The Great Santini (novel)

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See also The Great Santini (film)
The Great Santini
First edition
Author Pat Conroy
Country United States
Language English
Genre Semi-Autobiographical
Publisher Random House
Publication date
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.

Plot summary[edit]

The Great Santini tells the story of hard-nosed Marine fighter pilot Lt. Col. Wilbur "Bull" Meecham, who calls himself "The Great Santini," and the family he runs with a strict hand. It follows the Meecham family as they move to and struggle to fit into the Marine town of Beaufort, South Carolina. The book is set in 1962 before the Vietnam War. 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.

The novel is based on Conroy's own childhood experiences growing up in a military family. Conroy's own father, Donald Conroy, was the inspiration for "Bull" Meecham.

Film adaptation[edit]

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

External links[edit]