story is, I guess, a coming of age tale set in a southern military institute (The Citadel) prior to the Vietnam War. The tale revolves around the narrator and a few key friends who must face a flawed system bent on creating 'the whole man'.
Still this does nothing but set the story a bit ... and I'm not sure how much more to provide in a review so i will just end by saying I highly recommend this book. It's one of my favorites of the past year. It lands just south of Prince of Tides - which surprised me since I found the beginning a challenge.
I have nearly 300 Audible titles in my library, and this one somehow got lost in the mix for over a year. When I finally spotted it, I couldn't for the life of me understand why I had made the purchase. The author's prologue at the beginning had me scratching my head as to how I could have made such a colossal mistake with a credit (in retrospect it would have worked better at the end...at least for me). Fifteen minutes into the book however, the author and the narrator had me hooked on one of my favorite audible rides of all time.
The richness of his characters, enhanced by the talent of the narrator in giving voice to each, and Conroy's ability to describe people and things in ways that border on profound, had me rewinding the story time and again to listen and marvel (this has not happened in any other Audible book). I reflected to my wife as I completed this book, that Conroy had likely spoiled me, that I would not be as satisfied with any future Audible title because it simply wouldn't match the writing style.
The author's experiences provide a depth of understanding of the time and place, and his descriptions of Charleston had me ready to make a detour. I would highly recommend you start this when you've got a really long trip or time to dedicate to the listen, because I simply did not want to stop.
This book gripped me with all the levels of love and hate for the school, his peers, and himself. I usually only listen to books in the car, but I couldn't stop with this one. I listened while cooking, cleaning, showering.. If I could have listened to it in one sitting - I would have!
The narrator did a great job using a different voice for each character. It's not often a man does a good job with women's voices, but he did an excellent job! Also, his southern accent sounded genuine, which was appreciated since I am a southerner.
I do not believe all that I read in this world, that is fool's work. If this book about the truth about an American institution at any time in our history, shame, shame, shame on us. What a disgrace. If this is pure fiction, well done for the most part, but I would then have great issues with the casual, almost dismissive way Pig was exited from the narration towards the end. I do also take issue with the snotty, high-minded better than thou portrayal of the protagonist at the end which is why I find the tale hard to believe as pure truth. Others will disagree of course. Now, if you want to talk of the homoeroticism, the intense relationships developed, then it's a great book and honest. Obviously to me, it's a mixed bag save one redeeming feature and that is the narration. Dan John Miller is a genius and brought it all alive no matter the character, voice of same or situation. Bravo Dan! One last thing, just because some of this book rubbed me the wrong way, I do not dismiss the author's talent. He wrote things as he saw and felt, truth or fiction and I envy his abilities and shall move on to try The Great Santini next.
It took me awhile to get "into" these characters. There were times I felt like I had stumbeled into The Good,The Bad and The Ugly. I found the treatment of the freshmen very disturbing,after all these are boys not men and this is supposed to be a military school/college not a branch of the Armed Services. The hazing seemed more like cruelty for its own sake and not to build minds, bodies nor team work. And in the end were the friends of The Room really a bonded brotherhood? You decide! Mr Miller did a fantastic job with the narration. At times, he made me feel I was there;a silent, invisable witness.
Yes. This is the kind of book you wish you could read for the first time again and again. The story is a classic and the narration is superb.
My personal favorite character in the story is Mark: Ever-loyal, no-nonsense, and a buoyant personality in the core protagonists.
I thought the portrayal of all the main characters was fantastic; the Bear, Mark, Pig, Will, Tradd. Dan Miller did a great job of distinguishing each character and giving them consistent and emotive expression. As much as I love to physically read great books like this, having a consistent and well acted narration makes this book come alive in audio format.
Pig is, I believe, designed to be most memorable. It's too easy to give away plot points, so I wont go in to detail why.
Having read Prince of Tides first, I was familiar with the writing style and was excited to read this book next. I had seen the PoT movie many years ago and was not surprised by the climax nor particularly enthralled with the story. My girlfriend suggested that PoT was aimed more at women and that I read this book next as it was geared more towards the male audience. I would have read this book regardless, because I enjoyed the story telling and I think the writting is excellent. This has become a new favorite story of mine and intend to push it on some of my friends (especially for those that are pick about what they read).
The book provides an insider's view of a very secretive environment, one I knew nothing about. While strong friendships are forged, the cadets endure horrific acts of torture during their hazing period. The writing is so good, and the characters are so beautifull developed, that despite portions that were difficult to hear, I could not stop listening. The ironic juxtapostion of this brutal enclave with the gentility of Charleston, S.C. makes the whole story all the more fascinating. I reommend it highly.
The narrator was truly flawless. His ability to change inflections and tone for each character made it easy to know which one was speaking. He brought life to the drama on the page.
Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy is loosely (or actually not so loosely) based on Conroy's experiences at the Citadel, a military college in Charleston, SC. As in most of his books, the location of the story becomes one of the characters of his book, in this case actually two characters--The Institute (playing the role of the Citadel) and Charleston (playing the role of Charleston). Playing the role of mother, father, and siblings are The Bear (commandant of the Institue), Abigail (Charlestonian Society woman and Tradds' mother) and his three roommates, Tradd, Pig, and Mark.
Once again, Conroy's writing is poetic--one is transported in time and space to the mid 1960's Charleston. He had a story to tell, that of the all-encompassing "system" to either break or strengthen freshman (plebes). Conroy has a love/hate relationship with the school... he "wears the ring" and nothing will change that fact. But he also is proud of his ability to manipulate the system in such a way that he has not allowed it to destroy his moral fabric. The resemblance to a child growing up in an abusive family is obvious... one can point to success stories as well as horrorifying tales of adult abusers as products of highly dysfunctional families. As is often the case, that which keeps us sane is our connection with others we can trust. And ultimately, trust is what this book is about.
I listened to this book through a download from Audible.com. The Prince of Tides still remains my alltime favorite Pat Conroy, in print or audibly (but not the movie which was dreadful). I would rank Lords of Discipline third (after The Great Santini and above South of Broad). Enjoy!
This book ranks among the best of the books I've heard.
My favorite scene is the dramatic revelation at the house in the woods where the cadet torture takes place.
Dan John Miller was the perfect voice for these characters. His accent and talent are incredible, but I was surprised at how many words he mispronounced. It seems someone in the editing booth could have helped with this.
I am retired. Hospital pharmacist for 40 years prior. Hobby-Photography and microscopes.
At the top
When Pig killed himself
The voice changes
Yes, but I didn't
Why anyone would want to go through the freshman year at the Citadel is a mystery.
Thank God some do.