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The Death of Santini

The Story of A Father and His Son

Conroy, Pat

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Death of Santini
Print
Random House, Inc.
In this powerful and intimate memoir, the beloved bestselling author of The Prince of Tides and his father, the inspiration for The Great Santini, find some common ground at long last.

Pat Conroy’s father, Donald Patrick Conroy, was a towering figure in his son’s life. The Marine Corps fighter pilot was often brutal, cruel, and violent; as Pat says, “I hated my father long before I knew there was an English word for ‘hate.’” As the oldest of seven children who were dragged from military base to military base across the South, Pat bore witness to the toll his father’s behavior took on his siblings, and especially on his mother, Peg. She was Pat’s lifeline to a better world—that of books and culture. But eventually, despite repeated confrontations with his father, Pat managed to claw his way toward a life he could have only imagined as a child.
Pat’s great success as a writer has always been intimately linked with the exploration of his family history. While the publication of The Great Santini brought Pat much acclaim, the rift it caused with his father brought even more attention. Their long-simmering conflict burst into the open, fracturing an already battered family. But as Pat tenderly chronicles here, even the oldest of wounds can heal. In the final years of Don Conroy’s life, he and his son reached a rapprochement of sorts. Quite unexpectedly, the Santini who had freely doled out physical abuse to his wife and children refocused his ire on those who had turned on Pat over the years. He defended his son’s honor.
The Death of Santini is at once a heart-wrenching account of personal and family struggle and a poignant lesson in how the ties of blood can both strangle and offer succor. It is an act of reckoning, an exorcism of demons, but one whose ultimate conclusion is that love can soften even the meanest of men, lending significance to one of the most-often quoted lines from Pat’s bestselling novel The Prince of Tides: “In families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness.”

Baker & Taylor
Chronicles the author's efforts to reconcile with his harsh fighter pilot father, who inspired "The Great Santini," recounting how at the end of his father's life, he defended the author from his critics while helping to heal family estrangements.

Baker
& Taylor

The best-selling author of The Prince of Tides chronicles his efforts to reconcile with the harsh fighter pilot father who inspired The Great Santini, recounting how at the end of his father's life, he defended the author from his critics while helping to heal family estrangements.

Publisher: New York :, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday,, [2013]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385530903
0385530900
Branch Call Number: B Conroy C
Characteristics: x, 338 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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Feb 22, 2014
  • erinsnest rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Feb 3, 2014, I've had this book on my waiting list forever, and renewed it twice, so I decided, now is the time for it. Starts off in Pat Conroy's great style, I know I'm goiing to enjoy it. Hope to find an audiobook to listen and read along to. Just checked, no audiobook yet. Darn it!......Feb 15, 2014, I'm on page 250, and although I have basically enjoyed this book, (which so far is about just about everyone in his family EXCEPT for his father!) I have found the last chapter, and the one I have just started, (about his sister Carol Ann,) a bit painful, to the point that I am procrastinating. A while ago, I commented (I believe while reading "The Great Santini") that I liked Pat Conroy's non-fiction better than his fiction. I take that back. "South of Broad" is my fav, by far!.....Feb 20, 2014..I have just finished this, and I must say it picked up a bit in the end, but all in all, I feel I know a little bit too much about Pat Conroy's family right now. I will look forward to his next novel, and I now understand his "San Francisco" part of "South of Broad," which has made reading this book worthwhile....he sure knows how to bare his soul. His lifestyle is sure a lot different than mine. If my parents had gone through the same illnesses, I know I (and my siblings,) would not have participated in the "death watches" quite as faithfully or as well organized. We sure don't throw such grand parties either. Mind you, they do and did have a bit of celebrity status, that might be the difference!

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