South of Broad

A Novel

Conroy, Pat

Large Print - 2009
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
South of Broad
Leopold Bloom King, our narrator, is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, an ex-nun, is the high school principal and a well-known Joyce scholar. After Leo's older brother commits suicide at the age of thirteen, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death. Eventually he becomes part of a tightly knit group of high school seniors that includes friends Sheba and Trevor Poe, glamorous twins with an alcoholic mother and a prison-escapee father; hardscrabble mountain runaways Niles and Starla Whitehead; socialite Molly Huger and her boyfriend, Chadworth Rutledge X; and an ever-widening circle whose liaisons will ripple across two decades-from 1960s counterculture through the dawn of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

Publisher: New York : Random House Large Print, 2009
Edition: 1st large print ed
ISBN: 0739328441
Branch Call Number: LG PRINT FIC C
Characteristics: 749 p. ; 24 cm.


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Jul 30, 2014

totally agree with path111 on June 20 maybe a 1 star

Jun 20, 2014
  • path111 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

South of Broad by Pat Conroy
Pat Conroy is a favorite author with "Lords of Discipline" and other earlier ones are true winners.

But what happened with "South of Broad"? His great turn of phrases are still there. The first section was intriguing. But the story meandered and the plot required suspension of belief beyond limits.

The dialogue was sometimes just silly spoken by canned and wooden characters. I couldn't stay with this book to the final pages. Disappointing.

Aug 09, 2013
  • AliciaAllison rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed "South of Broad" very much. The descriptions of Charleston were lovely and made me want to go for a visit. Unlike the others who have posted comments on this book, I do appreciate the lengthy descriptions of the homes, gardens and rivers. It was nice to read lovely words about the South. When Leo threw the paper, I felt I was riding along with him. I didn't care so much for the too frequent rehashing of various cases of mental illness but, in the end, it kind of made sense. Leo's dad was a saint and his frosty mother wished to become one. The twins personalities were a little too over the top for my liking. I wasn't bothered by Trevor being gay, but I hated that his remarks always sounded like those of a flirting, dirty old man. Molly was a martyr of motherhood and an unhappy marriage. Fraser and Nile’s love for one another seemed very genuine. Overall, I felt that the book was very well-written and Conroy's choice of words was wonderful. Many times, I found myself going for my dictionary and that is a rare delight these days.

Jul 15, 2013

"In the summer of 1969, after years of self-imposed exile following his beloved brother's suicide, Leopold Bloom King decides that things are going to change. Over the next few months, the 18-year-old befriends an unusual assortment of teens ranging from Charleston's blue-blooded aristocracy to orphaned siblings to the son of the first black high school football coach. The friendships they form endure for decades, and in 1989, as Leo narrates, they reunite in San Francisco in search of a missing member of their circle. As with other books by bestselling author Pat Conroy, themes of mental illness and familial abuse play out here, and Charleston of the 1960s is vividly rendered." July 2013 Fiction A to Z newsletter

May 08, 2013
  • jonlockwood rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

a good book

Aug 13, 2012
  • kelleypoole rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I agree with MartiniHigh re: over the top descriptions of Charleston. They continued throughout the entire book - enough already! I was the opposite of chanters in that there was too much witty banter for me in the first part of the book (no one has that many great comebacks!) but I enjoyed the last 2/3 of the book much more. Perhaps I'd gotten used to it. The main character was unbelievable, he was so nice; but I liked that so much - he never turned his back on anyone (except he probably should've turned it on his wife - the Catholic guilt thing was a bit much).

Mar 07, 2012
  • catterwally rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

i usually love conroy but found this book to be one of his weakest. The plot was okay and the characters again...okay. He is one of my fave's but i will be okay if i never read this book again.

May 03, 2011
  • canihaveanap rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

One of the best writer's of our time.

Mar 07, 2011
  • Jennmro rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Love it - didn't want it to end. Fabulous descriptions, great story!

Mar 05, 2011
  • AnnNSmith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Pat Conroy writes in such a way that part of you identifies in some way to each character. So many of his thoughts are ones you have had, but never been able to put words to. Prince of Tides and South of Broad were both "page turners," even "My Readings" was that way, but in a different sense.

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Aug 13, 2012
  • kelleypoole rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

kelleypoole thinks this title is suitable for 25 years and over

May 03, 2011
  • canihaveanap rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

canihaveanap thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Jun 27, 2014
  • siammarino rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Imagine growing up with a strict mother who used to be a nun, and losing your older brother to suicide. Despite Leo's difficult childhood in Charleston, South Carolina, he becomes a successful city journalist with lots of good friends, but love eludes him. Conroy does a great job describing the Charleston society mores, and the AIDS plague in San Francisco in the 1980's. In fact, the scenes in California are so heavy that I didn't finish the book.


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