A Week of Dysfunctional Family Fiction

Greetings literary lovers, just in time for the holidays, I want to share with you some of my favorite dysfunctional family fiction selections. From David Sedaris to Pat Conroy, the South has always been fertile grounds for celebrating the glory that is the dysfunctional family. Enjoy!

The Great Santini by Pat Conroy

Ben Meechum is the 17-year-old son of a fierce Marine pilot, Colonel Wilbur “Bull” Meecham (aka the Great Santini), in whom Conroy has created one of the most fascinating, believable, and flat-out hilarious characters in literary history. But Bull is often an even fiercer father not afraid to hit his wife and children. The Meechum family have a love/hate relationship with their father – they want nothing but his approval and love yet often fear him more than respect him in the seemingly losing battle for affection. For Ben, this battle is that much harder as the oldest son of this very tough man. Ben believes in civility and respect, Bull in proving that you are the toughest son of a bitch around.

In this coming of age story, we observe Ben as he struggles with his conscience all the while trying to earn his father’s respect. This book contrasts family with friendship and addresses racial and social status issues set in early 1960s South Carolina. It is the story of a family that can do nothing right for their father and a father who cannot figure out how to convey his love for family without showing a crack in his tough Marine exterior.

Very few authors capture a reader’s attention and emotion like Pat Conroy. You will connect with the characters and be devastated when the book is finished. This is not casual, light reading but a profound work that will remain with you long after the close the book. This is Conroy’s first novel and I suggest you read it before his later memoir, My Losing Season. But no matter what Conroy novel you read, you will find yourself in the middle of fantastic storytelling.

Find and request The Great Santini in our catalog

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