I tried to attend to the short staccato sentences that didn't seem related to each other. There's no character development, just a long list of facts about a person or place. One unsavory character ran into another, without any discernment or voice change. I was also turned off by the liberal use of racial epithets and mindless lists of events. The writing was like listening to a technical manual, very dry, no emotional flavoring, except the bravado of puffed up thugs. I'd give this title a zero but that wasn't an option. I admit that I had to stop listening after two hours. That's a first for me.
I had only seen the movie before and remembered being horrified by the scene where he throws the basketball at his son's head. Now that I'm older (much older!) I can actually identify with Santini and his struggle to be the best marine aviator and how that spills over into his family life. How he inspired his men to love him and want to go to war with him by his humor and tough love, yet made his son (and me) hate him. I appreciated how Conroy used Santini's wife to humanize his incomprehensible actions.
The actor who narrates the book is wonderful. He makes the voices so individual, that you don't need to be told who is speaking.
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