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South of Broad Audiobook

South of Broad

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Publisher's Summary

Against the sumptuous backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. Leopold Bloom King, our narrator, is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, an ex-nun, is the high school principal and a well-known Joyce scholar. After Leo's older brother commits suicide at the age of 13, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1591 )
5 star
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4.3 (767 )
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Story
4.5 (758 )
5 star
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3 star
 (48)
2 star
 (20)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
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  •  
    Connie Greensboro, NC, USA 10-07-09
    Connie Greensboro, NC, USA 10-07-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Pat Conroys Best EVER!"

    I can't hardly put this one down!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eclectic reader Fort Myers, FL USA 10-03-09
    eclectic reader Fort Myers, FL USA 10-03-09 Member Since 2015

    wanderer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Retains title of Modern Southern author"

    I am mystified by the negative reviews of this book. I found it delightful, and articulate. It definitely transported me to a different time and place. Perhaps some people find the issue of aids off putting. I believe Conroy managed it very well. He certainly introduces the reader to an interesting variety of characters. The foray to San Francisco was fun as well. I have read, and or listened to all of his other books as well and believe this one is solidly in the cannon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    verge hingham, MA, United States 09-26-09
    verge hingham, MA, United States 09-26-09 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
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    "covered all bases"

    I enjoyed the narrative, good inflections and tones, and the story at times is gripping, but when it came to tying up loos ends, this story does it all. I think Pat Conroy wanted to combine a wonderfull story with every bad sterotype in human nature. Still enjoyed it!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leigh Nason 09-10-09
    Leigh Nason 09-10-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good, but not Conroy's best"

    I rate this book a low "B" compared to Conroy's earlier "A" works (The Water is Wide, The Great Santini, etc.) Character development and story line are erratic; both seem to run out of steam toward the end of the book. The narrative depiction of Charleston is vintage Conroy, however, and quite enjoyable. The narrator took some getting used to -- fake Southern accent was very distracting and the mispronunciations irritating (Molly's last name of "Huger" is pronounced "You-Gee," NOT "Huggie"). Not sorry I bought this book but not one to re-read, unlike the Conroy classics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Cincinnati,OH 09-07-09
    Carol Cincinnati,OH 09-07-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good listen"

    I like Pat Conroy's style of writing - this particular one seemed to jump around a little. On audio I found myself wondering if I skipped some chapters.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary sioux falls, SD, USA 09-07-09
    Mary sioux falls, SD, USA 09-07-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "South of Broad"

    It was absolutely fabulous. Couldn't stop listening.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Harvey The Coast of Rhode Island 08-20-09
    Pamela Harvey The Coast of Rhode Island 08-20-09 Listener Since 2003

    glam

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ""Grease" Goes to Charleston"

    What has Pat Conroy been doing for 14 years? And what kind of parents would call their daughter "Sheba"? I dislike the naming of characters with exotic names, to sort of make the reader think that person is ""special". The publisher's summary mentions the suicide of the protagonist's brother as a key incident, so as to make you think the book is about family dynamics in adjusting to tragedy. However the tragedy merely plays a background role - so far - and I've only read a few chapters but I cannot go on with this self-indulgent drivel from the mouths of overgrown high-school students with nothing better to do than party.
    What editor in his/her right mind would consider this serious literature? I's no more than a daytime TV soap opera read by a baritone voice that reminds me of that old governor of Georgia, George Wallace.
    If you like Charleston, as so many of the positive reviewers do, you may like this shallow exploration into post-adolescent angst delivered by a southern baritone voice that will remind you of the worst preachers (of any faith) to which your parents dragged to of a Saturday or Sunday morning.
    Pat you have let me down.

    15 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Wailuku, HI, United States 09-26-09
    Kathleen Wailuku, HI, United States 09-26-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Vastly disappointing"

    Which Pat Conroy REALLY wrote this book? Surely not the same one who wrote "Prince of Tides" and "Lords of Discipline." I suspect the author was under the influence of chick lit, soap operas, and cliche coming of age books when he wrote it. Or maybe he dug out some notes from 25 yrs ago for a wisely-unfinished novel, and, unable to write as he once did, succumbed to his publisher's pressure and handed this abomination over.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LarryD 09-14-09
    LarryD 09-14-09

    PC Larry

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a listen!"

    Pat Conroy lives up to his wonderful writing style. What a different book! Fate, friendship, an coming of age...highly recommend! The narrator was fantastic! I want to go to Charleston...wish I were a Charlestonian! Lynn :)

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie 10-30-13
    Melanie 10-30-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Way Too Much to be Believable"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Wanted to like this book but found it tooooo unbelievable. Every event in recent American history seemed to feature and none in any depth. Endings tied up a bit too well.
    Did enjoy the narrator.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Pat Conroy again?

    Yes would try again I have heard good things about Pat Conroy


    Which character – as performed by Mark Deakins – was your favorite?

    Did not really get to like the characters


    Do you think South of Broad needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. Well if there was I would not be enticed to read it


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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