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Publisher's Summary

Pat Conroy is without doubt America's favorite storyteller, a writer who portrays the anguished truth of the human heart and the painful secrets of families in richly lyrical prose and unforgettable narratives. Now, in Beach Music, he tells of the dark memories that haunt generations, in a story that spans South Carolina and Rome and reaches back into the unutterable terrors of the Holocaust.
Beach Music is about Jack McCall, an American living in Rome with his young daughter, trying to find peace after the recent trauma of his wife's suicide. But his solitude is disturbed by the appearance of his sister-in-law, who begs him to return home, and of two school friends asking for his help in tracking down another classmate who went underground as a Vietnam protester and never resurfaced. These requests launch Jack on a journey that encompasses the past and the present in both Europe and the American South, and that leads him to shocking--and ultimately liberating--truths.
Told with deep feeling and trademark Conroy humor, Beach Music is powerful and compulsively readable. It is another masterpiece in the legendary list of classics that his body of work has already become.
©2009 Pat Conroy (P)2009 Random House
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Critic Reviews

"Astonishing...stunning...the range of passions and subjects that brings life to every page is almost endless." ( The Washington Post Book World)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ella on 03-14-10


Patrick Conroy hurls words and ideas at you and they all land in a perfectly harmonized formation of drama, humor and outrageously engaging characters. His gift for creating characters from words on a page to larger than life people is magnificent. Beach Music incorporates some very difficult topics and weaves together a number of complex story lines, which intertwine in this multi generational epic. In all his books he is excellent at depicting dysfunction in families and this book is no exception.
Beach Music is essentially about Jack McCall; a single dad trying to raise his little girl Leah in Rome after his wife Shyla commits suicide. He wants to get far away from the dysfunction of the families and demons he leaves behind in South Carolina. But your roots are your roots, and circumstance brings Jack back home like a slingshot to the epicenter of drama. He is catapulted in to the lives of his 4 brothers, the most interesting of which is John Hardin his paranoid schizophrenic sibling, his mother who is battling cancer, his holocaust survivor in-laws who tried to take Leah in a dirty custody battle and old school friends who are not without major drama which peaked during the time of the Vietnam war. Beach Music had me laughing, thinking and sobbing. It's one of those books you need time to savor. I hate saying goodbye to these people who have become part of my life, albeit for a short time. So sorry to see it end.
As for the narrator Jonathan Marosz, he neither helped nor hindered this book. His narration was a bit flat, but once I got used to him, it blended well.

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30 of 30 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By KELLY on 12-17-12

story great! Narrator awful!

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

The story is wonderful, I have read it in print years ago....but the narrator was terrible.

What did you like best about this story?

I love Pat Conroy novels and this one is not an exception...

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He is horribly monotoned and I was not able to follow the change in characters at all! The story became one blob of monologue!

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Frustration because I knew the story to be a great one, I just could not make myself stick with it with this narrator! I wasted my money on this one.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By sarahmoose2000 on 10-08-09

You won't want it to end

This is such a treat, over 20 hours of Southern love, loyalty and friendship interwoven with harrowing descriptions of the Holocaust and mental illness. The descriptions are seamless and you can imagine yourself walking through the decades with the brothers as they grow. Please listen to this one, it's great!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By kk on 04-10-18

Awful narration

A narrator who appears to reading from a shopping list doesn't help. The writing is dated in style and like B movie script. I ploughed on for a few hours before realising I didn't care anymore.

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