[PDF] Download The Great Santini: A Novel (English Edition) DOWNLOAD EBOOK PDF KINDLE For download this book click Button below. eBOOK @PDF The Great Santini: A Novel >>DOWNLOAD Click button below to download or read this book. Description The piercing, iconic. The Great Santini 15 editions. In the Cordova Hotel, near the docks of Barcelona, fourteen Marine Corps fighter pilots from the aircraft carrier Forrestal were throwing an obstreperously spirited going away party for Lieutenant Colonel Bull Meecham, the executive officer of their.
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13 • The Great Santini • Supplemental Liner Notes. The Great Santini. The Water Is Wide, Pat Conroy's memoir of the year he spent teaching poor children on a. Get Free Read & Download Files The Great Santini Pat Conroy PDF. THE GREAT SANTINI PAT CONROY. Download: The Great Santini Pat Conroy. Pat Conroy's New York Times–bestselling coming-of-age novel about a son's struggle to escape the domineering expectations of his volatile military father.
And my brother Tim said to Jim, you're the most like Dad, the most of any of us. And he said, is that true, Pat?
And I said, it certainly is, Jim. And he said, would one of you shoot me through the brain and put me out of my misery if this is true? Yet all of us know that we're very much like Dad.
It drives my brothers just simply crazy that we're so much like Dad. As we age, we look more like Dad, we walk like Dad, we talk like Dad. No, I don't. But, you know, what I realize even with that that we realized later on is that we may not hit, you know, our wives and children but we're violent.
You know, we're violent men. We were raised in violence. And I couldn't figure out when I was very early in my first marriage when a kid would knock over a glass of milk why I'd want to hit him. And then what it was was that's - any kid that knocked over a glass of milk with Dad got hit. And so that's why the oldest kids - we as the oldest kids had to sit at the - by Dad so the young kids could be down the table where they would be out of his reach.
And so what you don't know is you carry these things in you from your childhood without even knowing. This is baggage you bring along the way.
And this was a terrifying thought to all of us, but Dad lives deeply inside of us. And there's nothing we can do about it except try to control it. After a short break, we'll hear about Pat Conroy's relationship with his father at the end of his dad's life.
I'm David Bianculli, in for Terry Gross. We're remembering author Pat Conroy, who died of pancreatic cancer last week at age After a childhood spent with an abusive military father who inspired "The Great Santini," Pat Conroy attended the military college the Citadel, where he played basketball for a coach nearly as domineering as his own father.
They started with a short reading from "My Losing Season," presented here in slightly edited form. I liked that part of me also, but had no idea where it came from.
As a boy, I had constructed a shell for myself so impenetrable that I have been trying to write my way out of it for over 30 years, and even now I fear I have barely cracked its veneer. Several times in my life, I've gone crazy and I could not even begin to tell you why. The sadness collapses me from the inside out and I have to follow the thing through until it finishes with me.
It never happened to me when I was playing basketball because basketball was the only thing that granted me a complete and sublime congruence and oneness with the world. I found a joy unrecapturable beyond the realm of speech or language, and I lost myself in the pure dazzling majesty of my sweet, swift game. What are some of the things you learned from losing?
You just jump up and down, it's wonderful, it's fabulous, it's glorious. But losing - there's a deeper music in loss. There really is something about losing that you have to figure out what you did wrong, you have to change the way you played, you have to look at yourself in a different sort of way. Losing seemed to prepare me for life - bad reviews, my mother dying. There was nothing about my mother's death that reminded me anything about winning, but it did remind me of how I felt whenever we lost.
GROSS: You had a coach who worked the players really hard and could be very negative laughter when working you What were some of the things the coach would yell at you? What were some of the things he'd say for you? Give us the clean version. You guys play like women. The lowest thing on earth - women.
And, you know, it was variations on that theme. You know, we were weaklings, we were cowards, we didn't want it enough. We couldn't do it.
Did we have no manhood, did we have no pride laughter? Did we have - and there was a variation of that theme that began in October and ended in February. GROSS: You write in your book that you learned to substitute your voice for his voice so that your voice would be in your head instead of his voice. So what I had to do - and I had to learn it, and this was valuable for later on, in my writing life - I had to listen to my voice.
I had to find confidence by listening to me because I could not find it listening to him. Coach Thompson did not inspire confidence. He was - he inspired terror. And until I could listen to myself and ignore his voice, I did not come into my own as a basketball player. And, Coach Thompson, who was - how should I put this? He could take you apart verbally at halftime of a basketball game better than anyone I've ever seen.
On this night, it was mythic. He simply came apart. He was flinging chairs all over the locker room. He was screaming that our team was nothing, we didn't care, we had no pride, played like women, magnificent profanity. And looked around the room and I saw my team, and they all had their head in their hands. And I realized my team had been broken, not by the other team, but by their coach. So I sort of heard a voice inside me saying, you can't listen to this guy, he's not good for you, pal.
And the voice shocked me at first because my family produces schizophrenia like some families produce freckles. It was clear and it was solid. And I worried about schizophrenia except for this. The voice was giving me good advice.
This was a voice I could trust. It startled me because it sounded like my father's voice, and I did not recognize it at first as my own voice and what I later called my writer's voice - the one I listen to, the one that gives me good news, gives good advice, uses sound judgment.
And look at this boyhood I lived, Terry. No one had a male-dominated childhood like I did that ever lived upon this planet. GROSS: In your new book, part of your story is about your father, who you've written about in other books as well, fictionalized, particularly in "The Great Santini.
What was it like for you watching the Great Santini - watching this really strong-willed, violent man who abused his family - watching him get really weak? It was in the last months of his life, I was trying to think of a way to make it better for Dad, to make it easier for him as he was dying. But Dad had changed when "The Great Santini" came out. There'd been a sea change in my father.
He was horrified by the portrait I had painted of him. When he and I talked about it, I said, Dad, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings, but there's nothing you can do to make up for my ruined childhood.
Here's what Dad did. He became a good man, he became a good guy. All six of his children who were still alive, we could not believe were weeping at his funeral. Right before he died, and a couple days before he died, he still was the same guy.
You know, there was that basic core of Santini that never changed. We had shifts as Dad was dying at my sister, Kathy's, house, and I went over there one day and I heard screaming. There was Carol, screaming at my father, Dad, you've got to tell me you love me, Dad.
You've got to tell me you're proud of me before you die. You just have to, Dad. And Carol said, he's never told he loves me, he's never told me he's proud of me. I said, he's never told me that, either, but he sends you money every month, Carol.
That's Dad, that's how he says I love you. He brags about you to me and your poetry. Dad had different ways of saying he loved us. He couldn't tell us that directly. Anyway, I give this - calm Carol down. We go back in - and Dad would be dead in two days - and as we go back in, my brother-in-law, Bobby Joe Harvey, who calls himself the family redneck - and for good reason, he lives up to the name - Bobby Joe's coming in to cut Dad's hair, cut his fingernails, doing something.
And as Bobby Joe comes in, Carol and I are sitting in chairs around the room. I'm proud of you, Bobby Joe. More after a break. Let's get back to Terry's interview with author Pat Conroy, who died last week at age You know, after all the years of him putting you down and telling you that your basketball game could never be as good as his and that you could never be a man like him and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Did he ever realize - I mean, really get - how successful you were? Here's what dad never became - Son, I'd like to have a talk with you heart to heart. You know, he never did anything like that with me. And I would have to interpret Dad. The thing that I treasure most about Dad in my career was after "The Great Santini," a book he hated - but he loves the movie - and my father thinks he made Robert Duvall's career.
He thinks he is fully responsible for Robert Duvall's career. And he was still - his feelings were still hurt. He was still brittle. He was still - his mother - my grandmother never spoke to me again.
And his family had gone nuts when the book came out. So I'm sitting there signing, and the next thing I knew, somebody had come up to my father and asked him to sign the book. So my father signed it I hope you enjoy my son's work of fiction. And he underlined fiction, you know, 10 times and he said - and he then signed it Ol' Lovable Likable, The Great Santini. And it started something that became habitual in my father's life whenever I had an autographing.
He would sit beside me, and he would autograph the book. And he was charming.
His - the second half of his life his charm came out, which I never saw once in the first half of his life. And he would sit schmoozing and talking and laughing and enjoying himself. And then he would look up and he'd look over and he'd look over at me and he says, my line's longer, Son.
GROSS: Laughter You know, my theory is about people who are cruel and don't really comprehend the pain that they're delivering is that they have to be very, very delusional. I mean, often those people think, you know, I'm tough and that's a good thing and I'm toughening my son and some day he's going to be real grateful.
And I'm beating my wife - well, she deserved it and she'll come around, too. Do you think your father was really delusional during those years? My mother left my father the day after he retired from the Marine Corps. Mom leaves him the next day. I tell him - I say, Dad, why don't you come up to Atlanta? And, you know, I hated him at this time. I hated him. He was hated by all seven of his kids - hatred pure and simple.
But I felt sorry for him because he didn't know what to do without a uniform, without his meilleur ph. So I say, just come up to Atlanta. You can stay with us a couple days. He said, no, Son, I belong here. Your mother will realize the error of her ways and she will come back.
He believes his father is impossible to please and cannot wait until he graduates from high school so that he can leave. He also finds his father very unfeeling and his more sadistic side becomes evident when the family are driving at night, and to keep himself awake he drives over turtles in the road, killing them. He values the lives of military personnel but seems oblivious to the value of anyone or anything else. He does love his children, and occasionally demonstrates this, but his overall style is that of an officer in charge of his troops, and his kids feel that he is a bully before he is a father.
Lillian is a Southern Belle who is wholly complicit in her husband's bullying of their children. She adores Bull but her personality changes when he is at home, and even as beforehand; as they wait for his arrival she becomes somehow tougher and less sympathetic to her children.
She has learned to bark out orders in a similar way and this is how she runs the household in terms of chores and errands that need to be done. Despite in general being passive and silent in the face of his bullying, she is also the only person who can correct Bull about anything or comment on his behavior; for example, when she tells him to eat with a fork and not with his fingers, he says nothing, and does as he is told.
As a child, Ben had not understood why he had to stare so long and hard into a sky as vast as the sea to cull the mysterious appearance of the man who had fathered him, the man who could do what angels did in the proving grounds of gods, the man who had fought unseen wars five miles above the earth. By instinct now, it responded to the slanting wing, the dark, enlarging speck, growing each moment, lowering, and coming toward Ben and his family, whose very destinies were fastened to the humming frames of jets.
Now, as he watched, Ben wondered how much his father had changed in a year or how much his father could change in a year or a lifetime. He lowered his eyes and looked around at his mother, his brother, and two sisters. All of them were looking up toward the north where the transport plane would come; the plane bearing the father who had flown off an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean for a year.
A sense of excitement flowed through the family like a common blood. A steady breeze came from the south. The family stood huddled outside the control tower of Smythe Field, a washed-out naval air station outside of Atlanta, Georgia. A windsock at the end of the field, swollen with moderate gusts, pointed like an absurd finger past the control tower and to the far runway. As lifetime students of windsocks and their essential reliable messages, the family knew from which direction the plane would be coming, knew that planes and pilots were bound by simple laws of physics, and would land according to the wind.
Three jets with their wings folded were parked like maimed insects awaiting rebirth among the tools and oils of the men who swarmed over the broken-open jet in the hangar. The hangar itself emitted a dark wet smell like a cave, and the pale, voiceless men who swarmed therein seemed imprisoned in the huge shade, greaseruled men who worked on planes once a month when their reserve units were on duty.
No esprit de corps. Meecham said sternly. That was just an attempt to add a little levity. Meecham said, lightening up and smiling. Wonderful friends. Meecham agreed. The Great Peacemaker. You rack up brownie points with Mom and maintain the image of the perfect son. The voices of their family dimmed with every step. As he walked Ben looked for the plane again and listened for the old buzzing sound, the old familiar anthem of an approaching plane to announce the descent of his father.
Over there I see Jesus Christ rising from the dead. Mary being assumed into heaven. I see a horde of Mongols, Babe Ruth taking a shit, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Big, handsome, he-man jock. I admit you could do it. In fact, I always win arguments. Back to the subject—have you noticed how bad your face has been breaking out lately? His name is Benjamin and he likes to be perfect and kiss ass. This will be the greatest challenge of your ministry, Jesus, to cure Ben Meecham, the boy whose face is one big goob.
The long, pure notes of a clarinet spilled out into the Georgia sunshine as Mr. Boys are constantly lusting after my body. Like nausea. But never lust. Lillian Meecham was a stunningly beautiful woman of thirty-seven. Time had encircled her softly, enriched and deepened her beauty as the years tiptoed past her. Her hair was long, a dark luxuriant red, swept to one side of her head and half covering her right eye, a haughty, insouciant mane that added a touch of ingenuous naughtiness to a face that otherwise had the innocence of a Madonna.
Her face was a reflection of many things; a sum of many transfiguring, even violent events.
Her smile was joyous, but the joy was fringed with grief. Her lips were full and passionate, her nose, mischievous and arrogant. In her face, hardening experiences were registered in soft places. Pain was exiled to the nearly invisible lines shooting out from the eyes. Grief radiated in tight stars from both sides of her mouth. These wrinkles were the only indications that the face had suffered and that time had left at least a few footprints in passage.
It was a kind face; a face that sons could love, husbands worship, and daughters envy. Her body was firm, ripe, and full. She had borne four children and suffered three miscarriages, but her stomach was as hard and flat as her hand. She spoke with her hands, entertaining her two youngest children with fluid movements of such consummate grace that it seemed as though light music should be filtering from somewhere in the dizzying late afternoon heat.
Her fingers could speak individual words. They were long and slender; each nail was richly translucent and sculpted into the small white eighth moons where her file had worked: she had more vanity about her hands and her stomach than any other parts of her body. It was a universal law in military families that mothers could not maintain the strict discipline enforced by fathers to whom discipline was a religion and a way of life. When the military man left for a year, the whole family relaxed in a collective, yet unvoiced sigh.
For a year, there was a looseness, a freedom from tension, a time when martial law was suspended. Though a manless house was an uncompleted home, and though the father was keenly missed, there was a laxity and fragile vigor that could not survive his homecoming.
His hand had traditionally been very heavy when he returned from overseas, so intent was he on re-establishing codes of discipline and ensuring that the children marched to his harsher cadences.
For the last month she had been preparing them. She conducted unannounced inspections, yelled frequently, scolded often, and had even slapped Matthew when he argued about one of her directives. The change of command ceremony took place the moment his plane arrived at Smythe Field. Lillian Meecham would hand the household over to her husband without a single word passing between them.
Her face was wise, freckled, and touchingly vulnerable. Thick glasses diminished somewhat its natural prettiness. The gaudy frames of the glasses were cheap, drawing attention to features that needed no heavy emphasis. She was much shorter than her mother and seemed chunky and ungainly in comparison. Her breasts were large and full, but she dressed in loose-fitting tentlike clothes so as not to The Great Santini 24 draw attention to herself.
Because of the thick glasses, her eyes had a bloated appearance as though they were both trapped in a goldfish bowl. She opened a compact as she walked along and dabbed at several faded freckles. Never in her life had she liked the stories told by mirrors. The wind picked up, died, and picked up again. She always looks beautiful.
What else is new? She had her hair done, her nails done, her eyes done, and her clothes done. But also like all of us, she loves him. I read all of his letters to her. I will tell you one lewd, but fascinating piece of information.
He refers to his penis as Mr. Cannon and her vagina as Miss Nancy. It made me want to puke. Cannon sometime. And I would never refer to Miss Nancy under any circumstances. I know it gets lonely for Mom, but God knows we need these breaks from Dad once in a while. He loves his family, more than anything in the world except the Marine Corps, yet none of us ever have a real conversation with him. Ben and Mary Anne sprinted the remaining distance to where their mother stood with Matthew and Karen.
