Reader reviews for The Prince of Tides

Jimmy Buffett wrote a song called the "Prince of Tides" where he recites a quote from the book. At the time I did not know there was a book by this name and it took the movie comming out for me to realize the connection. I saw the movie and then read the book. I really liked the book. The tension in the family and with Lowenstien was very real. I loved the characters and the way Conroy tells the story.I have read the book twice an excellent read.
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This has long been one of my go-to books for reading & re-reading when I need something well-written & familiar. Pat Conroy has a beautiful way with language & tells a good story & this book is no exception.The narrator's family & the Carolina Low Country are the stars of the show in this book as Tom Wingo tries to tell the story of their past in an effort to save his sister from her suicidal tendencies. In the end, of course, he saves himself along with her (& maybe that's the point).I love the stories of the Wingo family & the dignity & humanity that Conroy gives every member. Yes, there is tragedy & darkness, but there is also eccentricity & humor & survival & love. There is nothing simple about these people & nothing simple about their stories. The creeping & awful dread that sits in the middle of the end of these stories is palpable throughout & painful to experience & behold.I still think Tom Wingo's a wonderful storyteller & an ineffectual chickenshit - that's what makes him tragic, I suppose. I still identify with his sister, Savannah, craziness & all. & I enjoyed this book yet again. It's always good to visit old friends.
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Exquisitely told story of a southern family and the individual problems/demons within. It is a virtual painting of a landscape and community filled with flaws, beauty, and quirks. The humor, the suspenseful (& sometimes horrific) events, and family relationships make this historically brief saga a satisfying story. But it’s the southern painting that really captured me.
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Good novel (the movie was bad - Streisand over-acted horribly).
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This is my all time favourite book. I absolutely adore Conroy's ability to write so simply and yet so evocatively. I fell in love with all of the characters and want to call my first child Savannah - seriously!
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Don't hold the film against the book. Rereading this I was reminded from the very first line why I loved it so much: My wound is geography. How can you not read on after a line like that one? And it's a fitting line, because the work does deal with two places as much as any human character: small town Colleton in lowcountry South Carolina and New York City--quintessential big city and its perfect foil. Tom Wingo, the narrator and protagonist must travel from where he lives in South Carolina to New York City where his sister lies in the hospital after her third suicide attempt. Their habitual greeting to each other after long separations? "What was your family life like, Savannah?" I asked, pretending I was conducting an interview."Hiroshima," she whispered."And what has life been like since you left the warm, abiding bosom of your nurturing, close-knit family?""Nagasaki," she said, a bitter smile on her face.That's fairly typical of the dialogue. Snappy, witty, with humor both hiding and expressing a lot of pain (even if sometimes a bit artificial). Tom tells Savannah's psychiatrist, Susan Lowenstein, their family history--to help his sister, but to help himself too. Through a great deal of flashback, we learn of the wounds inflicted on all three Wingo children, Tom, Savannah, and the lost Luke. It doesn't ever feel static though, but suspenseful, because we're engaged in the mystery rooted in the past of what damaged all of them. The central event away from the book does seem implausible, but I didn't feel that way reading it--every bit of the book is compulsively readable. The prose is often lyrical--the descriptions of lowcountry South Carolina read like prose poems. The story always engaging, its characters unforgettable--I zipped through its 679 pages. I've read and enjoyed other books by Conroy. I was assigned The Water Is Wide, his story about teaching poor kids in a one-room schoolhouse in high school, and The Lords of Discipline is a memorable mystery and portrait of a Southern military school modeled on The Citadel where Conroy went. I find Prince of Tides the most powerful and memorable of the Conroy books I've read though.
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I love Pat Conroy's masterful use of the language. This heartbreaking story of a man's tortured relationship with his mother and the damage she inflicts on her children is filled with humor, suspense, and a deep love of coastal South Carolina. A must-read.
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Pat Conroy is a master at lyrical prose that digs deep without letting go. At times it takes him awhile to get around and about but the path along the way is the reward. Its to be savored - and passages read again. This book was beautiful and horrifying at the same time. Tragic and yet there is hope.Conroy creates characters of such depth - that we totally understand and can empathize with even the most wretched of characters such as the father. And then there is the hardened mother, a survivor, who believed she was protecting her children and herself but truly wasn't - and we come to see that her "southern strength" is really her weakness. This book will haunt you. I think it speaks to the dark secrets many families carry and that no matter how tormented we are, we can forgive and overcome evils done to us to create a full life of love and contentment.
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This book was one of the first that I read in High School. It will stay with me forever. It reads like poetry and reminds me of home.
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Some wonderful writing but too much of the story seemed implausible to me. Also, as others have said, there were many plot lines just left hanging.My biggest problem with this book is that we are asked to believe that the father has instilled, through violence, a deep seated fear in his children and wife. Yet in nearly every scene the father seems to be the object of derision. This part of the story didn't work for me.
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