This powerful and breathtaking novel is the story of four cadets who have become bloodbrothers. Together they will encounter the hell of hazing and the rabid, raunchy, and dangerously secretive atmosphere of an arrogant and proud military institute. They will experience the violence. The passion. The rage. The friendship. The loyalty. The betrayal. Together, they will brace themselves for the brutal transition to manhood... and one will not survive.
With all the dramatic brilliance he brought to The Great Santini, Pat Conroy sweeps you into the turbulent world of these four friends - and draws you deep into the heart of his rebellious hero, Will McLean, an outsider forging his personal code of honor, who falls in love with a whimsical beauty... and who undergoes a transition more remarkable then he ever imagined possible.
©2002 Pat Conroy (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“Reading Pat Conroy is like watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel." (Houston Chronicle)
“The Lords of Discipline is, simply, an American classic." (Larry King)
I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes mysteries and military stories. Since these are 2 of my favorite genres, I was quite drawn to the story. The protagonist is Will McLean, a young man who is going through a major military "rite of passage" as a cadet at a famous military academy. As a senior cadet, Will's "plebe" year still haunts him and now he is selected for the daunting task of protecting the academies' first black cadet. His challenges don't stop there, however. He has also begun a relationship with a young lady who is pregnant out of wedlock with unknown man's child. He doesn't struggle alone, he has 3 roommates - 2 Yankees and a "honey prince" of dubious sexual orientation - to whom he has sworn unquestionable loyalty. But as the story unfolds, it becomes obvious to Will that "trust, loyalty and honor" can take on different meanings in the cloistered world of military cadets.
As a product of the "South" - The Carolina Military Institute is steeped in tradition and produces tough young military officers - or does it? Just what is it the "makes the man" - the questions answered by the end of story will challenge the way you look at all "traditional" institutions and what creates a sense of belonging within them.
There is a book I read many years ago called, "The Long Grey Line" which is similar to the "Lords of Discipline". Likewise, the eloquent writing style will, of course, remind one of the "The Great Santini", also written by Pat Conroy.
I liked the narration pretty well except that I felt the female character's voices sounded a bit strained. I guess this is natural when the narrator is a male. Luckily, there are few female characters in this story. Otherwise, the dialogue is witty and quick. The narrator does a good job of bringing the appropriate amount of emotion to the characters.
"A Question of Honor"? "Honor and Discipline"? "Ring of Honor"?
There are times I listen to an audiobook, it captures my imagination, and then somewhere in the middle of the book I realize that a real part of my enjoyment is the voices the narrator gives the characters. This was one of those books. The narrator added to what I found to be a fascinating story.
Life inside a military academy is something I had not given a moments thought to, until I stumbled on this book. Yet I ended up reflecting on philosophical ideas such as 'Does the end justify the means?' and "At what cost self-discipline?'
The book may feel a bit drawn out to some, there are scenes which feel a bit long, and Conroy always loves to fall into flowery prose. But this book caught me and held me, the characters felt real, the emotions they went through were demonstrated in a way I could feel. It's a raw book, but it also comes from the heart.
I will admit that for me, the ending was a bit melodramatic, but overall this was a book I truly "experienced" and it caused me to think deeply. Great listen. And I can't say enough about the narrator, really added to the overall effect.
The non-linear format confused me several times throughout the story, and I had to check to see if the chapters were mixed out of order, but it just flashed back and forth at times that I didn't agree with. The writing is okay, better than okay, but it seems to take a long time to delve through the harshness of it all, and I keep waiting to come out the other end. multiple story lines keep the interest. The reader is okay, does a very good job of recognizable voices for main characters. I will say that the characters are fleshed out and feel real. A lot of swearing as might be expected. some explicit details of hazing that I did not need to hear, but added to the details. All in all, it is admirable effort, but not my favorite subject.
Utterly beautiful coming-of-age story and a love-letter to the city of Charleston. The narration by Dan John Miller is excellent. I fear whatever I read next, apart from a classic, is going to suffer greatly by comparison.
Geek, Gamer who hates wasting credits.
I looked at all the 5 star reviews and spent my credits, so I am warning you dear reader run. I am not sure how this got such good reviews , unless there are lot of military school listeners out there who wanted to relive their past. The writing is so heavy handed and stilted, it seemed very dated by today's books. It is preachy and pedantic style got to me. I see how writing the book was very cathartic for the author but I did not enjoy the retelling of his boyhood. Save your money and run.
I gave up on this one halfway, then came back and worked through the whole story. That strong. Brace. Enjoy!
Well thought out. well written, and well performed. Great strong and likeable characters. One of Pat Conroy's best.
The late Pat Conroy was amongst the greatest wordsmiths of my lifetime. This book displayed his ability to sculpt and mold a story into ever more romantic, poetic and troubling turns.
An outstanding masterpiece, well written and read. Pat Conroy has filled his book with color, mystery, truth and of relationships between people, institutions, southern culture and history. God bless you Pat Conroy.
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