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Publisher's Summary

Step into the powerhouse life of Bull Meecham. He's all Marine -- fighter pilot, king of the clouds, and absolute ruler of his family. Lillian is his wife -- beautiful, southern-bred, with a core of velvet steel. Without her cool head, her kids would be in real trouble. Ben is the oldest, a born athlete whose best never satisfies the big man. Ben's got to stand up, even fight back, against a father who doesn't give in -- not to his men, not to his wife, and certainly not to his son. Bull Meecham is undoubtedly Pat Conroy's most explosive character -- a man you should hate, but a man you will love.
©1976 Pat Conroy; (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    488
  • 4 Stars
    228
  • 3 Stars
    89
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
    22

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    447
  • 4 Stars
    139
  • 3 Stars
    50
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    18

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    393
  • 4 Stars
    168
  • 3 Stars
    68
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    16
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent story

Great story with wonderful characters. The characters were so real. Not evil, but not perfect. Just human beings with all of their flaws. The narrator's voice of Bull Meacham was fantastic.

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  • Performance
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A masterpiece!

A masterpiece of a novel of a military family headed by Bull Meacham, aka "the Great Santini". The audio performance by Dick Hill is equally a masterpiece, conveying the bravado, fury, love and hate that are part of this story of imperfect humans. Bravo

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Book, Even greater narration - Best ever

What did you love best about The Great Santini?

Great story, The reader keeps you glued, Renders so many characters with different voices intonations. Don't miss this book !

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Great Santini?

When Ben gets arrested - So vivid that I had to stop listening

Which scene was your favorite?

Same as above

Who was the most memorable character of The Great Santini and why?

The Colonel, Toomer

Any additional comments?

I've listened to about 3 dozen books, This is one of the top 3.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lynn
  • Starkville, MS, United States
  • 04-14-15

Not what I expected!

I feared the whole book would be a story of the abuses of a marine father. I was pleasantly surprised at the beautiful story. I did not expect to laugh, to gain insights and to be amazed at the incredible repartee between family members! One of the best!

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  • Performance
  • Story

Smell the low country!

Conroy is my favorite author. The poetry of his prose soothes me. The Great Santini came to came to life for me as a glorious beast lost in his own mortality.

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  • Story

Just storie of a marine,no virtues or bad caracter

Not impressed with the graat santon i because lacked humanitarian feel on his personal life or professional.he was honorable but to rush with everyone.dificicilt to love someone like that

  • Overall
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  • Story

One of the worst books I have read/heard from one

What disappointed you about The Great Santini?

The story was about a violent and abusive father. There were few breaks from that abuse. It was not at all a pleasant read and I don't know how it could achieve the ratings I see I kept expecting to enter a part of the book that was not depressing and worth my time. I did not succeed. This book was a waste of my money.

Would you ever listen to anything by Pat Conroy again?

I will try another because I listened to 2 other books by conroy that were excellent. I will not get mired in another like this however.

Did Dick Hill do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Hill was good.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Total disappointment.

Any additional comments?

Need I say more to make my point?

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Long Charcter Sketch

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, I did not enjoy it and didn't finish 'reading' it.It reads like a long, overly detailed character sketch about an unusual and not very likeable, character. But there's no real plot or development - quite unlike Conroy's later books which are wonderfully constructed and resonant with plots, surprises and characters who grow and develop.

Would you ever listen to anything by Pat Conroy again?

Yes.

What about Dick Hill’s performance did you like?

Dick Hill's performance was great - it was all that saved the book and made me read on for some while.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes, I got impatient with the book and looked at the movie.I didn't enjoy it all that much but at least it told it's story in one sitting.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I saw the movie but the book is much better!

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

Yes, it is the harrowing story of a family at war with itself.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Great Santini?

Tumour's (sp?) death was the most memorable and heartbreaking.

Have you listened to any of Dick Hill’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Dick Hill is good, my only quibble is when the book calls for shouting he shouts instead of a slight modulation. Also when the book calls for whispering he whispers. The problem with shouting and whispering is I constantly have to play with the volume, turning up and down. I would ask Mr. Hill to only slightly raise and lower his voice as appropriate. Because I mostly listen to Audibles while driving, playing with the volume knob is not good!

Any additional comments?

I am a Huge Pat Conroy fan. He is an excellent storyteller!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Gregory
  • PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK, United States
  • 03-06-13

the (not so) great santini

What disappointed you about The Great Santini?

boring, tedious, mind numbing, seemingly endless adolescent dialogue punctuated by abusive rants by an intolerant, overbearing jerk. It doesn't take 18 hours to develop these characters that were so uninteresting that it was hardly, no not, worth listening to. Conroy said in his introduction that his father hated the book after his first read...so did I. On the other hand, Conroy gets huge credit for evolving from this dog to writing some of the best novels I have ever read, namely "Beach Music" and "Prince of Tides". I evaluate the book based upon whether I received $20 worth of entertainment value, I got $0.00. Would have been a rip off if the book was free!

Has The Great Santini turned you off from other books in this genre?

yes

Would you be willing to try another one of Dick Hill’s performances?

Dick Hill is an awesome reader. His work with Lee Child's Reacher and others I have heard are really first rate. In my opinion the reader provides well over half of the enjoyment value of any audible book. A bad reader can easily kill a good book and a good reader can save or at least make enjoyable a marginal one. Even Dick Hill couldn't save this dog, it was simply boring from start to finish. Certainly not his fault.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Gross disappointment, Conroy is much better than that. I fail to see why the book gets the credit it does.

Any additional comments?

Just terrible book, extremely predictable, childishly dedicated to documenting archaic military traditions that are in themselves ridiculous and worse when read aloud. I totally respect the military and those who choose to serve and the sacrifice they give to their country but to have it graphically described in this level of detail was very tedious and somewhat embarrassing.