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Yocheved

Freelance journalist, now living in Israel. Audible books listener for 30 years, when I had to pretend to be blind to get access.

Rocklin, CA, United States | Member Since 2004

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  • South of Broad

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1179)
    Performance
    (383)
    Story
    (383)

    Against the sumptuous backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. Leopold Bloom King, our 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 13, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him

    Lisa S. says: "I gave up"
    "Wanted very much to like this book, but....."
    Overall

    I'm a real Pat Conroy fan, so this was a book I looked forward to listening to -- in fact, I saved it for a time when I could really enjoy it. But bottom line: several times, I nearly quit listening. If it had been almost any author other than Conroy, I no doubt would have.

    I didn't have a problem with the narrator as some did, although the grating mispronounciation of "Herb Caen" -- aauuuuggggghhhh -- over and over was annoying. Instead, this was just a flawed novel.

    The biggest problem was that the cookie-cutter "good" characters never rang true -- no human is (or ever has been) as saintly as Leo. No gay man could ever be as marvelously talented, creative, tolerant and all-around perfect as Trevor. It didn't take long at all before I was all-full-up with listening to Leo's pious and perfect responses to whatever bad stuff came his way -- and an awesome amount of bad stuff it was.

    I also disliked the never ending chatty banter among this group of whatever-may-happen,we-always-hang-together friends. There was way too much emphasis on the fact that some were black and some white, way too much ostantatious acceptance of Trevor's sexuality (What? were you afraid we wouldn't get it, so it had to be laid on with a trowel?) But overall, all that witty byplay just got tiring. Enough, already -- tell us a story! We don't need the endless stream of one-liners.

    Thirdly, the plot line was just not believable. The notion of this group of childhood friends becoming adults, and repeatedly setting out to rescue one of the wayward members was just too much.

    And by the way, why the scene repitition from earlier books? Or is the tender washing of elderly feet -- lifted almost word for word from "Lords of Discipline" -- just a South Carolina thing?

    I'll go back and listen to the earlier Pat Conroy books -- now THOSE were something!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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