I haven't read Pat Conroy before but should have because we share a common background (teachers in unusual schools). I found the book to be a good read with lots action and the characters real. It was interesting that the Halocaust and the sixties mixed together to cause so much pain to the main character, Jack McCall. The loss of his wife and his search for understanding this loss is the thread through the entire story. His mother is a hoot with great grit and determination. Jack's brothers come across as believable showing what a close knit but volatile group is like. If you're around them it's kinda duck and cover time. I enjoyed it. Hope you do too.
This is the best book ever written, hands down. Every time I read a Pat Conroy book, I realize that he is the best author in the world. I have trouble describing how they make me feel but it's like every other book I've ever thought was good just paled in comparison. It's so deeply moving and thought-provoking. I don't normally cry or like to read books that move me to tears but I've read this one several times and keep coming back for more to remember the feeling. Any of his books are wonderful but this one is my personal favorite. However, it is not a light, easy read by any means and if you can't deal with some unpleasant parts and real family drama I don't recommend it. If you can get past how slowly it moves at times and how heartbreakingly depressing it can be, it will hit you when you finish it how fabulous this book truly is. I hope you like it as much as I do.
This is my new favorite book. Prince of Tides (also by Pat Conroy) used to be, now Beach Music has moved up in the rank. Much of his text is pure poetry. If I were an English teacher I would use many of his paragraphs to exemplify how to paint a heart-felt picture.
Conroy is amazing at developing the characters and providing rich detail of their personal experiences with poverty and war. These sections make a great narrative of the realities of the Holocaust and Vietnam, and how those experiences left indellible marks on those who lived through that time. I am going to have my teenage daughters read it just to get a first-person perspective of Germany in the 1940's and America in the 1970's.
I didn't want it to end. I spent several nights lying in bed awake, thinking of who I would cast in a film adaption of Beach Music.
This book keeps your intrest from the first page all the way to the last page. It is well written and you get involved in every character. 800 pages and it seems like maybe a 100 pages. It reads so quickly!
I love the way Pat Conroy writes. This is not to be missed. I lived and breathed this book for 2 weeks. The story is great, how it is told is even greater. It unfolded like a beach umbrella. Read this book!
Loved this book! VERY well written with such beautiful descriptions of virtually every encounter, person and animal in the book! The characters are lovable and some contemptible, but you get a true and accurate portrayal of all. Wholeheartedly recommend this book!
Pat Conroy is one of my favorite authors, and he didn't disappoint me with this book. The Denver POst said about the book,"Pat Conroy's writing contains a virtue now rare in most contemporary fiction: Passion."
Conroy's big, chewy novel follows the redemption of a man angry at the betrayals of the world. Jack McCall, left as a single parent after his wife's suicide, takes his child to Itally and is determined to never have any future contact with his family. But when his mother is dianosed with terminal cancer, he embarks on a long journey home in more ways than one.
Spanning three generations and two continents, from the contemporary ruins of the American South to the ancient ruins of Rome, from the unutterable horrors of the Holocaust to the lingering trauma of Vietnam, Beach Music sings with life's pain and glory.
The hero, Jack McCall, describes himself as a man on the run from his past: the suicide of his beloved wife; the destructive influence of his icy, manipulative mother and mean, bullying, alcoholic father; the betrayal of his youthful ideals, his faith in the Catholic Church, his boyhood friends. Conroy takes on these emotionally laden issues in chapters so direct and powerful that readers will be moved by his intimacy with the material, and perhaps astonished by his authority over it. Conroy meshes complex plot lines with ease. Jack, a food and travel writer, fled with his toddler daughter, Leah, to Rome in 1982 in the wake of his wife Shyla's suicidal jump from a bridge in Charleston, S.C., and her parents' subsequent lawsuit to deny him custody of Leah. He returns home some years later because his mother is dying of leukemia. In addition to becoming embroiled in family tension, he begins a slow process of reconciliation with Shyla's parents, who eventually tell him the stories of their respective Holocaust experiences; with his first love, Ledare Ashley, now a scriptwriter employed by their youthful chum, Mike Hess, to write a screenplay of their growing-up years; and with his parents and siblings. He witnesses the return to Waterford of another friend, Jordan Elliot, who has been presumed dead for 18 years after he was accused of murder during a protest against the Vietnam War, and who was betrayed by the fourth member of their boyhood clan, Capers Middleton, who is now running for governor of South Carolina.
I actually listened to the audio version of this book at work many years ago. It's a wonderfully told story that will have you both laughing and crying, as well as disappointed when it comes to an end. It wasn't often that someone in the office would find a book that was so good, it would make its way through several departments with multiple people listening to it at the same time, but this was definitely one of them. Pat Conroy is a wonderful storyteller, and this is one that shouldn't be missed.
