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The Great Santini | [Pat Conroy]

The Great Santini

Step into the powerhouse life of Bull Meecham. He's all Marine -- fighter pilot, king of the clouds, and absolute ruler of his family. Lillian is his wife -- beautiful, southern-bred, with a core of velvet steel. Without her cool head, her kids would be in real trouble. Ben is the oldest, a born athlete whose best never satisfies the big man. Ben's got to stand up, even fight back, against a father who doesn't give in -- not to his men, not to his wife, and certainly not to his son.
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Publisher's Summary

Step into the powerhouse life of Bull Meecham. He's all Marine -- fighter pilot, king of the clouds, and absolute ruler of his family. Lillian is his wife -- beautiful, southern-bred, with a core of velvet steel. Without her cool head, her kids would be in real trouble. Ben is the oldest, a born athlete whose best never satisfies the big man. Ben's got to stand up, even fight back, against a father who doesn't give in -- not to his men, not to his wife, and certainly not to his son. Bull Meecham is undoubtedly Pat Conroy's most explosive character -- a man you should hate, but a man you will love.

©1976 Pat Conroy; (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (366 )
5 star
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4.2 (236 )
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Story
4.4 (235 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gregory PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK, United States 03-06-13
    Gregory PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK, United States 03-06-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "the (not so) great santini"
    What disappointed you about The Great Santini?

    boring, tedious, mind numbing, seemingly endless adolescent dialogue punctuated by abusive rants by an intolerant, overbearing jerk. It doesn't take 18 hours to develop these characters that were so uninteresting that it was hardly, no not, worth listening to. Conroy said in his introduction that his father hated the book after his first read...so did I. On the other hand, Conroy gets huge credit for evolving from this dog to writing some of the best novels I have ever read, namely "Beach Music" and "Prince of Tides". I evaluate the book based upon whether I received $20 worth of entertainment value, I got $0.00. Would have been a rip off if the book was free!


    Has The Great Santini turned you off from other books in this genre?

    yes


    Would you be willing to try another one of Dick Hill’s performances?

    Dick Hill is an awesome reader. His work with Lee Child's Reacher and others I have heard are really first rate. In my opinion the reader provides well over half of the enjoyment value of any audible book. A bad reader can easily kill a good book and a good reader can save or at least make enjoyable a marginal one. Even Dick Hill couldn't save this dog, it was simply boring from start to finish. Certainly not his fault.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Gross disappointment, Conroy is much better than that. I fail to see why the book gets the credit it does.


    Any additional comments?

    Just terrible book, extremely predictable, childishly dedicated to documenting archaic military traditions that are in themselves ridiculous and worse when read aloud. I totally respect the military and those who choose to serve and the sacrifice they give to their country but to have it graphically described in this level of detail was very tedious and somewhat embarrassing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allan Nuuk, Greenland 03-04-13
    Allan Nuuk, Greenland 03-04-13
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    12
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    Story
    "strong storry"
    If you could sum up The Great Santini in three words, what would they be?

    Relive your life if your dad was a alcoholic that was impossible to please.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Dick Hill are a nice voice to listen to


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-24-12
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2006

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Finally! A book about military brats"

    There aren't a lot of books out there about what it was like to be a military brat. I am forever grateful to Pat Conroy for making the effort. All of our stories are different of course but there are commonalities in The Great Santini that we can all relate to. For anyone who was a military brat or knew a military brat, you should read this book. Conroy captures the feeling of always being the new kid in school, of how the father's career affects the family, of not really having a sense of place. He captures the sense in which these kids feel they are missing some critical element of growing up, at the same time that they are proud of the tradition they are part of. Most of all, he captures the love/hate relationship we all have with the branch of the service our fathers were part of.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LH huddleston, VA, United States 04-30-12
    LH huddleston, VA, United States 04-30-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "A long but good read"
    What did you love best about The Great Santini?

    Pat Conroy is the best at character development. His plots tend to go on too long and "The Great Santini" was one of the longer. I read "South of Board" and love it. It took me longer to get into "The Great Santini" but it slowly began to grow on me. I have the misfortune of knowing someone very much like the father (The Great Santini) in this book so I was able to relate to it very well. I love Conroy's ability to place you in the scenes, to understand what each of the characters are thinking and going through.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Pat Conroy? Why or why not?

    Yes. He's an excellent writer and even though his book are too wordy, they are well worth the experience.


    What about Dick Hill’s performance did you like?

    Dick Hill did an excellent job portraying the voice and emotions of each of the character's of the book.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Great Santini and why?

    Mary Ann, the older sister, was the most memorable character. She was the only one who did not let her father intimidate her, maybe because she was also the one most like her father.


    Any additional comments?

    The beginning of the book is really boring and I almost didn't finish. But I was glad that I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Griffin OCILLA, GA, United States 04-22-12
    C. Griffin OCILLA, GA, United States 04-22-12 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "Bull: Great Marine, Difficult Father"

    As a marine, Bull is one of the best. As a father, he is not one of the best. Through the pages of this book, Pat Conroy tells the story of Bull and his family as they make a home in South Carolina during Ben Meecham's senior year in high school. New friends are made, new relationships forged, and old family habits are faced with laughter and heartache. The four Meecham children, their Mid-Western Marine father, and their Southern bred mother come alive within the pages of The Great Santini. They struggle with their undying love for family and the love/hate relationship they have for the lives they have very little control over.

    Pat Conroy has a gift for the written language. His rich Southern heritage permeates every page. With one sentence he can invoke anger, bring you to tears, or make you roar with laughter. His words are eloquent and harsh, stirring and sharp. He is a master.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Nahalal, Israel 01-10-12
    Jonathan Nahalal, Israel 01-10-12 Member Since 2007
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    "very good book, but did not turn my guts"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I Love Pat Conroy's books. i thik the fact i have seen the movie couple of years ago, prevented me from the feeling i susualy get in his books, that it turns my guts over all the time
    all his books are must, and this is one of the strong ones.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Sparks, NV, United States 01-05-12
    David Sparks, NV, United States 01-05-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Shocked!!!!!!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Nobody!


    What was most disappointing about Pat Conroy’s story?

    Great story ruined by the rape of the little girl with details that sickened me!!!!!!!!!!!


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Omit that scene terrible! terrible! terrible!


    What character would you cut from The Great Santini?

    The Rapist


    Any additional comments?

    I will never read this book again!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary United States 12-03-11
    Mary United States 12-03-11 Member Since 2010
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    2
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    "Good Book - Great Narrator"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book immensely, as I have all of Pat Conroy's books. This book feels like

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue Oklahoma City, OK, United States 06-28-11
    Sue Oklahoma City, OK, United States 06-28-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Great Book"

    Pat Conroy is a true artist with words. I have read many of his books and all were wonderful, however, The Greaat Santini goes beyond wonderful to a true work of art.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sjohn Meridian, MS, United States 06-09-11
    sjohn Meridian, MS, United States 06-09-11 Member Since 2009
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    "3.5 stars. 4 for the book, 3 for the narration."

    I think that I was spoiled by Frank Muller's narration of Conroy's other books that I listened to first. I just didn't find this narrator quite as captivating. Still a worthwhile listen! Pat Conroy is a great favorite of mine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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