South of Broad

South of Broad

A Novel

Book - 2009/08/11
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Random House, Inc.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A big sweeping novel of friendship and marriage” (The Washington Post) by the celebrated author of The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini
Leopold Bloom King has been raised in a family shattered—and shadowed—by tragedy. Lonely and adrift, he searches for something to sustain him and finds it among a tightly knit group of outsiders. Surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, as well as Charleston, South Carolina’s dark legacy of racism and class divisions, these friends will endure until a final test forces them to face something none of them are prepared for.
Spanning two turbulent decades, South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest: a masterpiece from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds.
Praise for South of Broad
“Vintage Pat Conroy . . . a big sweeping novel of friendship and marriage.”The Washington Post
“Conroy remains a magician of the page.”The New York Times Book Review
“Richly imagined . . . These characters are gallant in the grand old-fashioned sense, devoted to one another and to home. That siren song of place has never sounded so sweet.”—New Orleans Times-Picayune
“A lavish, no-holds-barred performance.”The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“A lovely, often thrilling story.”The Dallas Morning News
“A pleasure to read . . . a must for Conroy’s fans.”—Associated Press

Baker & Taylor
The beloved best-selling author returns with a sprawling tale set mostly in Charleston, South Carolina, where, after his brother's suicide, Leopold Bloom King struggles along with the rest of his family until he begins to gather an intimate circle of friends, whose ties endure for two decades until a final, unexpected test of friendship rears its ugly head in San Francisco. 750,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
Against the backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. Leopold Bloom King, our narrator, is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, an ex-nun, is the high school principal and a respected Joyce scholar. After Leo's older brother commits suicide at the age of ten, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him. Eventually, he finds his answer when he becomes part of a tightly knit group of high school seniors that includes friends Sheba and Trevor Poe, glamorous twins with an alcoholic mother and a prison-escapee father; hardscrabble mountain runaways Niles and Starla Whitehead; socialite Molly Huger and her boyfriend, Chadworth Rutledge X - and an ever-widening circle whose liaisons will ripple across two decades, from 1960s counterculture through the dawn of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

& Taylor

After his brother's suicide, Leopold Bloom King struggles along with the rest of his family in Charleston, South Carolina, until he begins to gather an intimate circle of friends, whose ties endure for two decades until a final, unexpected test of friendship.

Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese : Doubleday, 2009/08/11
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385413053
Branch Call Number: FICTION CONROY
Characteristics: 514 p


From the critics

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Jul 16, 2017

I just couldn't read to the end. A little sarcasm can be funny but as I continued on in the book, it just got to be too much.

Jul 30, 2014

totally agree with path111 on June 20 maybe a 1 star

path111 Jun 20, 2014

South of Broad by Pat Conroy
Pat Conroy is a favorite author with "Lords of Discipline" and other earlier ones are true winners.

But what happened with "South of Broad"? His great turn of phrases are still there. The first section was intriguing. But the story meandered and the plot required suspension of belief beyond limits.

The dialogue was sometimes just silly spoken by canned and wooden characters. I couldn't stay with this book to the final pages. Disappointing.

Aug 09, 2013

I enjoyed "South of Broad" very much. The descriptions of Charleston were lovely and made me want to go for a visit. Unlike the others who have posted comments on this book, I do appreciate the lengthy descriptions of the homes, gardens and rivers. It was nice to read lovely words about the South. When Leo threw the paper, I felt I was riding along with him. I didn't care so much for the too frequent rehashing of various cases of mental illness but, in the end, it kind of made sense. Leo's dad was a saint and his frosty mother wished to become one. The twins personalities were a little too over the top for my liking. I wasn't bothered by Trevor being gay, but I hated that his remarks always sounded like those of a flirting, dirty old man. Molly was a martyr of motherhood and an unhappy marriage. Fraser and Nile’s love for one another seemed very genuine. Overall, I felt that the book was very well-written and Conroy's choice of words was wonderful. Many times, I found myself going for my dictionary and that is a rare delight these days.

ChristchurchLib Jul 15, 2013

"In the summer of 1969, after years of self-imposed exile following his beloved brother's suicide, Leopold Bloom King decides that things are going to change. Over the next few months, the 18-year-old befriends an unusual assortment of teens ranging from Charleston's blue-blooded aristocracy to orphaned siblings to the son of the first black high school football coach. The friendships they form endure for decades, and in 1989, as Leo narrates, they reunite in San Francisco in search of a missing member of their circle. As with other books by bestselling author Pat Conroy, themes of mental illness and familial abuse play out here, and Charleston of the 1960s is vividly rendered." July 2013 Fiction A to Z newsletter

May 08, 2013

a good book

kelleypoole Aug 13, 2012

I agree with MartiniHigh re: over the top descriptions of Charleston. They continued throughout the entire book - enough already! I was the opposite of chanters in that there was too much witty banter for me in the first part of the book (no one has that many great comebacks!) but I enjoyed the last 2/3 of the book much more. Perhaps I'd gotten used to it. The main character was unbelievable, he was so nice; but I liked that so much - he never turned his back on anyone (except he probably should've turned it on his wife - the Catholic guilt thing was a bit much).

Mar 07, 2012

i usually love conroy but found this book to be one of his weakest. The plot was okay and the characters again...okay. He is one of my fave's but i will be okay if i never read this book again.

canihaveanap May 03, 2011

One of the best writer's of our time.

Mar 07, 2011

Love it - didn't want it to end. Fabulous descriptions, great story!

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kelleypoole Aug 13, 2012

kelleypoole thinks this title is suitable for 25 years and over

canihaveanap May 03, 2011

canihaveanap thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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siammarino Jun 27, 2014

Imagine growing up with a strict mother who used to be a nun, and losing your older brother to suicide. Despite Leo's difficult childhood in Charleston, South Carolina, he becomes a successful city journalist with lots of good friends, but love eludes him. Conroy does a great job describing the Charleston society mores, and the AIDS plague in San Francisco in the 1980's. In fact, the scenes in California are so heavy that I didn't finish the book.


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