The Great Santini: A Novel

The Great Santini: A Novel

Pat Conroy

Language: English

Pages: 512

ISBN: 0553381555

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Step into the powerhouse life of Bull Meecham. He’s all Marine—fighter pilot, king of the clouds, and absolute ruler of his family. Lillian is his wife—beautiful, southern-bred, with a core of velvet steel. Without her cool head, her kids would be in real trouble. Ben is the oldest, a born athlete whose best never satisfies the big man. Ben’s got to stand up, even fight back, against a father who doesn’t give in—not to his men, not to his wife, and certainly not to his son. Bull Meecham is undoubtedly Pat Conroy’s most explosive character—a man you should hate, but a man you will love.

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these goddam southern swamps.” “With the taking of the Lord’s name in vain, I suggest we now say a rosary for a safe trip,” Lillian announced. “Good idea. Then maybe everybody will quit yappin’.” Lillian opened the glove compartment and fumbled for her rosary beads. “I know they’re here somewhere,” she declared. “They’re those precious ivory beads your father bought me in Rome, Italy, blessed by Pope John the twenty-third.” “You haven’t lost ’em already for godsakes,” her husband grumbled.

Ben said in a high-pitched voice, sliding across the seat and throwing his arms around Sammy, “please take me someplace quick and screw my college brains out.” “Be serious, son,” Sammy said, knocking Ben’s arms off him. “Here, let me start it off,” he said, reaching into the pocket of his London Fog and producing a package of cigars. “Cigars!” Ben said retaining the girlish voice. “El Producto Cigars, my dear. I had them imported from Spain,” Sammy said suavely. “Cigars smell nasty and

“if any of your pilots need to go potty during the contest, some of my boys will take them to the men’s room and hold their hands.” “You sure that’s all they’ll hold?” “Stand by, fighter pilots,” the A-4 pilot barked, as Bull and Cecil grasped their first bottle. Out of the corner of his eye, Bull saw Beasley for the first time, and the only mystery to him was how he had gone so long without at least capturing a glimpse of the man. Beasley had pulled up another table and was standing on it,

afternoon paper’s supposed to have a big spread about the game.” “It’s in the living room,” his wife said. “Would you like me to make you a drink and send it in?” “Affirmative. Now let’s break up this little pow-wow and think about the big game.” “Daddy, I got an A in an English theme,” Karen said. “Would you like to read it?” “Naw, let your mother read it,” he said, leaving the kitchen. “All right, children. Why don’t all of you go do your homework so you’ll have it done by the time we

By the last four lines of the stanza, most of the Marines were on their feet. Others had mounted the tables and two of them screamed out their song from the top of the bar. It ended not as a song but as an anthem in defiance of death and in praise of the men who wore the wings of gold. It ended as a challenge flung into the face of the rider on the wings who rode with all pilots in all lands. The song was of affirmation and of witness. “As we stand near the ringing rafters The walls around

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