Goat

Goat

by Brad Land
3.8 40

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Overview

Goat by Brad Land

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Nick Jonas, this searing memoir of fraternity culture and the perils of hazing provides an unprecedented window into the emotional landscape of young men.

Reeling from a terrifying assault that has left him physically injured and psychologically shattered, nineteen-year-old Brad Land must also contend with unsympathetic local police, parents who can barely discuss “the incident” (as they call it), a brother riddled with guilt but unable to slow down enough for Brad to keep up, and the feeling that he’ll never be normal again.

When Brad’s brother enrolls at Clemson University and pledges a fraternity, Brad believes he’s being left behind once and for all. Desperate to belong, he follows. What happens there—in the name of “brotherhood,” and with the supposed goal of forging a scholar and a gentleman from the raw materials of boyhood—involves torturous late-night hazing, heartbreaking estrangement from his brother, and, finally, the death of a fellow pledge. Ultimately, Brad must weigh total alienation from his newfound community against accepting a form of brutality he already knows too well.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781588363541
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/03/2004
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 303,428
File size: 195 KB

About the Author

Brad Land studied creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he received his M.F.A., and Western Michigan University, where he served as nonfiction editor of Third Coast. He has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and now lives in South Carolina.


From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Goat 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
mrgopherguts More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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).
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 3 months ago
UM EXCUSE ME
Anonymous 4 months ago
YOU CANT KILL YOURSELF!! I LOVE YOU!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
IS HILARIOUS IM LAUGHING SO HARD RIGHT NOW!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mm......hm....seems need more exticement in there. But after all, great headstart!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"GIANT GOAT?????"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I meant p.m.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Leaves
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The young ocelot stares at the people. "What are they doing here?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*falls down to the ground crying*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't care where you sit on the subject of hazing and the college greek communities; but reading Brad Land's story will find a way to affect you personally. I read this book and related it to my brother's successful time in the frats and saw how something that has well-meaning can suddenly turn out of control. I will say that I read this book on the NYC subways and had to regularly assure those strangers around me that I wasn't hurt, abused or traumatized due to the torrent of tears I was crying while reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago