Rated of 5
by Maxson I Guess That's Why They Call It "Fiction"
Yikes! What was I thinking? Bought this book at Borders as the 3rd book from one of their "Buy 2-get the 3rd Free" sale. A big disappointment, but I kept reading the book(why, I don't know).
The biggest complaint I have is that most of the story and the characters were not very believable. Maybe that can be explained because it is truly a book of "fiction."
Maybe the next time I am trying to decide what book to buy as the "free" book I will choose more wisely and not get "burned" again.
Rated of 5
by Judy South of Broad
I found the book to be cheesy, and the story to be ridiculous. I found the language (southern inflection) and depiction of the people of the south to be demeaning. As I read I write words that fit the book. along with cheesy I wrote Cliché, Juvenile, obvious and artless. The story line was very close to the Big Chill with more stuff thrown in.
Rated of 5
by Ann D. Over plotted but fun to read
I instantly wanted to take a trip to Charleston after reading this book. I enjoyed the witty dialogue and rich descriptions, but it seemed like all the characters spoke the same way with few distinguishing or realistic traits. The plot itself reads like a melodrama one moment, a sitcom the next, with way too much in the way of daring rescues and murderous escapades. ...With all that, however, I found myself looking forward to reading it each night.
Rated of 5
by Lynn Beautifully written
Pat Conroy is such an outstanding writer. There isn't a published word by him that I have not read. However, I believe I was a little let down by this book. It isn't fair to judge every book he writes by the great books of "The Great Santini", "The Prince of Tides" and "The Lords of Discipline". This book could not hold up to that standard. What was wonderful about this book is the way Mr. Conroy describes a scene. No one does it better. I felt like I was in the middle of Charleston while I was reading this book. I reread so many passages as I could not think of anyway they could have been written any better. The major flaw to me were the conversations among the well crafted friends of the main character, Leo King. While the conversations were witty and fun, I don't believe anyone really talks like that on a regular basis in real life. It just didn't ring true to me. However, Leo King was a wonderful character -- but probably too much of a saint overall to be believable. His only flaw was that he was not the most attractive person. On the other hand, Leo's mother's had only one favorable attribute -- she was intelligent in a book way, not in an emotional way. I do want Pat Conroy to start writing again so that we don't have to wait so long for the next book. I will be in the bookstore the day it comes out. What a great writer!!
Rated of 5
by Rebecca South of Broad, Southern, Unlikely friendships
Pat Conroy has written another hit. This one is a based in Charleston, South Carolina and is a story of unlikely friendships that start in High School and last a lifetime. Leo King is eight years old when he finds his ten year old brother who has committed suicide. This tragedy colors the rest of his life and brings him to gather a motley crew of friends his senior year in high school. This group of friends stays together over a lifetime and can always count on each other.
Leo's mother never liked him because he was not his beautiful brother Steve. She was always telling him how ugly, stupid, and crazy he was. I could relate to Leo so much. I had the very same mother! Leo grew up in the south during integration just as I did and was just one year younger than me. We had the same experiences with our high schools being integrated, the fear, anger, hatred and finally acceptance.
Twenty years later, the group is pulled into a mystery when Sheba, now a movie star, asks for their help in finding her twin brother Trevor. Although Pat Conroy is wonderful at building characters, describing the location and making you feel a real part of the story, he is not really into keeping us on the edge of our seat in the mystery department. It was pretty easy to figure out everything long before the answer was revealed but it did not take anything away from the story at all because his skills at writing a believable story are amazing.
Being a southerner myself and very familiar with Charleston, I could see each street and house and walled garden as it was being described. I have also spent many days in San Francisco so I could picture the rundown neighborhoods and the mansion on the coast. And for those of you not familiar with these locations, Mr. Conroy has masterfully painted a magical picture for you to treasure.
I could not put this book down once I picked it up and as soon as I finish passing it around to all my friends, I plan on reading it again.
Rated of 5
by Merle An Entertaining Disappointment
Pat Conroy's latest book is a very entertaining read full of his classic descriptions and love of the south, however it is not believable enough to get lost in. Unfortunately even today I do not see the friendships he describes crossing class, race and sexual preferences as possible in the south. There are great vignettes, but the AIDS scene of San Francisco does not weave into Charleston. The host of characters is colorful, but unrealistic. Those in love with southern scenery or Conroy should read it; others might find more cohesive worlds elsewhere.
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