✺ [BOOKS] ✮ The Great Santini By Pat Conroy ❄ – Oaklandjobs.co.uk 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, southernbred, with a core of velvet s Step into the powerhouse life of Bull Meecham He's all Marinefighter pilot, king of the clouds, and absolute ruler of his family Lillian is his wifebeautiful, southernbred, 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 The Great eBook ✓ father who doesn't give innot to his men, not to his wife, and certainly not to his son Bull Meecham is undoubtedly Pat Conroy's most explosive charactera man you should hate, but a man you will love. This is the only Conroy book that I've ever read.
It's been 25 years ago. I've not read it since. This thing broke my heart. It really did. It took me years to dispel the pain of these people. All these years later, I can't remember their names, but I still recall the pain. I've never read Pat Conroy since then. I'm probably doing myself a disservice, but I don't like being heartbroke. Once bitten, twice shy. Pat Conroy is one of those writers who can write only one story (John Irving and Amy Tan come to mind, as well). Conroy seems obsessed with the idea of a Southern family trying to navigate the high school experiences of a sensitive son and a smartass daughter. Again there is the angry, abusive father and the rather ineffective mother who is mostly concerned about what the neighbors think. Again there are themes of forgiveness and redemption and racial tension. Again someone gets raped. Again there are pages of descriptions of high school sports.
What's different about this novel is that there are a lot of plot points that are dropped and never picked up again. What happens after the girl is raped? Why should the reader care about the high school basketball tryouts? A thorough editing and pruning would make for a much shorter book, but one that is cleaner and much more fluid. The action is too bogged down by these tangential subplots.
That said, Conroy's descriptions are amazing, as in other books he's written. However, I'd start with The Prince of Tides and not this one. THE GREAT SANTINI was my first Conroy book, and I enjoyed it immensely. He was a fine writer. Pat Conroy's thinly disguised autobiographical tale featuring Bull Meecham a hardcore Marine fighter pilot as the domineering and abusive husband and father of an oft relocating military family. The story is told by eldest son Ben, a teenager in the 1950's who is never quite able to appease his father and is often called on to defend his mother Lillian a gentile southern woman who tries to offer up some balance in harsh times. The book is hard to read at times, though Conroy was a master storyteller, who after this wrote The Death of Santini, which is the book billed as his true autobiography. Oddly enough The Great Santini, is dedicated to both his mother Peggy Conroy grandest of mothers and teachers and to his father Colonel Donald Conway USMC retired, the grandest of fathers and marine aviators. June Selection-On the Southern Literary Trail 4 stars Re-read this with On the Southern Literary Trail. The difference from reading this as a young woman with family in the military, and then as an older woman after serving in the Navy as an officer and also being married to a Naval officer and raising kids both while on active duty for 12 years & as a dependent wife overseas gave me so many different perspectives. I went through training, I served with Marines, I went to chief's initiations, officer happy hours, Mess Dinners, Navy & Marine Corps birthday balls, and so forth. I stood watch, I raised kids alone while husband was deployed both as an officer and later as a Navy dependent wife. Packed the car and moved from place-to-place, 18 times. Met more than a few Great Santinis, watched the one-on-one scenario acted out with daughter of fellow officer, she whipped her dad & suffered verbal abuse. Many military men are not good sports, competition is life or death to them. Many people wonder if Conroy exaggerated. Maybe. But I doubt he needed to resort to much hyperbole, there are plenty of outrageous egos and stories that are authentic. I found myself in uncomfortably familiar territory, brought back so many memories. Serving as a female officer was no walk in the park, either. Sexual harassment was ingrained, and varied from annoying to dangerous. A lot of senior officers saw women as entertainment or breeders, and it took a lot of effort to get recognized for doing a good job. One's bosom became cocktail hour conversation, and there were few good choices as to ways to shut such comments down without paying for them later. That being said, I served proudly and still love the USN. The military is a concentrated microcosm of greater society, and just as we are not a post-racist country, we are also not a post-feminist one. We keep fighting the same battles. Bull recognized himself as dinosaur within a changing military, but knew he could not change, and so embraced himself as The Great Santini. This book captures slices of our culture, and is a classic. Very highly recommended. Of all the Conroys I've read so far, this is my least favorite. The book jacket describes Bull Meacham as someone you should hate but will wind up loving, anyway - but that was not my experience. I found very little loveable about
The Great Santini. The thing that amazed me was how brave his family was on those occasions when they stood up to him. While I don't doubt he loved his family, and maybe was even proud of them in a way, he was domineering and controlling and sometimes downright cruel in his dealings with them.
