Customer Reviews for

The Great Santini

Average Rating 4
( 78 )
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(39)

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(23)

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(9)

2 Star

(2)

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(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

The Great Santini is a life changing novel. The story will make

The Great Santini is a life changing novel. The story will make you laugh at times and cry at times, leaving you full of emotions and empty of boredom. Bull Meechem, who likes to call himself “the Great Santini”, is a fighter pilot who directs his military family in a l...
The Great Santini is a life changing novel. The story will make you laugh at times and cry at times, leaving you full of emotions and empty of boredom. Bull Meechem, who likes to call himself “the Great Santini”, is a fighter pilot who directs his military family in a life he thinks is the best. The Meechem family is like most military families, so The Great Santini gives you a taste of the military life.  Pat Conroy portrays Bull Meechem as a sarcastic, tough, and strict father who should be despised throughout the novel. When reading about the hard life of the Meechem family, one will learn about their moves, their new schools, their new friends, and the toll it takes on their entire family. This leaves the reader full of emotions mostly forlorn. Despite the sorrowful feelings you will laugh at funny moments and character’s sarcastic ways. The story leaves one feeling shocked by changing a point of view on Bull Meechem. A reader will learn from this book why Bull and other military fathers are the way they are. The Great Santini will make you think about life when you are finished reading it, it’s not something you will forget.

posted by Anonymous on March 4, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Great book

Funny and sad and, like all of Pat Conroy's books, well written. The characters are likeable (except for Santini) and well developed. There really isn't much of a plot, but it does fine without one. I keep asking myself why Conroy puts such descriptive violence in hi...
Funny and sad and, like all of Pat Conroy's books, well written. The characters are likeable (except for Santini) and well developed. There really isn't much of a plot, but it does fine without one. I keep asking myself why Conroy puts such descriptive violence in his books; probably thinking it spices up the storyline? Male readers will enjoy the military/aerospace portions of the book and male and female will enjoy Conroy's description of high school angst and brother/sister arguments. I enjoyed this book but liked Beaches or South of Broad more.

posted by Ratbch on November 23, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2013

    The Great Santini is a life changing novel. The story will make

    The Great Santini is a life changing novel. The story will make you laugh at times and cry at times, leaving you full of emotions and empty of boredom. Bull Meechem, who likes to call himself “the Great Santini”, is a fighter pilot who directs his military family in a life he thinks is the best. The Meechem family is like most military families, so The Great Santini gives you a taste of the military life.  Pat Conroy portrays Bull Meechem as a sarcastic, tough, and strict father who should be despised throughout the novel. When reading about the hard life of the Meechem family, one will learn about their moves, their new schools, their new friends, and the toll it takes on their entire family. This leaves the reader full of emotions mostly forlorn. Despite the sorrowful feelings you will laugh at funny moments and character’s sarcastic ways. The story leaves one feeling shocked by changing a point of view on Bull Meechem. A reader will learn from this book why Bull and other military fathers are the way they are. The Great Santini will make you think about life when you are finished reading it, it’s not something you will forget.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    It will make you cry

    I really liked this book mostly because of Pt Conroy's writing. The characters you begin to love and at the same time realize how dysfunctional the entire family is. I am reading the rest of Pat CONROY'S BOOKS. I am glad that I read this.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2007

    One of my favorite books

    My father gave me my 1st Pat Conroy book ' The Great Santini' when I was 12. I dove right in and savored it. I will always remember our talks about Mr. Conroy's books. The Great Santini will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first. It is a story about a complex military family who's children are required to grow up too fast. My heart went out to every member of the family who hurt in their own way. This is not a book to miss!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2012

    Great book

    Funny and sad and, like all of Pat Conroy's books, well written. The characters are likeable (except for Santini) and well developed. There really isn't much of a plot, but it does fine without one. I keep asking myself why Conroy puts such descriptive violence in his books; probably thinking it spices up the storyline? Male readers will enjoy the military/aerospace portions of the book and male and female will enjoy Conroy's description of high school angst and brother/sister arguments. I enjoyed this book but liked Beaches or South of Broad more.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Picture this a grown man hitting his 17 year old son with a bask

