The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son

The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son

by Pat Conroy
3.9 81

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The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son by Pat Conroy

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Pat Conroy’s great success as a writer has always been intimately linked with the exploration of his family history. As the oldest of seven children who were dragged from military base to military base across the South, Pat bore witness to the often cruel and violent behavior of his father, Marine Corps fighter pilot Donald Patrick Conroy. While the publication of The Great Santini brought Pat much acclaim, the rift it caused brought even more attention, fracturing an already battered family. But as Pat tenderly chronicles here, even the oldest of wounds can heal. In the final years of Don Conroy’s life, the Santini unexpectedly refocused his ire to defend his son’s honor.
The Death of Santini is a heart-wrenching act of reckoning whose ultimate conclusion is that love can soften even the meanest of men, lending significance to the oft-quoted line from Pat’s novel The Prince of Tides: “In families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness.”
Praise for The Death of Santini
“A brilliant storyteller, a master of sarcasm, and a hallucinatory stylist whose obsession with the impress of the past on the present binds him to Southern literary tradition.”The Boston Globe
“A painful, lyrical, addictive read that [Pat Conroy’s] fans won’t want to miss.”People
“Conroy’s conviction pulls you fleetly through the book, as does the potency of his bond with his family, no matter their sins.”The New York Times Book Review
“Vital, large-hearted and often raucously funny.”The Washington Post
“Conroy writes athletically and beautifully, slicing through painful memories like a point guard splitting the defense.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385530859
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/29/2013
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 86,048
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Pat Conroy (1945–2016) was the author of The Boo, The Water Is Wide, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life, My Losing Season, South of Broad, My Reading Life, and The Death of Santini.

From the Hardcover edition.


San Francisco and South Carolina

Date of Birth:

October 26, 1945

Place of Birth:

