Pat Conroy Dead at 70 from Pancreatic Cancer

While I don’t think I’ve read any of his books I enjoyed the Prince of Tides movie.

I’ve read several of his books. Quite good, actually. I’ll miss him.

The movie contains remarkably little of the book.

Beach Music is by far my favorite. RIP

A really excellent writer. I haven’t read all of his books yet, but most enjoyed his autobiographical “My losing Season”, about his college basketball career. “The Great Santini” was translated well into film I thought. He drew such a vivid portrait of his relationship with his father.

Lords Of Discipline was assigned reading in my high school; I recall it as quite good.

“It was my mother who taught me the southern way of the spirit in its most delicate and intimate forms. My mother believed in the dreams of flowers and animals. Before we went to bed at night as small children, she would reveal to us in her storytelling voice that salmon dreamed of mountain passes and the brown faces of grizzlies hovering over clear rapids. Copperheads, she would say, dreamed of placing their fangs in the shinbones of hunters. Ospreys slept with their feathered, plummeting dreamselves screaming through deep, slow-motion dives toward herring. There were the brute wings of owls in the nightmares of ermine, the downwind approach of timberwolves in the night stillness of elk.”

I have books of his on my shelf that I’ve been meaning to read. I’m going out to the river today. I think perhaps I’ll take one with me.

But unlike some writers, Conroy didn’t mind, and actually liked the movie version of Prince of Tides.

SOME writers (Tom Clancy comes to mind) regard their books as sacrosanct, and are furious when a director or screenwriter makes changes, or leaves out various subplots.

Conroy was different, and more philosophical. He always said that once he sold rights to a book, it no longer belonged to him, and the director was free to turn, say, the Great Santini into a Jewish, Eskimo lesbian if he wanted to (and yes, those are almost the exact words he used).

That’s fine. I’m glad it didn’t bother him. Nevertheless, the movie version is so much smaller, I think it’s fair to say that seeing the movie does not count as acquainting one with Conroy’s world and voice.

That one is my favorite. I’m a little surprised it was assigned in a high school, though!

I agree. That is one of Mr. Conroy’s best but it is a little gritty for high school

In a bit of a derail: I went to a Catholic High School. The Nun that taught English wanted to use a contemporary novel for a semester, and assigned “The Godfather” by Puzo. The school bought us all paperbacks and we showed up for our first class. The Nun had the girl in the first row right hand side start reading aloud.

About page fifteen or so, Santino Corleone has Lucy Mancini up against a door…

It became obvious that Sister Mary Lucy hadn’t read the novel before assigning it. We continued the semester., but reading aloud was no longer an option…

I met him a couple of times when he appeared on a public television program that I worked on. Here is an interview from 2015.