    Picture this a grown man hitting his 17 year old son with a basketball asking him to cry, intrigued? Good. The book “ The Great Santini” by Pat Conroy will interest you so much you will never want to stop reading! Each character has such crazy personalities which makes the book worth reading , you will be able to look on the spontaneous Meecham family life.
    First is the father of the Meecham family, Bull. Bull is a narcissist and thinks he is the gods of the gods. Bull always has to be right and always has to be the winner. Bull calls every one of his family members sportsfans and he calls himself “The Great Santini” and forces his kids to call him that too. When Bull gets angry it is awful because he has the worst temper and to release his angry he uses his family and hits his wife and kids.
    In the book the time frame is the early 1960’s which leads to Bull being incredibly racist, especially since they live in the South. Bull is truly obsessed and addicted to the Marine Corps; he says throughout the whole book that he is the best goddamn fighter pilot that the Marine Corps have ever seen.
    There are 4 kids in the Meecham family. There is Mary Anne, Ben, Matt and Karen. Mary Anne is the oldest she is constantly made fun of by her siblings because she’s fat, uses glasses, and has loads of freckles. Mary Anne always gets in trouble with her parents because she has a very sharp tongue and says things she shouldn’t. Then there’s Ben, Ben is the jock of the family because he’s a phenomenal basketball player. Ben is the kid who receives the most anger and the most pressure which really pisses off Ben. Matt is very short and is always picked on by Mary because he’s a “midget”. Karen is the youngest and she’s very quiet and never gets into trouble. Karen wants to be just like her elegant and beautiful mother Lillian and always follows her parent’s orders.
    This book is good for anyone who loves to read. It’s really interesting because you get to look into a marine’s family life in the 1960’s and all the conflict that goes with it. You will feel emotion while reading this and you will really enjoy the book. It kept me really interested the whole time because you get angry at Bull and want to keep reading to see how things unfold. The book is all American family drama based around the Marine Corps you get to see how a military family is like in America and its very cool because you didn’t realizes how different military families are because of all the conflicts they have to go through. This book is like Batman (Bull being the joker) and The Kids Are All Right in one. If you like strong American pride and the military you’d love this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2010

    Not As Good As Conroy's Other Books

    I am a Conroy fan and the Lords of Discipline is among my all-time favorite novels. However, the Great Santini is not on the same level as Lords of Discipline, the Prince of Tides, or Conroy's other works, although it has many of the same themes that you typically find in Conroy's works. Although I did not expect the book to answer every single question a reader may have about the characters, I thought the book left too many loose ends. For example, despite all of the time Conroy spent addressing the issue of how each of the children's lives might be affected by being raised by the Great Santini, the reader never gets an answer to that question and is left to guess (for the most part). In addition, some story lines, while interesting seemed to be thrown in and added little to the main thrust of the book (e.g., what happens to Toomer, the rape of the teenage girl). All in all, I enjoyed the book, but it just wasn't as good as Conroy's other books.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2004

    The Great Santini review

    The Great Santini, written by Pat Conroy, encompasses the family of a Marine. This Marine, Bull Meecham, is the father of the Meecham family. Bull acts and speaks very shrewdly in the novel by making his children call him ¿sir¿ and speaking to his family as if they were his ¿marine buddies¿. The core conflict that exists is between Bull and his son, Ben Meecham. Bull would push his son over the edge, and Ben¿s accomplishments meant nothing to his father. To Bull, nothing that Ben had done fulfilled him. Ben became extremely discouraged and strained, that he could not take the hounding any longer. Ben became restless with the ¿yes, sir¿ and ¿no, sir¿ that was repeated daily. Ben¿s only encouragement in his situation was his mother, Lillian Meecham. Lillian was Ben¿s reassurance and aid throughout his unsteady relationship with Bull. She was the one who prevented the family from falling apart and became immune to her husband¿s disgraceful attitude. Lillian adored her family and would accomplish anything for them. From blocking out Bull¿s relentless deeds because she loved him, to comforting her son and reminding him that his accomplishments are recognized and that everyone is proud of him. Lillian provided Ben with hope and faith that one day, he will encounter an affectionate relationship with his father. Any person who reads The Great Santini, might possibly find themselves connecting to the book and altogether understanding the adversity that families endure. This novel confirms that not every family is ideal and in spite of everything, worship your family no matter how many times you differ with their opinions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2003

    Amazing book!

