Customer Reviews for

Goat: A Memoir

Average Rating 3.5
( 43 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Riveting Story

Goat is unique and powerful in that Brad Land is able to honestly assess and address his feelings of being beaten in a savage samaritan-act-turned-wrong, and then, a few years later, revisits the same violence in the form of one of the oldest of all institutions - the f...
Goat is unique and powerful in that Brad Land is able to honestly assess and address his feelings of being beaten in a savage samaritan-act-turned-wrong, and then, a few years later, revisits the same violence in the form of one of the oldest of all institutions - the fraternity. Don't be fooled by bitter fraternity supporters posting on here. This book has already been chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers book. It's already been profiled in GQ. The truth is that it is one of those rare books that addresses (honestly) male-on-male violence. But it's not just the story that makes this book unique. It's Land's ability to tell this story honestly, without fear of judgement. And the relationship between he and his brother Brett, while heartbreaking at times, immerses the reader into their turbulent world. It's an incredible debut by an obviously talented writer. Highly, highly recommended.

posted by Anonymous on February 2, 2004

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Author missed an opportunity

The story started out prety good, but the author missed an opportunity to expand on the event that scarred the protagonist for life. Once he gets off to college, everything starts to drag and I didn't really care about him any longer.

posted by mrgopherguts on March 21, 2009

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  • Posted March 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Author missed an opportunity

    The story started out prety good, but the author missed an opportunity to expand on the event that scarred the protagonist for life. Once he gets off to college, everything starts to drag and I didn't really care about him any longer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2004

    Not a classic, but a hell of a good start

    Brad Land deserves credit for his slingblade prose- fierce, lean, and bloody. Only those who have witnessed real violence first hand can appreciate the long term impacts and permanent effects. It's no suprise, in the least, to see condemnation about this book from the priveleged dim-wits of the fraternity house. Like we ever believed you when you said it was about 'brotherhood' and philantropy! Spend ten minutes with a group of Sig Nu's or Tekes and the true purposes will become revealed: pulling chicks, getting drunk, and stupid pranks. And then, when someone comes forward with a true account of the mindless, stupid, antics of fraternity life, denounce it with claims of 'discrimination' and 'prejudice.' I knew a guy named Tom Bliehorn who was in a frat at Ohio State. For a fun and giggles, he and two other brothers would go to a bar, and one of them would insult and harass and start a fight with some poor schmuck who was minding his own business. When the poor fool tried to protect himself, SURPRISE! It's now 3 vs. 1 and you lose. Great philanthropy! Yes, yes, we know...it's about brotherhood and raising money for the Special Olympics. Thanks, Brad Land, for dismantling that myth.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2004

    this book is riviting

    I bought this book for my teenaged son who doesn't like to read. I could hardly put it down myself, and he was engrossed. Those who focus on this as a frat bashing book are missing much. This is one persons life experience, not meant to be taking as a frat bash, but as his experience. This book presented a accurate account of where many a young adult mind and actions are, and reminds the reader of just how fragile life and relationships are -- all done in a manner that a young man can relate to. A great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2004

    Goat

    Land has really written a piece of art. The stream of consciousness form of writing flows well and makes the work hold the reader's attention. While many reviewers see this as just sour grapes and retaliation stemming from a bad experience with a fraternity, one must read deeper. It's about a troubled young man that had a serious incident as a teenager and now must deal with his psychological issues in a forum where humiliation is key. I was a member of a southern fraternity, also, but I read this as a recount of a young man trying to escape his demons - not create them in others.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2004

    Instant Classic

    i find it amazing that the same brand of Clemson figures who tormented Mr. Land in his story have come out of the woodwork to bully him some more via their bn.com reviews. whoever cried 'it isn't the system's fault' is missing the point; Mr. Land never explicitly blames anyone for his experiences. if any system is to blame, it's the natural system of mortal suffering. this book travels bracingly through agonizing pastures. on par with 'short of a picnic.'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2004

    A Poignantly Disturbing Tale about the Pursuit of Popularity and Acceptance

    I suspect that some of the people who have praised this book have never actually been part of a fraternity. I have been. I believe that the people who focused on the violence in the memoir missed the point of the book. Personally, I believe that the book is primarily about the fear of always being a social outcast. Brad Land's brother, Brett, is presented in the book as the All-American guy. He was charismatic, good-looking and well-respected. Essentially, Brett was a Big Man on Campus. The author, Brad, on the other-hand was, by his own admission, socially-awkward, bland in the looks-department and regarded as an oddity. The book meticulously lays out how Brad attempted to acquire all of the characteristics that Brett had; all the things that would allow him to become part of the 'in' crowd. The irony is that he suffers all these indignities (real and imagined) at the hands of his fraternity brothers in the hopes of eventually becoming a Big Man on Campus himself only to discover that he may never have what it takes to bridge the gap between being that ideal guy as opposed to being the outcast that he was. I believe that anyone who has been involved in fraternity life or major college sports would appreciate this memoir on some level regardless of its factual validity.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2004

    Can't handle the truth?

    In college, I was an initiated member of a fraternity. It was scary how much the book reminded me of my own pledgeship. You can debate all you want whether Brad was right in writing about it, but I am very inclined to believe all that stuff actually happened, especially the line-ups. For the Kappa Sigs that posted here, it's a shame you can't live up to the truth. Whether you believe hazing is right or not, it happens, and it it's real, and this guy had the courage to talk about it. Next time, keep your fellow actives in check if you don't want it in a book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2004

    Goat is rivetting

    Brad Land's prose is immediate and thrilling from the very first page, which I re-read several times because it is one of the best first pages of a book that I can recall. The writing might have seemed overly stylish if the story of Brad's experiences, and the delicate way in which he relates his feelings about his experiences, were not so moving and profound. I finished the book in only three sittings because I hated to stop reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2004

    A voice to listen to! Land has arrived!

