The Great Santini (novel)

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See also The Great Santini (film)
The Great Santini
First edition
Author Pat Conroy
Cover artist George Hall
Country United States
Language English
Genre Semi-autobiographical
Published 1976 Random House
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 536
ISBN 0-395-24297-5
OCLC 49408583
LC Class PS3553.O5198 G74 2006
Preceded by The Water is Wide
Followed by The Lords of Discipline

The Great Santini is a novel written by Pat Conroy and published in 1976.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

Hard-nosed Marine fighter pilot Lt. Col. Wilbur "Bull" Meecham calls himself "The Great Santini". He runs his family with a strict hand. In 1962 before the Vietnam War, the Meecham family struggles to fit into the Marine town of Beaufort, South Carolina where they are newcomers. Conroy makes the point that Santini is a warrior without a war, and in turn is at war alternately with the service that he loves and his family.

The novel explores main character Ben Meecham's growth into manhood, his experiences playing basketball for his high school, as well as his friendships with a Jewish classmate and an African-American farmer. The novel exposes the love-hate relationship between Ben and his father, and the lengths Ben goes to in an effort to win his father's acceptance and love.

Film adaptation[edit]

The novel was made into a film of the same name in 1979, starring Robert Duvall in the title role.[1]