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Beach Music | [Pat Conroy]

Beach Music

Pat Conroy is without doubt America's favorite storyteller, a writer who portrays the anguished truth of the human heart and the painful secrets of families in richly lyrical prose and unforgettable narratives. Now, in Beach Music, he tells of the dark memories that haunt generations, in a story that spans South Carolina and Rome and reaches back into the unutterable terrors of the Holocaust.
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Publisher's Summary

Pat Conroy is without doubt America's favorite storyteller, a writer who portrays the anguished truth of the human heart and the painful secrets of families in richly lyrical prose and unforgettable narratives.

Now, in Beach Music, he tells of the dark memories that haunt generations, in a story that spans South Carolina and Rome and reaches back into the unutterable terrors of the Holocaust.

Beach Music is about Jack McCall, an American living in Rome with his young daughter, trying to find peace after the recent trauma of his wife's suicide. But his solitude is disturbed by the appearance of his sister-in-law, who begs him to return home, and of two school friends asking for his help in tracking down another classmate who went underground as a Vietnam protester and never resurfaced. These requests launch Jack on a journey that encompasses the past and the present in both Europe and the American South, and that leads him to shocking--and ultimately liberating--truths.

Told with deep feeling and trademark Conroy humor, Beach Music is powerful and compulsively readable. It is another masterpiece in the legendary list of classics that his body of work has already become.

©2009 Pat Conroy; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

"Astonishing...stunning...the range of passions and subjects that brings life to every page is almost endless." (The Washington Post Book World)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (565 )
5 star
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4.3 (383 )
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Story
4.2 (384 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    L.W. 07-05-11
    L.W. 07-05-11

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    513
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    225
    222
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    124
    29
    Overall
    "Great Book..."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Thurman 07-05-11
    S. Thurman 07-05-11

    JanScott

    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    "Good Summer Reading for Southerners ( or Wannabes)"

    Vintage Conroy...read Conroy to taste grits and shrimp, smell salt water, hear the drawl of Charleston. I love the southern flavor, but always lament Conroy's minimum requirements for enlistment as a Southern Belle... mysterious females born with Barbie doll figures, Mensa level IQ's, flawless skin, adorned by family diamonds (gifts from Sherman to grandmothers who saved homes...no towns... from being burned), mistress of all domestic arts, fluent in 6 languages (learned Italian and German while singing with the Met) ....and have at least one secret, illegitimate child by a brutal politician. I fall so short...but inspired to keep trying.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wallen Danderyd, Sweden 04-20-11
    Wallen Danderyd, Sweden 04-20-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    219
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    91
    55
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    7
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    Overall
    "A nice story - but too lenghty"

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Irene Krenzke Houston, Texas USA 11-13-10
    Sarah Irene Krenzke Houston, Texas USA 11-13-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
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    18
    14
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    6
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    "Sweeping, multigenerational story"

    I love Pat Conroy and this book is no exception. It took me a good long time to not be distracted by the narrators flat unemotional reading - however, he got much better as the book went on and I ended up thinking he had done a really good job. The main story has many shorter stories within as it goes back to look at the lives of many of the more minor characters. The book is full of Conroy's usual beautiful women and wisecracking characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Huntington beach, United States Minor Outlying Islands 08-22-10
    Jennifer Huntington beach, United States Minor Outlying Islands 08-22-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    56
    6
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    "Best Book I've Listened to in Years."

    I absolutely loved this book. The author had me from the first chapter and the relationships in the book were at times so touching and others completely hilirous. I had never read any of Pat Conroy's books. I am now a huge fanl.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derrick Covington, GA, United States 07-16-15
    Derrick Covington, GA, United States 07-16-15 Member Since 2011

    Listen to books EVERY DAY driving in Atlanta traffic! I love exciting non-fiction, mystery, series and lengthy books. Every once in a while I will listen to rock start autobiographies to break up the routine.

    ratings
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    4
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    Story
    "Good book, bad southern accent...."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Beach Music to be better than the print version?

    I could have done either for this book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Beach Music?

    The ending and the matriarch being so sick. Hearing a son's love for his mother pour out in his grief. Touching.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    His southern accent was a little "put on" and I find myself with a truer one.


    If you could take any character from Beach Music out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Definitely Shilah.


    Any additional comments?

    None.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    May Ann Draper 06-29-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    Story
    "great"

    I really enjoyed the reader and the story. this was a great summer read. very much enjoyable

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Deglow 06-05-15
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "One of my favorites!"

    This is a wonderful story that makes you laugh and cry. Beach Music has become one of my favorite books of all time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Dietrich La Junta, CO USA 05-04-15
    S. Dietrich La Junta, CO USA 05-04-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    3
    1
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    Story
    "Loved it!"

    This is the second version of this wonderful novel that I have heard, and it exceeded my expectations. My favorite part was the last chapter and the epilogue. The narrator – the second one I've heard do this story – was excellent. I had selected the story you shared with my wife, and she loved it as well. (Eric Schneider)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meemaw 05-01-15
    Meemaw 05-01-15 Member Since 2009
    ratings
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    15
    4
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    "Worth revisiting"

    I read this book when it came out and am surprised how much I forgot. Maturity gave me a fresh perspective. It is a great ride still.

    If you have any recollection of the Vietnam years, this will be an interesting fresh look from the point of view of college age southern boys and girls.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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