    Goat is a brilliant debut, written by a brilliant writer. It¿s authentic qua memoir on so many levels. First, it resists the ever present tendency to become a confessional. The language is penetrating to the point of disbelief¿soliciting a kind of emotional trauma¿the reader finds themselves cringing, and then whimpering, and then celebrating, and then all over again. Land's voice is as brave as it is rare. And in that voice I hear echoes of a pathos so deep, so authentic, it recollects the Fear and Trembling of Kierkegaard, the loneliness of Salinger, the heartbreak of Dave Eggars. But not just that, Goat finds it¿s home not just in it¿s pathos, nor in the reconciliation of it¿just the opposite¿Goat finds it¿s greatness in it¿s ability to articulate, if only for a moment, the aporetics of a forgiveness that seeks not to synthesize that pathos, but rather to let it be, to let it flourish even. And this pathos is no doubt terrifying, the rites of passage of adolescence rearing it¿s ugliest head, showing itself and screaming at those of us who don¿t know how to ignore it. And the prose in Goat is as beautiful and tragic as the story it tells, at once as sweet and innocent as the narrator, pointing us towards the luminosity and sublimity of love, then somersaulting into it¿s opposite, the darkness, the opacity, the nihilistic seductiveness of wanting to belong. The greatness here lies, first and foremost, in the fact that Land bravely points us towards that darkness, holds it up for us to see. But even further, the true greatness in Goat lies in it¿s ability to perform that darkness for the reader. At first enticing us with an interesting story, and then, as if he¿s holding our hand at the beginning of a haunted house, guides us through the to and fro, the perambulations of his story¿until, unbeknownst to the reader, we feel as if we too have participated in this tragedy, that we have been there ourselves, punched in the stomach and gasping, breathless. In this way Goat is a confrontation, an emotional upwelling, radically blurring the distinction between audience and author, between text and subject. As if the images of these years have passed in front of us like a piece of film over a projecter, we forget we are reading, we forget we aren¿t Land. And when I read Goat I want to find Land and weep with him, want to rub his shoulder and put him at ease, want to never leave his side. And I think this is the experience of every reader of Goat, we identify with this anxiety, this sweetness, and we have this uncanny feeling that we would know Land if we saw him walking down the street¿or even further, that deep down in all of us, somewhere, there is a part of us all that has been isolated and scared like Land, and an even bigger part of us that longs to be as brave.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2004

    Riveting Story

    Goat is unique and powerful in that Brad Land is able to honestly assess and address his feelings of being beaten in a savage samaritan-act-turned-wrong, and then, a few years later, revisits the same violence in the form of one of the oldest of all institutions - the fraternity. Don't be fooled by bitter fraternity supporters posting on here. This book has already been chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers book. It's already been profiled in GQ. The truth is that it is one of those rare books that addresses (honestly) male-on-male violence. But it's not just the story that makes this book unique. It's Land's ability to tell this story honestly, without fear of judgement. And the relationship between he and his brother Brett, while heartbreaking at times, immerses the reader into their turbulent world. It's an incredible debut by an obviously talented writer. Highly, highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2004

    Goat

    Narrative style is great. It's hip and fresh - Land really captures the moment of collegiate life. Don't pay attention to these insulted post-Frat boys - it's a great book well worth reading. It will open your eyes to what really happens in many Southern fraternities.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2004

    violent, refreshing and absorbing

    Like many others, I read Land's book in one sitting. Brutal in both content and style, I felt like I had to talk to everyone about this book. I think middle class women in the US have the privilege of not experiencing this much violence (usually), so in many ways Land's experiences (not the feelings) seemed so foreign to my own. While I doubt that every guy who joins a frat goes through a violent hazing, to me, it doesn't seem like the point. The point is that it happens at all and that most likely a lot more guys have stories to tell of the violence they've experienced in whatever part of their life, whether that be in a frat, as a result of a crime, in adolescence, etc. Most of all this book captured that palpable sense of fear that most people have experienced at some point in their life and a complicated but enduring love (between Land and his brother).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2014

    Goat Simulator...

    IS HILARIOUS IM LAUGHING SO HARD RIGHT NOW!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2014

    PTS

    Mm......hm....seems need more exticement in there. But after all, great headstart!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2014

    Beats

    Interesting

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2014

    Nitro

    "GIANT GOAT?????"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2014

    The rise of the goat part 1

    (Warning this part will not have much of a plot line cuzz its part 1. Give me ways to make it better. No hateing on it and ignore the ones below. They are wierd. Now here we go!!!!!! ~Dawn)
    Its midnight and ever free forest's trees are glowing yellow. Dawn comes to check it out but finds nothing. When he leaves they glow once again. The next day fireponies and unicorns and alicorns try to put out the fire. Dawn comes back to check it out again. "Woah... what happened?" A pony looks at him and pumps his hoofs in the air. "Yes great Dawn is here mabey he can use his speed to put it out!" Dawn sighs "Why cant you get RD to do it. I aint ta fastest here." He looks at Dawn like hes crazy. "Ummm idk ur here do it." Dawn flys up and around everfree's flaming trees and put out the fire leaveing the trees still burnt. "Who did it?" Dawn asks. "A giant Goat is some ponies say. "Hm. Must let de others know." TO BE CONTINUED!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    JAIL

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Aiden to kiley

    I meant p.m.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    KILEY TO MY AIDEN

    Im oyr of here!! Ur not typing to me!! Bye bi..tch

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