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)
It's a coming of age story at a military school in the south in the 1960s, and a part of the story is the school being integrated. If the n word that rhymes with bigger bothers you, be warned that word is in the book many times. Otherwise, a decent story, decently performed. If you like other Conroy books you'd probably like this too.
J. Jason Gale
A young man's college career is spent suffering at the hands of a secret society. After four years he discovers the members and leader of the murderous cult. He calls them bad names and graduates. The end. The other eighteen hours are description and narration.
Okay, I gladly admit the description and narration are very well written; Conroy has a gift for words. And that added to my frustration: I anticipated a more satisfying story.
Books have two parts: What is said (the story and its structure); and How it's said (the words themselves). This work was a powerhouse of the latter but sorely wanted for the former. In the end, highfalutin words without a story are like boats with fancy sails adrift on the sand dunes in a desert.
One of my favorite!
I was reluctant to purchase this book, I am a HUGE Pat Conroy fan but wondered "am I going to enjoy a military story???" It is a great story, told wonderfully. Dan John Miller does a great job narrating. I am almost done with it and will be sad when it is over.
The story as well as the narrator; wonderful story that the narrator put to life.
The description of Charleston. I went to visit Charleston a month ago just because of the book. On my way there, I made my husband listen to the book too. He enjoyed it.
He was able to bring the different characters to life: I was suffering with them and laughing with them and crying with them too. What a great narrator!
Why do you want to change perfection?
Record Conroy's Beach Music read by the same narrator.
I favor history, non-fiction, lectures, and the occasional purely fictitious work. I also listen to many children's books with my family.
Well ... no.. not hated... but thought I wouldn't complete.
I felt that this book wouldn't be for me at all after listening for a hour or two, but I really loved Prince of Tides, and I listened on. The book was quite harsh in it's descriptions of the hazing and treatment of cadets and had me on the fence as to where things were headed. I would be reluctant to recommend this to folks who are easily put off by mental and physical torment, I know my wife wouldn't want to push through these.
Anyway, it didn't take Pat much longer to have me completely as he did with Tides. The story really is great and I was compelled to listen at every opportunity. One thing about the two Conroy books I have had the pleasure of listening to is that they are not feel-good books... and that's actually refreshing.
Well - I'm not really offering you much to go on here I guess... the story is, I guess, a coming of age tale set in a southern military institute (The Citadel) prior to the Vietnam War. The tale revolves around the narrator and a few key friends who must face a flawed system bent on creating 'the whole man'.
Still this does nothing but set the story a bit ... and I'm not sure how much more to provide in a review so i will just end by saying I highly recommend this book. It's one of my favorites of the past year. It lands just south of Prince of Tides - which surprised me since I found the beginning a challenge.
I have nearly 300 Audible titles in my library, and this one somehow got lost in the mix for over a year. When I finally spotted it, I couldn't for the life of me understand why I had made the purchase. The author's prologue at the beginning had me scratching my head as to how I could have made such a colossal mistake with a credit (in retrospect it would have worked better at the end...at least for me). Fifteen minutes into the book however, the author and the narrator had me hooked on one of my favorite audible rides of all time.
The richness of his characters, enhanced by the talent of the narrator in giving voice to each, and Conroy's ability to describe people and things in ways that border on profound, had me rewinding the story time and again to listen and marvel (this has not happened in any other Audible book). I reflected to my wife as I completed this book, that Conroy had likely spoiled me, that I would not be as satisfied with any future Audible title because it simply wouldn't match the writing style.
The author's experiences provide a depth of understanding of the time and place, and his descriptions of Charleston had me ready to make a detour. I would highly recommend you start this when you've got a really long trip or time to dedicate to the listen, because I simply did not want to stop.
This book gripped me with all the levels of love and hate for the school, his peers, and himself. I usually only listen to books in the car, but I couldn't stop with this one. I listened while cooking, cleaning, showering.. If I could have listened to it in one sitting - I would have!
The narrator did a great job using a different voice for each character. It's not often a man does a good job with women's voices, but he did an excellent job! Also, his southern accent sounded genuine, which was appreciated since I am a southerner.
Yes. This is the kind of book you wish you could read for the first time again and again. The story is a classic and the narration is superb.
My personal favorite character in the story is Mark: Ever-loyal, no-nonsense, and a buoyant personality in the core protagonists.
I thought the portrayal of all the main characters was fantastic; the Bear, Mark, Pig, Will, Tradd. Dan Miller did a great job of distinguishing each character and giving them consistent and emotive expression. As much as I love to physically read great books like this, having a consistent and well acted narration makes this book come alive in audio format.
Pig is, I believe, designed to be most memorable. It's too easy to give away plot points, so I wont go in to detail why.
Having read Prince of Tides first, I was familiar with the writing style and was excited to read this book next. I had seen the PoT movie many years ago and was not surprised by the climax nor particularly enthralled with the story. My girlfriend suggested that PoT was aimed more at women and that I read this book next as it was geared more towards the male audience. I would have read this book regardless, because I enjoyed the story telling and I think the writting is excellent. This has become a new favorite story of mine and intend to push it on some of my friends (especially for those that are pick about what they read).
The book provides an insider's view of a very secretive environment, one I knew nothing about. While strong friendships are forged, the cadets endure horrific acts of torture during their hazing period. The writing is so good, and the characters are so beautifull developed, that despite portions that were difficult to hear, I could not stop listening. The ironic juxtapostion of this brutal enclave with the gentility of Charleston, S.C. makes the whole story all the more fascinating. I reommend it highly.
The narrator was truly flawless. His ability to change inflections and tone for each character made it easy to know which one was speaking. He brought life to the drama on the page.
Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy is loosely (or actually not so loosely) based on Conroy's experiences at the Citadel, a military college in Charleston, SC. As in most of his books, the location of the story becomes one of the characters of his book, in this case actually two characters--The Institute (playing the role of the Citadel) and Charleston (playing the role of Charleston). Playing the role of mother, father, and siblings are The Bear (commandant of the Institue), Abigail (Charlestonian Society woman and Tradds' mother) and his three roommates, Tradd, Pig, and Mark.
Once again, Conroy's writing is poetic--one is transported in time and space to the mid 1960's Charleston. He had a story to tell, that of the all-encompassing "system" to either break or strengthen freshman (plebes). Conroy has a love/hate relationship with the school... he "wears the ring" and nothing will change that fact. But he also is proud of his ability to manipulate the system in such a way that he has not allowed it to destroy his moral fabric. The resemblance to a child growing up in an abusive family is obvious... one can point to success stories as well as horrorifying tales of adult abusers as products of highly dysfunctional families. As is often the case, that which keeps us sane is our connection with others we can trust. And ultimately, trust is what this book is about.
I listened to this book through a download from Audible.com. The Prince of Tides still remains my alltime favorite Pat Conroy, in print or audibly (but not the movie which was dreadful). I would rank Lords of Discipline third (after The Great Santini and above South of Broad). Enjoy!
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