Wednesday, September 9, 2009

South Of Broad

I really wanted to like South Of Broad. This book was very dark and tragic. The main character Leopold Bloom King whose mother is a high school principal, who also happens to be an ex-nun, and his father, a high school science teacher. His brother commits suicide at age 10 and from there the tragedies begin. Leopold finds himself in trouble and eventually becomes intertwined with an array of dysfunctional high school students in his senior year of high school. These characters are about as flawed as they come but somewhat likable. We meet Niles and Starla who are mountain orphans, neighbors Sheba and Trevor Poe who are twins of an alcoholic mother and a missing deranged and dangerous father, Molly Huger and her boyfriend Chadworth Rutledge X who have been caught with drugs and expelled from their previous school. Leo brings this unlikely bunch together where they become a family of sorts. The story begins in the 1960's when this bunch is in high school and takes a journey back and forth into the 1980's when they all get together to find Trevor in San Francisco as he suffering with Aids. I guess one could say this was a story about strong friendships that survive just about everything life can throw at them. Personally there were far too many tragic and disturbing events in this book for my taste. There were parts where the book moved far too slowly and I found it hard to get through. There were other parts where I found it hard to put the book down. I did love Mr. Conroy's beautiful prose and fell in love with his dear Charleston. You can tell how much this area means to him. The Prince Of Tides has been recommended to me. Maybe I should try that Conroy book instead. I give South Of Broad 3 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I just finished this book too. I really enjoyed the writing style particularly the parts about Charleston. I see what you mean about some of it moving too slowly. Also, I thought that the whole thing was a bit too dramatic and over the top. I agree with you that there were far too many tragic and disturbing events. Thanks for your review.


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