Thursday, May 29, 2014

Book Review: The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy


In The Lords of Discipline, the author, Pat Conroy, takes the reader into the hallowed halls of the military college in South Carolina. Through the eyes and experience of a rebellious 18 year old male, Will McLean, the reader is exposed to the daily routines of training in a military college. It is tough, brutal and torturous. Will, the main character, becomes friends with three other roommates. They become blood brothers as they are determined to endure this terrorizing training for that ultimate prize, The Ring, which is bestowed on each graduate only if they survive.

Conroy sets the various scenes in each chapter in descriptive and, where necessary, graphic language. As a reader, Conroy lets you roam the streets in the “posh” side of town, befriend a mysterious girl and partake in the excesses of the rich living in that part of town. One of his roommates belongs there and hence Will is frequently invited to this part of town.

There is intrigue, ample acts of loyalty, betrayal and absolute horror in treatment of each other and by the seniors. Some do not survive, while others become changed men. Conroy, exposes the “secret gang” with unexpected surprises and outcomes.

Throughout the novel, Will is highlighted as the rebel who questions, defies and challenges the authorities as much as he can. The author brings in many reflections through Will; the type of reflections any reader would consider as you engage in this breathtaking novel.

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