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Publisher's Summary

Pat Conroy is without doubt America's favorite storyteller, a writer who portrays the anguished truth of the human heart and the painful secrets of families in richly lyrical prose and unforgettable narratives.

Now, in Beach Music, he tells of the dark memories that haunt generations, in a story that spans South Carolina and Rome and reaches back into the unutterable terrors of the Holocaust.

Beach Music is about Jack McCall, an American living in Rome with his young daughter, trying to find peace after the recent trauma of his wife's suicide. But his solitude is disturbed by the appearance of his sister-in-law, who begs him to return home, and of two school friends asking for his help in tracking down another classmate who went underground as a Vietnam protester and never resurfaced. These requests launch Jack on a journey that encompasses the past and the present in both Europe and the American South, and that leads him to shocking--and ultimately liberating--truths.

Told with deep feeling and trademark Conroy humor, Beach Music is powerful and compulsively readable. It is another masterpiece in the legendary list of classics that his body of work has already become.

©2009 Pat Conroy; (P)2009 Random House

Critic Reviews

"Astonishing...stunning...the range of passions and subjects that brings life to every page is almost endless." (The Washington Post Book World)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    712
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    238
  • 3 Stars
    101
  • 2 Stars
    39
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    28

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    80
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    27
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    34

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    175
  • 3 Stars
    64
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    25
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    20
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • kathryn
  • Woodinville, wa, United States
  • 01-18-16

Exquisite!

As a voracious reader, it seems I have a new life best choice! This story was so beautifully articulated, I was a voyeur in a world I haven't lived but so much more hopefully wise.

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Thoroughly engrossing, highly recommend

Marosz does the book and its author an incredible injustice. The constant mispronunciation of Italian and even English words is insulting, and his interpretation of a Southern accent is as grating as described by other reviewers.

In spite of that, the book is wonderful, the characters rich, and the writing is vivid and often laugh-out-loud funny.

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  • Performance
  • Story

Unbearable Foghorn Leghorn Accent Ruins Book

What disappointed you about Beach Music?

I love everything Pat Conroy and try to read all his books, so I will not give a poor rating on the content. But this unbearable fake Southern accent makes me want to throw something at my iPhone. I grew up in South Carolina and have NEVER heard an accent like this EXCEPT by actors (including Kevin Spacey) who do absolutely no research and fall back on this horrible sound for movies, plays and audiobooks. Not only is this NOT A SOUTHERN ACCENT, it's not even pretty. Would love to review this book but will have to get the Kindle edition because this is absolutely unbearable to hear.

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Enjoyed the story, became a bit tedious

Epic story, felt there were too many incredible different story lines. Learned so much about wars of so many types, that was good insight got me.

  • Overall
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  • Story

A well narrated story with depth.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes.

What about Jonathan Marosz’s performance did you like?

The diverse character personification, both male and female, by this narrator was superb. Given the fact that the characters were portrayed with ample voice inflection, I can not help but wonder that the more monotonous tone employed buring story narration was by design as excessive inflection during story telling, can itself lead to monotony.

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  • Derrick
  • Covington, GA, United States
  • 07-16-15

Good book, bad southern accent....

Would you consider the audio edition of Beach Music to be better than the print version?

I could have done either for this book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Beach Music?

The ending and the matriarch being so sick. Hearing a son's love for his mother pour out in his grief. Touching.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

His southern accent was a little "put on" and I find myself with a truer one.

If you could take any character from Beach Music out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Definitely Shilah.

Any additional comments?

None.

  • Overall
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great

I really enjoyed the reader and the story. this was a great summer read. very much enjoyable

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One of my favorites!

This is a wonderful story that makes you laugh and cry. Beach Music has become one of my favorite books of all time!

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  • Story

Loved it!

This is the second version of this wonderful novel that I have heard, and it exceeded my expectations. My favorite part was the last chapter and the epilogue. The narrator – the second one I've heard do this story – was excellent. I had selected the story you shared with my wife, and she loved it as well. (Eric Schneider)

  • Overall

I loved this book

The second book I've read -and could not stop listening to - by Pat Conroy. The character development is superb and he brings to life and memory one of my favorite places in the world; Charleston, SC.