Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

November Books 7) Beach Music, by Pat Conroy

Jeepers, how did this happen? I last did a bookblogging update four weeks ago, and since then have been travelling a lot and also read about a dozen Arthur C.Clarke Award nominees. (One of which, in full disclosure, I gave up half way through.) But I'm still five bloggable books behind for November, and the same (so far) for December. Here is the first step in fixing the backlog.

I liked Beach Music, much more than I liked Conroy's best-known work The Prince of Tides, but I felt it was not quite the sum of its parts. The parts are all pretty good, so this is not damning with faint praise: the experience of Catholics and Jews, both minority groups in of course rather different ways, in South Carolina in the period of the Vietnam War, with flashbacks to the lived experience of the Holocaust and also a narrative in the 1980s. The core pillar is the slow death of the narrator's mother; the descriptions of people and places - particularly Rome, which is beautifully conveyed - are all pretty compelling.

I was driven by my frustration that the book didn't quite add up for me to look at Conroy's Wikipedia entry, and an now wondering if Beach Music is a partial response to his own earlier work, The Great Santini, about an abusive military father-son relationship. That is also one of the subplots of Beach Music, and clearly one that the author himself is pretty invested in; is the later novel perhaps Conroy's version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead? I am sufficiently interested that I may well get the earlier book to make my own judgement.
Tags: bookblog 2014, writer: pat conroy

Recent Posts from This Journal

  • My tweets

    Thu, 18:40: Doctor Who and the Silurians and Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters, by Malcolm Hulke, and The Silurians, by Robert�Smith?…

  • My tweets

    Wed, 13:32: Andr�e Tainsy, 1911-2004 Wed, 15:32: RT @ Megintransition: Thinking about attending glasgow 2024*…

  • My tweets

    Tue, 18:14: Erasing Sherlock, by Kelly�Hale Wed, 10:45: First up-close images of Mars’s little-known moon Deimos…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.