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Extended Audio Sample The Prince of Tides Audiobook, by Pat Conroy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (19,343 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Pat Conroy Narrator: Frank Muller Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2009 ISBN: 9781441807892
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Told through the point of view of Tom Wingo, The Prince of Tides is a classic study of a Southern family, the intensity of characters caught up in family conflicts and guilt, and the far-reaching psychological effects visited upon children from dysfunctional relationships in their formative years.

The novel takes place in Manhattan, where Tom Wingo has been summoned to help his comatose twin sister, Savannah, recover from yet another suicide attempt. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Susan Lowenstein, believes Tom can help Savannah by pulling up events from their past and finally divulging secrets from one fateful, secret day Savannah could not fully confront in past psychiatric sessions.

Tom has been affected by the same past events as his sister, having lost his job as a high school teacher and coach after having a nervous breakdown of his own.

The events of the novel seesaw back and forth from present-day Manhattan to the childhood and adolescent days of Tom, Savannah and their older brother Luke as they attempt to live as normal a life as possible, despite the discord between their father, Henry Wingo, and mother, Lila. The family grew up in isolated Melrose Island, off Charleston, South Carolina, where Tom tried one business deal after another while eking out a living as a shrimper.

Desiring a higher-class social life, Lila's continual harangue and infliction of guilt upon everyone within hearing distance also laid down psychological scars within her children.

The novel takes listeners through a heart-breaking Southern tale as Tom attempts to save the life of his sister, and ends up saving his own life as well as that of Dr. Lowenstein in the process.

American writer Pat Conroy was born in 1945 in Atlanta, Georgia and currently Conroy resides in Fripp Island, South Carolina. The first of seven children born to a career military officer father and a mother from Alabama, Conroy credits his family upbringing with much of the background for his novels.

Conroy attended The Citadel Military Academy in Charleston at his father's insistence. He later taught English in Beaufort, South Carolina and continued to work his teaching experiences into his novels.

Throughout his career, Conroy's life figures into his partly autobiographical novels. His love of the English language is apparent to any fan of Conroy, many of whom love it just as much as he does.

PAT CONROY has created a huge, brash thunderstorm of a novel, stinging with honesty and resounding with drama. Spanning forty years, this is the story of turbulent Tom Wingo, his gifted and troubled twin sister Savannah, and their struggle to triumph over the dark and tragic legacy of the extraordinary family into which they were born. Filled with the vanishing beauty of the South Carolina low country as well as the dusty glitter of New York City, The Prince of Tides is PAT CONROY at his very best. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A big, sprawling saga of a novel…the kind you hole up with and spend some days with and put down feeling you have emerged from a terrible, wonderful spell.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A masterpiece.”

    Detroit Free Press

  • “This is a powerful book…Conroy is a master of language.”

    Atlanta Journal

  • “Reading Pat Conroy is like watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel.”

    Houston Chronicle

  • “A seductive narrative, told with bravado flourishes, portentous foreshadowing, sardonic humor, and eloquent turns of phrase…Some readers may find here a pale replica of Robert Penn Warren’s powerful evocation of the Southern myth; others may see resemblances to John Irving’s baroque imaginings. Most, however, will be swept along by Conroy’s felicitous, often poetic prose, his ironic comments on the nature of man and society, his passion for the marshland country of the South and his skill with narrative.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Conroy has achieved a penetrating vision of the Southern psyche in this enormous novel of power and emotion.”

    Library Journal

  • “It is the reluctance of Tom to tell all, to recount rather than recreate his family’s past, and to face up to the Wingos’ mutual rejections that maintain the tension just below the story’s surface. It is Tom’s coming clean about his past that lays bare the truth and elevates Prince of Tides above a scintillating bestseller.”

    School Library Journal

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 2/18/2014

    " Very good book! Kept my interest and enjoyed the story line. Recommend! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kathleen Cross | 2/11/2014

    " Kind of boring-did not enjoy how it was written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly Boone | 2/6/2014

    " Enjoyed it but it did have some inconceivable moments. Loved the newspaper boy descriptions early on!! Made me want to visit charleston sc "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 2/5/2014

    " Beautifully written in the best tradition of southern authors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie Lewandowski | 2/3/2014

    " This is the first book I have read by him and I really enjoyed it. Very different than I had expected. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mich | 1/30/2014

    " Had a helluva time with this one and bc of that I still don't know what I think of it. Let's just say beach music was by far my fav of his! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan Blexrud | 1/30/2014

    " Even the greatest authors aren't consistently great. Maybe that's why I write novellas. I quit before I get to the sagging middle. I consider Pat Conroy a great writer, but his strength is in narration and description, not dialogue. To me, all the characters sound alike...equally snarky. That said, I really enjoyed this book, particularly the sections of the protagonist growing up in the Holy City (did you know that's Charleston's moniker?), and the search for Trevor in San Francisco. Conroy's prose is lyrical when he tells the story of the porpoise near the end of the book, and I must say that there were more than a few surprises that I hadn't seen coming. I highly recommend South of Broad if you're planning a trip to Charleston or have recently returned. I share Conroy's love affair with this spectacular town. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dennis Billuni | 1/13/2014

    " As usual Pat Conroy spins a story that is compelling and a delight to read. I didn't want it to end. The characters are vivid, some loveable, some you love to hate. It has jaw-dropping moments and moments that make you want to cry. I'm putting on my Top Ten list of books I've read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kahdma53 | 1/13/2014

