After reading South of Broad by Pat Conroy on my Kindle last year, I was disappointed to find out that none of his other books besides My Losing Season were available on the device. This circumstance recently changed however, with the release of The Prince of Tides for Kindle on August 10. The Lords of Discipline, The Great Santini and The Water is Wide will follow on August 17, 24 and 31st respectively.
For those of you familiar with Conroy’s works, his books are for the most part set in Charleston, and have an uncanny ability to provide hilarity mixed in with some extremely deep and troubling circumstances. He deals with murder, prejudice, rape, family issues and the power of friendship. The Lords of Discipline is especially intense, set in a military academy, but even it manages to have comic relief.
South of Broad is Conroy’s first book in 14 years. The reviews are all over the place. Conroy manages to touch on all of the themes of his previous books, but some reviewers say that the book is jumbled and even a bit trashy. I thought the humor in South of Broad covered up the troublesome issues a little more than his earlier books, and Leo, the main character, sure is a smooth talker. The deeper issues in this book were tinged by comical moments so much so that I didn’t take them as seriously as I took the events in say, The Prince of Tides.
Leo, or Leopold Bloom King, is the narrator of the book and is stumbling is way through life following the death of his brother. His dialogue with his overly religious mother cracks me up. This book has a strong Catholic undertone and the plot runs from the 1960’s to the 1990’s. The plot takes such unexpected twists and turns that it definitely keeps you on your toes.
Conroy has a new book called My Reading Life coming out in November that features anecdotes from his own reading experiences. I am sure there will be plenty of humor. Overall, I really enjoy Conroy’s books and his ability to add humor into such troublesome situations, but I can’t really decide which one is my favorite. Has anyone read his books and have one they particularly like best?