Another well written book by Pat Conroy. Without giving the story away--there's some pretty graphic scenes in the latter part of the book. I read this a couple of years ago but still remember the disturbing visual picture it painted. Like the other books by Pat Conroy this contains strong characters.
Conroy's was the most talked-about book at the American Booksellers Association convention, even though it was reputedly only half-written. Hero Jack McCall, who has fled to Rome after his wife's suicide, is asked to locate a Sixties buddy whose antiwar activity drove him underground.
LIBRARY JOURNAL REVIEW
A quote on the back cover of my copy says "Reading Pat Conroy is like watching Michaelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel." PERFECT analogy for this novel- the writing is beautiful, and the book as a whole is a true work of art, but reading it is painstakingly slow.
I love Pat Conroy's books and have read everyone. I was so excited when this one came out! But then so disappointed when I started it. It slow, difficult to read and dull. Not at all like his previous books. I couldn't finish, even after multiple attempts!
This is a sweeping novel by Pat Conroy - it is the story of Jack McCall, an American expatriate in Rome, scarred by tragedy and betrayal. His despaereate desire to find peace after his wife's suicide draws him into a painful intimate search for the one haunting secret in his family's past that can heal his anguished heart. This story spans three generations and two continents, from the contemporary ruins of the American South to the ancient ruins of Rome, from the unutterable horrors of the Holocaust to the lingering trauma of Vietnam. This is powerful, heartfelt tale.
A story about Jack McCall, an American expatriate in Rome,scarred by the tragedy of his wife's suicide, searching for the answer to a haunting secret in his family's past. Novel visits three generations in this characters family.
Just finished Beach Music. Is it the story of Shyla and Jack McCall? Can it be a tale of several friends and how the Viet Nam era affected their lives? Maybe it's about Leah and Jack McCall and their lives or about Lucy Pitts, Jack's mother. I believe that it's all of this. The book is an excellent read. The only loose end is what happened to Capers Middleton but the reader can probably figure that out and it may not matter because Jack and he are no longer really friends.
This story is well written and moves along quickly and gives one a good perspective of South Carolina and Rome. There is a lot of back and forth teasing and bickering between the family members and some friends, at least in the beginning.
The story of Jack McCall, an American expatriate in Rome, scarred by tragedy and betrayal. His desperate desire to find peace after his wife's suicide draws him into a painful, intimate search for the one haunting secret in his family's past that can heal his anguished heart.
One of my FAVORITES!!! The main story follows Jack McCall, who flees to Rome with his young daughter Leah after his beloved wife Shyla has committed suicide. He leaves behind a bevy of colorful family and friends in an effort to escape his torment and begin a new life in a new land. As a travel writer by trade, Jack is able to pick up and live wherever he chooses. It is a telegram from a family member that will finally bring Jack back to South Carolina to face his demons and learn the stories of all those he loves.
This book is from the same author who wrote "The Prince of Tides" and "The Great Santini". I haven't had a chance to read it yet but here's an excerpt from the back cover to give you an idea of what it's about: "Pat Conroy....delivers a sweeping new novel of lyric intensity and searing truth - the story of Jack McCall, an American expatriate in Rome, scarred by tragedy and betrayal. His desperate desire to find peace after his wife's suicide draws him into a painful, intimate search for the one haunting secret in his family's past that can heal his anguished heart." "Beach Music" received rave reviews from major publications, such as "The Washington Post", "The Denver Post", "Houston Chronicle", and "The Los Angeles Times Book Review."
Spanning three generations and two continents, from the contempotary ruins of American South to the ancient ruins of Rome, from thr horror of the Holocost to the trama of Vietnam, Beach music sings with its pain and glory.
Pat Conroy, America's preeminent storyteller,delivers a sweeping new novel of lyric intensity and searing truth-the story of Jack McCall, an American expatriate in Rome, scarred by tragedy and betrayal. His desperate desire to find peace after his wife's suicide draws him into a painful,intimate search for the one haunting secret in his family's past that can heal his anguished heart.
From Publishers Weekly: "A man tries to make peace with himself in the wake of his wife's suicide in Conroy's long-awaited blockbuster, which was a PW bestseller for 24 weeks." Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal: "Conroy's was the most talked-about book at the American Booksellers Association convention, even though it was reputedly only half-written. Hero Jack McCall, who has fled to Rome after his wife's suicide, is asked to locate a Sixties buddy whose antiwar activity drove him underground." Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --