Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Beach Music

I wish I had come up with this title on my own as it means I may have written the beautiful novel of the same name, but I didn't. Instead, Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides and an assundry of other books, wrote it. So, let me just say that this book is beautifully written. It is the type of book that you read just to be moved by the beauty of the way the author arranges language. The story of course is itself good too, takes place in Italy and in South Carolina, and it discusses World War II, and Vietnam all in the context of one individuals life and how he was affected by his parents generation, his generation and how he in turn is raising his daughter. So, just to give you a little flavor of his writing ability, here are some quotes from the book for you to enjoy...

"She made my bloodstream feel like the place that the gods had to find before they could discover fire." (I am sure I do that to Micah too, so maybe that line was written about me?)

"The Class of 1966 was entering an America that was newly hallucinatory and disfigured. The whole country seemed to have turned inward upon itself and all the old certainties seemed marginal and hollow, and that tangy confidence of a nation accustomed to strutting turned hesitant almost overnight. As our footsteps echoed across the stage, this class entered a country that was traveling incognito even to itself. We would become part of the first American generation of this century to wage war on each other. The Vietnam War would be the only foreign war ever fought on American soil. All were free to choose sides. Bystanders were ridiculed and not tolerated. There were no survivors in the sixties, only casualties and prisoners of war and veterans who cried out in the dark."

"He was a tall man, built like a heron and with the face of a spooked herbivore, and vaguely off-balance."

"In the language of my church I could approach the alter of God with words like flung roses sustaining me. Without faith so long, I could hear my church singing me love songs as the priest stepped closer to my mother. The words were winged and feathered, drifting like Paracletes around me. This mother, this holy earth, this basilica that once had housed me."

That is it for now, and probably hardly even the best phrases in the book. In fact, my favorite line I can't find, but something along the lines of "her eyes held the terror of a thousand birds released to flight." So, if you enjoy reading for the sake of beauty than this is a beautifully written book to read. Be forewarned, it is probably rated PG-13 at least for language and some adult situations between the wars and well, men and women too. Also, it is melodramatic (as you can tell from the writing style above), so just be prepared to give some license there. Click on the picture for Amazon reviews or to purchase. No, I am not paid for recommending this book!

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