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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

4.2 (1676 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Diane Cape Town South AfrucaSouth Africa 01-03-10
    Diane Cape Town South AfrucaSouth Africa 01-03-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
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    "South of Broad"

    Wonderfully read and as good as Beach Music

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noelle Stockton Springs, ME, United States 12-14-09
    Noelle Stockton Springs, ME, United States 12-14-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    "Epic Novel"

    I enjoyed every minute of this book. Yes, sometimes it detailed a lot, but you get in the southern drawl groove and it all fits. Great reader.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilynn San Bernardino, CA, USA 11-23-09
    Marilynn San Bernardino, CA, USA 11-23-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "A master of prose"

    This is a lovely, lyrical book about growing up in a small town, as part of the "out" group in high school. Mr Conroy has a lyrical, poetic mastery of words. As I read he evokes those memories, those feelings of not belonging, and trying to deal with the love or lack of love within a family, and moving past life changing events.
    The story moves back and forth between the past and present. I found it easy to follow, and enjoyed understanding what happened to the characters as they matured. Some of it is a little unusual but the story is descriptive, and lovely. It is always interesting. I purchased it to keep it in my library and enjoy listening to it over and over.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    al watson 11-14-09
    al watson 11-14-09 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "massively disappointing"

    This story could have been great, but ends up just so-so, and for a fan of Conroy, that's a disappointment. The structure of jumping back and forth in time is not an issue, I enjoy stories unfolding that way. The disasters that befall such a small group of friends (the characters) in this story are ridiculous in volume and substance. The last few hours of this book are to be endured only to get to the end that doesn't come soon enough, I wished all these people would have died sooner to save me from many hours of Conroy trying too hard to impress with verbiage and description. Was there an editor involved in this release at all I wonder? There are a few times where Conroy manages to pluck the familiar sentimental heart strings, family, religion, community, and they are well written, but the rest is a sophomoric mess. This is the only Conroy work that has left me glad it is over, rather than deeply saddened to leave the rich world he has crafted and shared with us. Too bad.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betsy East Greenwich, RI, United States 11-05-09
    Betsy East Greenwich, RI, United States 11-05-09 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Gracious Charleston"

    I got married in Charleston, two years ago and this book just took me back to that time and the gracious people there. I enjoyed listening to this while driving to work and was sorry when it came to an end. Some great characters here and lots of drama - can't wait to see if they make this into a movie! I've never read anything from Pat Conroy before but had to get this one since Charleston is now dear to my heart too! It's a great listen.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Summerville, GA, USA 10-31-09
    Melinda Summerville, GA, USA 10-31-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "South of Broad"

    Enjoyed this book, as always Conroy uses his humor to tell a tale of growing up in the south. I think I know these characters from my own childhood growing up in the south during the 60's.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
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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
    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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    103
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    7
    Overall
    "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

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