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Beach Music Paperback – 1 Sep 1996

24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; New edition edition (1 Sept. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552996866
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552996860
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 314,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"'Conroy has a passion for words and story, a way of making the reader trust his revelations, and an icily observant eye'" (Daily Telegraph)

"'Conroy is at his absolute best...a master storyteller'" (The Times)

"'Rich in haunting imagery and seductive, suspenseful storytelling'" (Vanity Fair)

"'A thumping good read, superior in its lyricism and wisdom to everything else in the popular genre'" (Sunday Express)

Book Description

The long-awaited new novel by the author of the bestselling The Prince of Tides.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
In 1980, a year after my wife leapt to her death from the Silas Pearlman Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina, I moved to Italy to begin life anew, taking our small daughter with me. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Sept. 2001
Format: Hardcover
Beach Music is the book I go back to time and time again. I think it's because, when I got to the end of the book, I felt like I knew the characters. It's about people. It's about the relationships we have in our lives - family, friends, enemies - and how those people affect us and change our lives. There's detail - you see the "view" that the author describes but there's also feelings and emotions. Described as they are, not as cliches or over-used lines, but simply and truthfully. It's a great book - if you enjoy watching lives unfold - it's for you.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By TheReader23 on 20 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
To read a book by Pat Conroy is to come to the realization that so much of everything else I read, and think is good, is truly just an appetizer getting me ready for the main course -- which is what Conroy is. Every sentence you read lures you into the web of Conroy's storytelling. This is a book that will take you from the piazzas in Rome to the low country of South Carolina. You will fall so deeply in love with each setting that you couldn't possibly decide which place you would prefer to live.
Every character is a tortured soul who has a tale to tell -- one more heartbreaking than the other. The main story follows Jack McCall, who flees to Rome with his young daughter Leah after his beloved wife Shyla has committed suicide. He leaves behind a bevy of colorful family and friends in an effort to escape his torment and begin a new life in a new land. As a travel writer by trade, Jack is able to pick up and live wherever he chooses. It is a telegram from a family member that will finally bring Jack back to South Carolina to face his demons and learn the stories of all those he loves.
Conroy has the ability of dropping crumbs along the way leading you to each character's hidden story. He touches on times in history involving the Holocaust and the Vietnam War -- each decade so real that I don't even want to think about the horrors. But it is these horrors that have come to shape the characters whose cards have been dealt and whose hands must be played. They are all part of a finely interwoven story with South Carolina as the stage for the grand finale.
In reading the book, I can only wonder if the author can write the last twenty pages and not cry himself. I don't usually cry when reading a book but I must admit that this one did me in.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Moir on 23 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not as enthusiastic as other reviewers of this book. It's much too long for the story it tells. The author mistakes prolixity for profundity. After more than 500 pages without much actually happening I just lost interest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Junkie on 19 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've loved other books by Pat Conroy but not this. It went off at a tangent far too many times and was like three books in one. Shyla's back story: boring. Jack's family and being a sole parent: boring. Jack and Jordan growing up... Ah, finally, interesting. Found I skipped whole chapters, especially when Jack's brothers took centre stage. Talk about longwinded and wordy. I'm sure some would find Shyla's back story interesting, but it just went on and on. Hate to say it but this has put me off picking up another book by this author because this just didn't come up to scratch. And how anyone can say they were moved to tears ... It was far too contrived and dramatic to be a tearjerker in my opinion. I see some reviewers say they read it more than once ... how? Once was enough, and only then because I skipped chapters. Very disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
As usual, magic and beautiful. Once you start you can't put it down. He only writes every 10 years or so, but the wait is wothwhile. Read the other ones as well. Fantastic.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
I would like to convey just how much I love this book. It is superb, just like all his others. The main character Jack McCall is so engaging and his relationships with his daughter, family, friends and enemies are excellently drawn. Also the intertwining of stories from his past, the history of others and the present means that the book is always leading you on. There is a kind of bittersweet humour about this story. This book makes me laugh but also made me cry.
I've lost count of the times I've re-read it and also loaned it to friends and colleagues. I simply think that its probably my favourite book ever!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bernadette Speer on 24 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
i have read this book no less than 5 times and everytime i am blown away by conroy's story. it is such a beautifully told, wonderfully poetic book. many times people say a book makes them cry, but this one will have you run the whole gamut of emotions, laughing one moment to tears the next. it is a wonderful story of people's lives, the intertwining & the separation over the years, the dysfunctionality of families, however the underlying strength and commitment of family. i cant recommend this book enough. it is long, however once you get into the story, you really wont want it to end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Lewis on 23 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book 15 years ago and wrote inside the cover that I loved it. i have moved house many times since and saved the book. I just reread it on my Kindle and must say even though i finished it and enjoyed it i didnt love it this time. i guess my taste has changed, grown and developed more in the proceeding years. i found alot of the dialogue between the brothers amateur and tedious and annoying. I am American but have lived in Europe for 22 years now and found some of the American talk rather annoying. I now think it time to give the book away. I wouldnt read it again.
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