    " Was not crazy about this book!! He has written better ones to me! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda Sable | 1/2/2014

    " This book is really a wonderful read. The author, Pat Conroy has an incredible command of the English language and the story is captivating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 12/23/2013

    " It took awhile to get into, but once I did, I remained riveted until I finished. Wonderful character development. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill Sardina | 12/8/2013

    " Took a while to get into it. Once it got going it was very good. A little hard to believe at times, but enjoyable. Great ending. Tied up a lot of loose ends "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abby | 12/6/2013

    " Slightly far fetched, deliciously dripping with words, rich (if slightly off-putting) characters. But the bits that read like a love letter to Charleston made up for it. I'm a Pat Conroy fan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Halina | 12/6/2013

    " Absolutely Fabuulous,a pleasure to read, such a rich world and unforgettable characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don Campbell | 12/3/2013

    " A song to Indra's Net. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane Large | 11/26/2013

    " I like Pat Conroy. His characters are complete. You know them inside out. I love Charleston and when he describes the homes and streets, I'm right there with him. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Delia | 9/29/2013

    " I couldn't finish this... it started so well; I got wrapped up in Conroy's writing, and a death in the character's family seemed to be setting up for an exciting story, and then it just spun out of control. Heavy-handed and trite. Too bad! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teri | 9/10/2013

    " The story of friends who meet in high school and share close bonds during their lives. Lots of quirky characters and enough danger to make it exciting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin Lees | 6/26/2013

    " Would've given it five had the content not been a little hard for me to go through. Loved the long-standing friendships through life! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 6/26/2012

    " I really enjoyed how the story kept moving. There were a lot of characters so I had to remind myself early on how they were connected to one another, but eventually I knew them. It is a good book to take to the beach or on vacation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 6/26/2012

    " Southern Suspense. Based in Charleston and other S.C towns. Easy read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carla | 3/3/2012

    " Great story. I love the timeline of the story. the incorporation of true events (hurricane hugo). the "radical" story of the south's coming of age regarding bigotry. great vocabulary and very eloquent "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 1/13/2012

    " I almost gave up because the start was very, very slow. It took Conroy 13 chapters to set the stage but after that a very good story ensues. A very, very good complicated intelligent aware important story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca Roycroft | 12/24/2011

    " Loved it!! Well written and loved all the various story lines. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christy | 12/5/2011

    " Not my favorite, but I still loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simone | 11/22/2011

    " Interesting Conroy as usual. Reminded me of my mother, especially when the mother enters the convent after her husband died. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 5/23/2011

    " A bit slow at times, but Conroy's writing is so good it makes the story fly by "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 5/21/2011

    " Love the way he writes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 5/20/2011

    " this guy can really, really write. The first couple of paragraphs were just exposition, but it was like poetry. Unfortunately, the it was largely immoral in theme. Plotting, pacing made it hard to put down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Apple | 5/17/2011

    " Absolutely hands-down my favorite book ever. I first read it when I was 11 or 12, way too young to read it, but it captivated me at once with it's lyrical, poetic prose and haunting story. Love, love, LOVE this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 B. Barda | 5/12/2011

    " One of the most intense books I've ever read. I was engrossed and emotional throughout the entire thing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Blakely | 5/10/2011

    " My favorite book of all time! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chance | 5/10/2011

    " Take my rating with a caveat. My teeth hurt from the sentimental dribble. The prose was too flowery and author-y. Perhaps the novel got better, since so many people enjoyed it, but I found it too annoying to finish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doreen | 5/10/2011

    " I loved this book. Good Southern writing that echoes the emotional tenor of alcoholic homes everywhere. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joan | 5/10/2011

    " Our travels in coastal Fl, GA, SC led me to download this book. I read it years ago but am enjoying this rereading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susanna | 5/8/2011

    " Good read but took longer than anticipated. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lori | 5/4/2011

    " Can you say you read it if you quit halfway through? This was the worst, most depressing book I've ever read. I kept thinking it would get better, but eventually I gave up. Yuck "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren | 5/1/2011

    " This is my ALL-time favorite novel. He writes with such beautiful and descriptive prose, that he transcends me to S. Carolina and and the streets of NYC. I had never wanted to visit S. Carolina before this novel.
    I have recommended this book to everyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 4/26/2011

    " Character development was great. The story is set up similar to "East of Eden" by Steinbeck. Also very entertaining and extremely intense at some points. "

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About the Author
Author Pat Conroy

Donald Patrick “Pat” Conroy (1945–2016) was an American author of acclaimed novels and memoirs, two of which made it to #1 on New York Times bestsellers list: Beach Music and South of Broad. Four of his novels were made into major motion pictures: The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, Conrack, and The Lords of Discipline. The novel on which the movie Conrack was based, The Water Is Wide, won an NEA Human and Civil Rights Award and an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.

About the Narrator

Frank Muller (1951–2008) was an Audie and Earphones Award–winning narrator. A classically trained actor, Frank appeared on both television and the stage. His credits include Hamlet, The Crucible, The Taming of the Shrew, The Importance of Being Earnest, Law & Order, All My Children, and many, many more. In 1999 Frank was awarded the AudioFile Lifetime Achievement Award, the top honor in the audiobook community.