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South of Broad Audiobook
South of Broad
Written by: 
Pat Conroy
Narrated by: 
Mark Deakins
 >   > 
South of Broad Audiobook

South of Broad

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Publisher's Summary

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.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1464 )
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4.3 (649 )
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4.5 (642 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 08-06-11
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 08-06-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Conroy does it again"

    I just love Pat Conroy's writing. He could write an instruction manual and it would sound amazing. That said, this book follows Conroy's previous patterns - the book moves from the present to the past, and the characters all have painful pasts. There were a few elements of the story were a bit far fetched (the twins' father) but all in all he remains one of my favorites. The narrator did an excellent job as well.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Walnut Creek, CA, USA 04-21-10
    Mary Walnut Creek, CA, USA 04-21-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "South Broad Conroy"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue Oklahoma City, OK, United States 10-06-09
    Sue Oklahoma City, OK, United States 10-06-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful!!!"

    I loved this book it was one of the best books I've ever listened to on audio. It is a must buy!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margary St. Simons Island, GA, USA 10-04-09
    Margary St. Simons Island, GA, USA 10-04-09 Member Since 2008
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    "GREAT 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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    09-14-09
    09-14-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "A Sweeping and Magnificent Story"

    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
    character.

    Rob Obst

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Williamsburg, VA, USA 09-14-09
    Angela Williamsburg, VA, USA 09-14-09 Member Since 2016
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    "Thoroughly Entrancing"

    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.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 08-22-09
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 08-22-09 Member Since 2010

    I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Definitely credit-worthy"

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    08-27-09
    08-27-09 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing"

    This book has every possible tragedy that can befall a community: suicide, incest, child abuse, alcoholism, terrible storm, murder, aids, and betrayal. What this book doesn't have is a point. It's a soapopera/fairytale; very unrealistic and disappointing.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendi Overland Park, KS, United States 03-22-16
    Wendi Overland Park, KS, United States 03-22-16 Member Since 2012

    Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Beautiful Prose, Beautiful Saga of Sinners"

    Pat Conroy was of course, quite possibly the most beautiful storyteller in America. The Prince of Tides is still music to my mind when I think about the words, the love, the relationships and the way that Pat tied everything together- the beauty and the ugliness of people, places, and happenings. South of Broad is in effect, no different. I thought it fitting to listen to this beautiful audible after the untimely and very sad passing of Pat Conroy just last week.

    The narrator is entrancing and makes one think of Patrick Swayze and his beautiful, sexy, slightly Southern voice. We start with 'Toad' or Leopold, who is just coming out of a few 'troublesome teen' years due to an older brother who committed suicide and a family who though he would indeed never be as good as his older brother. With Roman Catholic roots and a mother who was previously a nun, Leo starts to find out more about himself by meeting new friends- friends who he didn't know would carry him through the rest of life. A group of friends who held so much love for one another- they got through marriages, divorces, children, substance abuse, psychiatric anomalies, the early stages of the AIDS disease, death, destruction and precious, beautiful life moments.

    This book is no less epic than anything the late, very missed Conroy has written. Some may not like the flamboyant characters, but they are all beautiful creations of true Southern hospitality and tradition.

    5 starts

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice 03-02-14
    Janice 03-02-14 Member Since 2014
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    "ONE OF MY T0P TEN BEST LISTENS"
    What made the experience of listening to South of Broad the most enjoyable?

    I have listened to SOUTH OF BROAD twice, and will listen to it over and over. I fell in love with Leo! All the characters made fun of him because he was supposedly ugly. Leo's inner goodness and his love of people, and how people loved him proved, beauty is only skin deep.. Leo's character made me want to be more like the LEO portrayed in the SOUTH OF BROAD.


    What other book might you compare South of Broad to and why?

    I would compare Pat Conroy's writing to that of James lee Burke when Burke describes his love for New Orleans. Conroy's description of Charleston, and his love for the city made me want to take the flight out to visit!


    What about Mark Deakins’s performance did you like?

    I loved the narrator's voice and the smoothness, and fluency which he told Leo's story. His deep southern accent made the words almost seem like I was listening to a song.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    If this were to become a movie, my tag line would read," TRUE BEAUTY COMES FROM WITHIN!


    Any additional comments?

    I was dismayed to read so many negative reivews of this book! THE SOUTH OF BROAD has made me a PAT CONROY FAN forever! The people who did not like South of Broad, must have listened to a different version that I did! I could not stop listening to the book nor the narrator. I rated this book one of my best listens!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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