    Mr. Conroy you have written an incredible novel. I just finished reading the book and then subsuequentially watched the movie. As, a young father I was tremendously moved by Bull Meechum as a marine and as a father. Although he had his faults which Conroy clearly shows I felt myself really enjoying the strength of his character.Conroy does a great job describing his extreme loyatly to the core and his loyalty to his family. I found myself feeling the same trials and tribultions that each of the characters in the novel went through. I can't wait to read his other novels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2014

    Verbal Abuse - Military Families Might Relate

    The first half of the book was difficult to really get interested in, but as the story progressed it did get more believable. It is incom- prehensible to understand how a supposedly intelligent wife and mother could stand by and watch her children being so mentally and physically abused. Although the husband/father in the story was not likeable, he was consistent in his ideals. I had little respect for the wife/mother for living in a little world all about herself.

    I like Pat Conroy's style of writing and will read his next book to see if this is an author which I will continue to read.

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  • Posted January 24, 2014

    Good story that sticks

    I read this book because I read THE PRINCE OF TIDES a long time ago and never forgot it.

    After reading this I read think that military kids really do have a rough life. His father was not likable but human.

    I recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2013

    Wow

    Wow

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2012

    Lovely storytelling

    Lovely storytelling

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  • Posted April 11, 2012

    Highly recommend

    Can't say enough about this great story. An American Marine fighter pilot at home with the family while stationed on a Southern AFB. Reminds me of "Sgt. Carter" of Gomer Pyle USMC, in the way this Marine is a Marine thru and thru, and his family is going to be, too! G_d D_m_it !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2011

    Really enjoyed this!

    Pat Conroy makes everything so belivable and puts it in a way that you dion't want to stop reading.

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  • Posted June 4, 2011

    Kritters Ramblings

    A book picked out for my book club - I would have never placed this one on my read list. And even after a rousing discussion with the ladies, I am still not sure how I exactly stand with this one.

    Upon beginning the book, I completely despised Bull Meecham - his presence, his attitude and basically just him. I kept telling the boy that I would NEVER live with this man, let alone have four children with him. As the book went on, my feelings for him kept moving to the dark side along with the book. Somewhere just before the end, I decided that I didn't hate the book due to the plot being acceptable - BUT I still hated him.

    Then came book club. One of the ladies stands by Pat Conroy and loves everyone of his books. Intrigued, she advised us that this book was autobiographical and the overbearing father that made my feelings boil was in fact based on his own father. Crazy. It is said that because of this book, his family has disbanded and a lot of controversary was made of it.

    A book that I would put into the male audience's hands much quicker than the females. A story with a family at the center, women would be intrigued, but beware the man at the center of this family is not one you will fall in love with.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Model Of Family History

    Fiction is a lens on life; Conroy's family history shows life in the United States in the early 1960s, warts and all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2006

    This was a movie that all people should watch!

    This is a movie that everybody should watch because they will understand what our soilders need to go through and how our soilders risk their lives for us and sacrife aslo! I really enjoy it on tv !

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2002

    just a reminder:

    I feel that this book should be read by all teens and young adults to show them that while they think they have it hard, someone else always has it harder.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2000

    Bull Mitchum was a man on a mission

    I loved this account of the Mitchum Family. I found that it makes you think how the military has an impact on how a man acts toword his family

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2000

    It's Grrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaatttttttt!

    It is a wonderful read! The beginning is a tad bit on the boring side but keep reading, it becomes one of the best books ever written!

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