Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What Not To Read

Pat Conroy is a great author.  I really enjoyed The Water is Wide.  It was a Memoir of his time as a teacher of black students on an island off the east coast in the south. It was fabulous.  
I read Beach Music which I enjoyed thoroughly and I recently read My Losing Season, which, though it was a book on basketball, I enjoyed it a lot. 
His book, Prince of Tides, was made into a pretty fair movie.  Pat Conroy is a pretty great author, like I said.  
So I really looked forward to The Lords of Discipline which he referenced in My Losing Season.  Yikes.  I don’t know quite what to say.
The story is about a military college in Charleston during the Viet Nam war.  I presume that young men in such a setting can be vile and crude, and they definitely are in this book.  They also are misogynistic, violent, cruel and totally indifferent to human suffering.  
Your question, worth asking, would be, “Why did you continue reading the book?”  I’m not really sure.  I think it’s because of the above.  It did start out slowly but once it got going, it got quite compelling.  The story has twists, turns, interesting things, and unbelievably awful things happening.  Things you probably wouldn’t want to know about.
So as for a recommendation, you’re not going to get one from me.  If you like young men, particularly young military ones, don’t read this book.  I really can’t explain why I finished it.  
Try some of the others, though.  Particularly the first.  You’ll like it.  


Wendy said...

I loved The Water is Wide - didn't they call him Conrack? Also love that song with the same title by Karla Bonoff.

Wendy said...

P.S. I read The Prince of Tides also and liked most of it but found the rape scene troubling (ditto Pulp Fiction). Starting Shutter Island but would give the other Pat Conroy's books a try.

Linda Aukschun said...

Wendy, I recommend everything but this. I even apologize to you for reading this.