Normally I prefer something to be illuminated in a one or two word description rather than buckets of prose. I’m not fond of poetry. (I know, GASP!) However Pat Conroy’s writing brings new heights to prose and poetry. This book details his basketball career at the Citadel.
Conroy’s lush descriptions and vivid emotional portrayals captivate you from word one. His soul searching and searing self condemnation bring new bloody wounds each time you turn a page. I’m not sure how I missed this book as I thought I had read everything he had written. I have reveled in each of his books even though so much of his writing is an in-depth, over the top depiction of numbing and brutal emotional torture.
I suspect that each book provides catharsis to a man who appears to have had a strife filled life. The bi-polar aspect of someone in love with life and literature is shadowed by the persona willing to accept ego crushing blows from parent and coach.
Conroy’s books smack of philosophy. His premise that his losing season taught him strength and character and allowed him to have a measurable counter-point for loss and gain seems to suggest that a life with out loss leaves one with no benchmark to measure ones successes. Regardless of his personal philosophic musings, his writing is simply beautiful. We all have self doubt, Conroy waves his at the world and tells us regardless of self doubt we can succeed in our endeavors. Having been a mediocre basketball player myself and by my own standards having a wonderful life, I found much in his book that resonated and chimed in my own batty belfry.
I highly recommend the book.