Eventually, he finds his answer when he becomes part of a tightly knit group of high school seniors that includes friends Sheba and Trevor Poe, glamorous twins with an alcoholic mother and a prison-escapee father; hardscrabble mountain runaways Niles and Starla Whitehead; socialite Molly Huger and her boyfriend, Chadworth Rutledge X; and an ever-widening circle whose liaisons will ripple across two decades-from 1960s counterculture through the dawn of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
The ties among them endure for years, surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, and Charleston's dark legacy of racism and class divisions. But the final test of friendship that brings them to San Francisco is something no one is prepared for South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest; a long-awaited work from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds.
©2009 Pat Conroy; (P)2009 Random House
I was so sad when I finished the book, I wanted more!!! Very well written and I didn't want to put down the book.
I really enjoyed the twist and turns this novel took. Loved the characters and how they handled hardships. I have visited Charleston and could experience the city again as I listened to the book. I would highly recommend Pat Conroy's South of Broad.
This was my first book by Pat Conroy and I would hope that he is considering a continued story of Leo's life beyond these tragedies. I loved the drama, comedy and emotions the writing evoked in me. I giggled, sighed, worried and naturally, cried. People complain about the jumping around but I've seen this style in many books and enjoy it. I think it adds to the storyline and always promises a surprise revealed about Leo's life, "back when" or in his adult life.
I will probably read it again but will, for now, check out another by this author. Decisions, deciisons.....
The few pages devoted to descriptions of Charleston are very nice. The rest is told with outhouse language; profanity, obscenity and unnecessary gutter prose. The message, once said is maudlin and repetitive. I expected much better.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
No, this isn't fine literature -- but it is 20 hours of an impeccably read story. The narration is superb. The characters are well developed and very real. While I prefer to be astounded or amazed, this is simply a very good listen -- and well worth a credit.
I've listened to dozens of audiobooks and this is the first one that I've ever given up on. I'm a very patient listener. I liked the first part, but I felt it went downhill in the second part. As the characters I had started to enjoy moved into their adult lives, they became hard to believe and relate to. I found that I just didn't care what happened to them any more - a very rare thing for me! I usually enjoy a good character drama. Apparently some folks did enjoy it, but this one just wasn't for me.
How many of us wish that we had friends like those in "South of Broad"? I thought I had some friends like those, and they were only cultivated in my 50's; but the friendships disappeared when I moved to another state, but I digress.
This is my first Pat Conroy and I found his use of the English language extraordinary. The characters were so well developed but Mr. Conroy was always able to, in his inimitable style, carve just another facet onto each persona. His words flowed like the most beautiful classical concerto I have ever heard!
I laughed out loud, and I cried, and I just had tears in my eyes throughout the book. Some occurrences had an eerie, though distant, similarity to my own life. And the book, to this point, has a distinct sense of plausibility.
I am well into the third part and do not want this story to end as I feel that my friends will be gone and will only remain as phantoms in my memory.
If Mr. Conroy has usurped the words in Merriam-Webster for his previous books as he has in "South of Broad" I am sure that I shall meet, greet, and make other friends, but they too shall sadly end up as phantoms.
I love Pat Conroy, but this wasn't very good. He recycles the same themes: race in the south, class tensions, and of course mother issues.
I found the dialog awkward and at times unbelievable. The constant bickering of characters was annoying. The wisecracking of the protagonist falls short of being cute or funny.
The characters lacked depth. I had a difficult time liking the good guys and conversely disliking the villains.
Like Thomas Wolfe or Faulkner, Conroy give's a deeply resonating voice to the South and the human condition. His superlative and nearly peerless descriptive powers continue to ripen and bloom. Many times when listening to this book my heart ached not only for the characters in his story, but at Conroy's ability to capture the the subtle nuances of human interaction and the inner world. Lengthening an already long book, over and over again, I simply could not stop myself from pressing the rewind button. The narrator (Mark Deakin's) hit the tenor and accent for the story just right.
This is a book I will read again, and Leopold King is an inspiring, lovable, and unforgettable
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