More satisfying than the film.,
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This review is from: The Prince Of Tides (Paperback)
The moment I started I recognized “The Great Santini” in a different guise, even though I’d forgotten this book was by the same author. Similarly, it’s better than the film.
Dysfunctional family in small South Carolina town, riddled with racial and class prejudice. Three super kids whose sibling love and mutual support are their only defense against a bullying, opinionated father, and a mother determined to be a martyr, obsessed with appearances and climbing the social ladder, in constant denial, to the point of near destruction of her family. The story focuses on the effects of the family’s traumatic history on the children, now grown to adulthood, and the commitment of one brother to aid the psychological recovery of his famous, talented but suicidal sister. An interesting relationship with her psychologist also develops.
Conroy’s story-weaving and his economic style make for compulsive reading. He has the rare knack of wringing the heart-strings while, at the same time, maintaining a humour that had me chuckling one moment and damp-eyed the next.
My only criticism is his obsession with the ball-game, through every move of which he insists on forcing the reader, blow-by-blow, ad nauseam. These episodes alone sent me “skim-reading” although cut by a third they’d have a valid place in the saga.