Another semi-autobiographical book,by Pat Conroy. The Great Santini is Marine fighter pilot,Bull Meecham. He is modeled on Pat Conroy's own,hard to please father. Meecham's son,Ben,constantly struggles to win his father's approval.
The book doesn't start off too well. The dialogue is pretty coarse,and vulgar. There is relatively little by way of a story,for hundreds of pages.
A military family moves to a new posting.As a family,they are pretty dysfunctional.The long suffering mother tries to keep it all together.The overbearing,domineering father is never happy with his son,even though he is a born athlete.
But then,in the last hundred pages or so,it comes alive,and then builds to a powerful,emotional climax. That makes up for the slow pace in the rest of the book.
By writing this book,Pat Conroy further strained his relations with his real father. This book also became a movie,one I'd like to see but haven't found.
Description: 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.
Opening: In the Cordova Hotel, near the docks of Barcelona, fourteen Marine Corps fighter pilots from the aircraft carrier Forrestal were throwing an ostreperously spirited going away party for Lieutenant Colonel Bull Meecham, the executive officer of their carrier based squadron.
The bickering kids, affected mother, and gross 'Bull' arrive in Ravenel - I do not care for a single one of them. However, am assured by the description that Meecham will become a man I will love.
One of your problems, Bull,
Is that your whole life is one
long St. Crispin's Day speech.
- page 78
Too many awful things resonate. I understand that this is semi-biographical from Conroy's point of view and the mother in denial is more than I can take. Feckless procrastination right there.
The film is in the projector for when I feel ready.
I will state that the writing was superb.
3.5* The Prince of Tides
3* The Great Santini The story of Bull Meecham, a Marine pilot, and his complex relationships with family and The Corps.
Pat Conroy is an amazing writer. The Houston Chronicle is quoted on the back of my book as saying Reading Pat Conroy is like watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel, and I don't think I could articulate the experience any better. I laughed until tears ran down my face and in the same chapter I cried for the sheer pain the characters experienced.
The Great Santini is Bull Meecham. And throughout the novel I felt the same overwhelming conflict that his children did - an intense hatred coupled with admiration and love. This wouldn't have been possible for me without the amazing character craftmanship that Conroy displays. All of the characters have so many layers, so many dimensions - exactly like real human beings.
And his depiction of the South - amazing. He illustrates the town with the use of a small cafe and the men who frequent it every morning, with a school and the various types of students and teachers inside, with a Marine base and the constant competition present there.
His theme comes through in events, converstations, metaphors. And the reader experiences the theme - the theme of confusion. We're trained and conditioned to think, act, believe a certain way, but so often life and nature complicate that way.
I LOVED this book. I’ll say upfront that The Great Santini holds the title for the best book I’ve read this year and has a very good chance of retaining that title all year.
Santini is the late Pat Conroy's first novel and he always claimed that it is largely autobiographical. In fact, in his penultimate book, The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son, Conroy describes his actual life with his family and his father, Marine fighter pilot Col. Don Conroy, the original Great Santini. This nickname even appears on his military gravestone at the National Cemetery in Beaufort, South Carolina.
I usually read two books at one time, one text and one audio and often make sure the books are of different genres so that I don’t mix them up in my head. This time, though, I read The Great Santini while listening to the audio version of The Death of Santini. The experience was a bit confusing but overall it was fascinating. It reminded me of “Ghosts of History” a website where images of soldiers from past wars are superimposed over recent photograph of the same location. It also showed me how actual people from Pat’s life became characters in his novels. Bernie Schein, Conroy’s best friend from high school can be none other than Sammy Wertzberger in Santini.
Bottom Line: This is a great novel and its greatness comes from the author’s ability to write what he knows. Ernest Hemingway once said “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Conroy clearly took this advice to heart. Don't miss this one.
- Mass Market Paperback
- 440 pages
- The Great Santini
- Pat Conroy
- 14 June 2019 Pat Conroy