Review: The Great Santini by Pat Conroy

4 stars

After reading The Prince of Tides, I wanted more literature by Pat Conroy. Yes, I said literature. Because that’s how good Conroy’s writing is. He puts so much good stuff into a story that by the time you’ve wrapped your head around it all, he’s punched you in the gut with something unexpected. Conroy uses a lot of fancy vocabulary, so have a dictionary nearby. Sometimes my built in Kindle dictionary doesn’t even have the words he uses.

The Great Santini is about a military man whose ego is so huge that he lives to overshadow his military corps, his airplanes, and his family. He is a mean son of a gun, and his family loves him and hates him, knows him and knows nothing about him.

I’m not into military stories or historical novels, but this book held my interest anyway. There may have been more pages about the Marine Corps, but there was more substance about the lieutenant corporal’s family. They held together while I held my shoulders tense knowing there’d be some abuse in this book. Conroy also comments on coming of age, racism, classism, education, sports, poverty, and the fraudulence of southern charm.

I enjoyed The Great Santini. I didn’t love it as much as The Prince of Tides, but it’s an excellent study in the relationship between a father and son. Even if I did predict the ending. 😉

– Calliope

Buy It Now The Great Santini

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