Atlanta, Georgia


B.A.,The Citadel, 1967

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The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 81 reviews.
coreyblissford More than 1 year ago
Pat Conroy is, plain and simple, a brilliant author. The Great Santini is one of my favorite films and it is sheer delight to get to known the man who influenced this story. Conroy writes with honesty that jumps off the page. I loved this book and highly recommend it.
kmmurphy More than 1 year ago
Pat Conroy's new memoir of life with his outstandingly awful parents and often barely sane siblings is so brave and beautiful that it has left me nearly breathless. This work is to my mind so superior to The Great Santini that I am astounded. Each sentence is a specially crafted tribute to truth. Who says genius fades? In Pat Conroy's case, his art has just become clearer, sharper and bolder. Thank you, Pat Conroy. If you love The Great Santini, you  will not be able to stop reading this. If you loved South of Broad, you will wonder at this man's ability to find the kindness that gives that work life. 
JOMONV More than 1 year ago
Pat Conroy is one of the most brilliant writers America has ever produced. This book is a raw, insightful look at his family and the final days of the Great Santini. Highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read everyone of Pat Conroy's books and loved all of them. The Death of Santini was touching, laugh out loud funny at times, honest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really funny and sad story. His reflections on his family made me laugh out loud, and made me cry. His phrasing is unlike any other author, I would recognise his work without his name on the cover. No one writes quite like him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A perfect tribute to the Great Santini.very real and honest in tbe complications of the aftermath of dysfunction and great love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The reader gets to really know Pat and his whole family and history. Every family has its problems and faults, as the author notes, and this book shares his family's best and hardest times. I hardly could pause. There are points I and others will disagree on. For example, I'd love to see him write a follow up book on how many liberal educational policies have harmed current minority children, especially in reading education. But even with disagreement in his political "idols" this book was "great" on so many levels. He revisited many of the themes from his former books with more information and insight. However, this book is interesting even if you have not read his other novels. This will make you want to read or reread them again. Highly recommended. I'd also like to recommend a "new" author on the Nook - William Jarvis. His novel, based on true events during World War II, "The Partisan" is also excellent and is also highly recommended. Both deserve A+++++
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Few writers could tell their own story as candidly as Pat Conroy tells his in The Death of Santini. Part of me wishes I hadn't read this book. It was an emotional roller coaster ride for me. But then, most of his fiction affected me the same way. Discovering that all those books I've read by him were based on his experiences had me reliving those reading experiences. That made it a slow read. I could only digest so much at one sitting. I found Pat Conroy, the man, to be brave, flawed, passionate and probably more like The Great Santini than he realized before this introspection. No one could come away doubting that abusive parents affect the entire lives of their children. You don't "outgrow" the damage. Conroy transcends it, mostly successfully. I recommend this book, bur it is not for the feint of heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pat Conroy doesn't dissapoint with The Death of Santini. Even someone that has never read any of his books will enjoy this one. Long Live Pat Conroy!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like Pat Conroy's writing, but I think he "overwrote" in this book. I found the description of his mother's illness especially unpleasant; I am not one who enjoys the most graphic details of an illness. I did finish this book and I don't finish every book I start and I will continue to read Mr. Conroy's books but I do not recommend this one except to avid fans of the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is an okay book but not Pat Conroy's best. He belabors some parts and skips over parts I wished he had expounded upon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book! Pat writes so beautifully and knows how to tell a story. A great example of forgiveness. Bless his heart!
CaptFrank More than 1 year ago
A great story of one of the most dysfunctional families in the world. Glad to see there was some reconciliation before Don Conroy's death.
NorthernSue More than 1 year ago
I am sure some people will rate this book as self indulgent. I saw it, however, as a literary tribute to Conroy's pain. He didn't sugarcoat how he felt about his somewhat dysfunctional family. It took courage to write it the way he did and helped me to understand the power our family has over us. I only hope his future works will possess the same power given that the author says this is the last book he will write based on the pain of his upbringing. Conroy's writing is so eloquent it is a true treat to read.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
This is a "tell it like it is" story of the life of Pat Conroy's family, specifically involving his father--"THE Great Santini".  I believe Conroy is one of the very best of American writers.  This story comes from his memories of his life with his family----memories that are admittedly different for each Conroy family member.  After years of best sellers with fictitious names telling family stories, this gets to the heart of this family with real names and memories.   I have a special interest in Pat Conroy's writings because my husband was also a '67 Citadel graduate, and one of Boo's Boys (Conroy's first book).  Conroy also spoke about his family at a CASA ( Court Appointed Special Advocate--working with abused and neglected children) conference that I attended in Charleston, SC when I was a CASA.  Name dropping??-- Pat Conroy wouldn't know me if he ran into me on the street.  But, these things have added another level of enjoyment to books that needed nothing additional to become favorites in my library!! Pat is the eldest of seven children born to a Chicago Irish Catholic highly decorated Marine pilot, and a beautiful daughter of a snake handling religious fanatic from the back woods country and a mother who deserted her four young children to defend for themselves.  Pat's young life saw him going from place to place where ever his father was stationed at the time.  Violence and love centered a difficult and volition family life, resulting in five of the seven kids eventually trying to commit suicide, with the youngest son eventually succeeding.  But the real beauty of this ranting family life, is the continual love-hate relationship between everyone in the family.  After The Great Santini was published, Pat was demonized by most of his family, but his father---"THE Great Santini"---took perverse pleasure in referring to himself by that name for the rest of his life.  The movie version somehow brought family members back together again in a mixing bowl of emotions.  This book is Pat's version of a famous line from his book, The Prince Of Tides: " in families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness." Though memories can be different for members of a family who lived through the same events, the raw emotions, and spectacularly open and dramatic telling of this story by Pat Conroy, makes this a timeless story of many families where violence harms and divides families, children and marriages take a beating figuratively and literally, and love and forgiveness manages to inch their way into people's hearts.  Though this could have been a morbid tale if told be a different author, Pat Conroy brings this story into the realm of timeless story telling because of the explosive personality of someone who can get right to the heart of a classic tale!  Wonderfully told and expertly written!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Conroy's art of storytelling has never been better!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The father was a pscho killer and it is surprising he didnt kill one of them remember what the bible said about who harmed children
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But the damage done cannotbe forgiven while there is memory to constantly keep the wounds open one of the problems of group therapy that the horrows are repeated and repeated and ithers added to the burden there are some whose sanity depends on repression of memory and coping within a harmless functioning life style the author has used his writing to function but his siblings could not find that way . To say all is forgiven and the father repented in love of his family is part of his inability to accept the terrible reality of both his parents abuse and there was no help or rescue from church school medical or the army family.during all that time including any relatives on both sides a terrible story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually like Conroy's novels, but this one is just an excuse to whine and is a rude attack on his siblings. Don't waste your time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Initially interesting but became quicky boreing with repetitive wearesome emotional family strife.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago