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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.
29 of 29 people found this review helpful
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.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
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!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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.