Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Death of Santini by Pat Conroy

The Death of Santini
The story of a father and his son
1 star - cringe
ALR Blue

The only reason I even made it halfway through this book is that it was the last of my library books and we are currently recovering from Snowmageddon, which dumped over 30 inches of snow on our little town in about 24 hours (hence no library access).

I've read, and enjoyed, Mr. Conroy's novels and so I figured his memoirs would also be a literary pleasure. Not so. It's an uncomfortable "throw your family under the bus" cringe worthy mess. 

What Mr. Conroy fails to do in this book is to either reveal anything about himself or to provide real insight into what the circumstances of his family were. Yes, there are recitations of events, but they lack depth and character. After 150 pages, I learned that his father was repeatedly abusive, physically and mentally, that his mother was her own kind of twisted, and that his grandmother was similarly suffering from the familial mental health issues. So how could such a gifted author address these complex and desperate issues in such a clinical fashion? The mind boggles. 

My recommendation is to skip this one and read one of his novels instead. Just assume they are autobiographical novels. You'll learn much more about Mr. Conroy and his family from those books than this one.

1 comment:

  1. Our snowmaggedon turned out to be only 2.5" (as opposed to the 6" dusting we got early Saturday), so we are most pleased. Sorry you had to endure a horrible book during your cooped up days.