Ben ran backward trying to catch the first glimpse of the plane, watching for the sharp reflection of sunlight off a wing or cockpit window, but still he could not see it. The buzz of the plane seemed to fill the whole sky and came from no one source. It grew louder, more defined. When they finally reached Mrs. Meecham, she was smiling. Mary Anne was staring blankly toward the noise. From long experience she knew that the plane was not in her range of vision, nor would it be for several minutes.
For the first time, I saw the rings of Saturn. I was looking right at the thing. I must be getting rusty. Shoulders back. Like Marines. Matthew, let me comb your hair. Girls check your makeup, we want to be beautiful for your father. Then the girls will give him big juicys.
Boys, you shake his hand firmly. Very firmly, like men. You heard her call me a midget. Meecham called sternly. As the plane taxied toward the operations tower where the family waited, a fuel truck sputtered into life by the hangar and rolled slowly toward the plane.
The door of the plane opened and steps were lowered. A man in uniform appeared in the doorway. The father had landed. The Great Santini was home. Bull Meecham was already awake and his hand silenced the alarm almost as soon as it began. His body was alive, vibrant, singing like an electric wire as he dressed in preparation for the trip to Ravenel.
He cut on a lamp at a bedside table and shook his wife gently. He dressed in fatigue pants, a military issue T-shirt, and combat boots. High on his left arm, a tattoo of a red cobra, fanged, coiled, and ready to strike, stood in stark relief to his pale, freckled skin.
His hair was cut short in a military burr. His neck was thick, powerful, and cruelly muscled; his arms were long, athletic to the point of being simian, threaded with veins, and covered with reddish hair.
Quickly, he did fifty pushups and twenty situps. Then, he jumped up from the floor and began to run in place. He pulled a rosary from the pocket of his fatigues and began to say the first decade of the rosary. The drumming of his feet on the floor echoed throughout the darkened house. Lillian put a pillow over her head and tried to cut out the noise and light, tried to resume sleeping, although she knew it was hopeless. Timing himself precisely, Bull quit running after he had said three decades.
He liked the idea of caring for his body at the same time he cared for his soul. No goldbricking this morning. The movers are going to meet us at the new house at I want to be on the road in fifteen minutes. To wake Mary Anne and Karen, he flicked on the light switches and watched as they The Great Santini 28 grabbed their eyes.
It was the way D. South Carolina is five hours away. The Japs are on the move again. Silently, he read off the names of some Georgia towns. Moultrie, Ocilla, Dahlonega, Jesup, Waycross. The whole state depressed him, the blue lines representing highways that intersected towns whose names and destinies were mysteries to him.
Southern towns choked with clay and grits. Black swamp towns who like injured horses ought to be shot and and buried. Alice Sole, sixty-three years old, struggled into the kitchen where her son-in-law sat. She was wearing a blue houserobe sprinkled with roses and chrysanthemums. Her face had been hastily made up into a mask of almost clownish flamboyance. The instincts of the military wife were beginning to assert themselves, the old efficiency of stealing away from temporary homes and entering the bloodstream of highways heading to new quarters.
She led them out the front door and down the steep driveway and into the family station wagon. The car was already packed. A luggage carrier strapped to the roof was piled high with trunks, suitcases, and whatever cargo Bull deemed necessary for the first few hours in their new house.
Ben and Matthew had flattened the back seats of the station wagon and inserted a double mattress so the children could sleep during the night journey through Georgia. In the kitchen, waiting for his wife to give the ready sign, Bull poured himself a cup of coffee, drank it black, and felt the heat surge into his belly and flood through his body.
The coffee burned into him, a dark transfusion that awakened him to his own desire to leave this house and set his eyes on long curves and highway signs. All of you children do that. You hear Mamaw. He knocks out a few of your teeth. You have a strict father and you have to adapt quickly.