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.
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
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 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.
Because Pat Conroy is my all-time favorite writer, I set aside quality listening time to regale in his latest novel. Now I have spent the equivalent listening hours to determine why South of Broad was such a great disappointment.
1) The reader was aweful. He did southern accent okay .. it's just that all the southern accents were so similar that I couldn't tell which character was speaking without a "he said" or "she said" to indicate.
2) The characters were stereotypical and predictable. No surprises, even at the end when we were, I think, supposed to be shocked.
3) There was no subletly ... every nuance was clearly elucidated like Conroy didn't trust his own writing to deliver underlying thoughts, feelings or motives without explanation.
4) Attempts to make each of the characters memorable failed. I kept waiting to care about what happened to them, and just couldn't muster the empathy.
5) Despite its length, there was a sense of abridgement ... like the story was maintained but not the Conroy essence of it. When I fell asleep during part 2 I didn't bother to backup and listen to the hour I had missed, and predictably important plot parts of the missed scene were rehashed a few times
This novel is not representative of the man who brought us The Great Santini, Prince of Tides, Lords of Discipline, etc...
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.
Reading allows me to travel through time; to visit the world's unique and stunning places. To become somebody I am not... It is glorious.
Pat Conroy is a masterful writer. His topics are dark; he explores the worst of humanity; his books are sometimes brutal, often full of humans causing pain in other humans. But his use of the English language is so full of beauty that I feel as though I am reading one long and lyrical poem. His stories enthrall me and make me long to be a writer, to have his vocabulary and his ability to weave words into the stunning pictures. I fall in love with his characters. I fall in love with his locations. He uses words to seduce me and teach me. I have loved every one of his books and this one is no different.
Mark Deakins has superb voice for this story. It is deep, low and slow. His accent sounds authentic to this girl from the West. Conroy's words sound like they flow easily from Mr Deakins and that makes him superb in my book. The story and his narration meld together into a seamless storytelling experience.
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.
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!
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 this were to become a movie, my tag line would read," TRUE BEAUTY COMES FROM WITHIN!
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!
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