15—My Losing Season by Pat Conroy

In My Losing Season, Pat Conroy takes us through his senior year as a point guard for the Citadel, a military college in Charleson, SC.

The first part of the book sets the stage for the story. In this part Conroy gives us a brief overview of his early life and how he came to go to college at the Citadel. The last section of the book explains how he reconnected with his teammates and interviewed them for their remembrances of the games played during that season.

In the middle section, Conroy, the son of a physically and emotionally abusive father wallows in self-denial about his abilities. In describing the significant events of the games he continually denies his abilities on the court while at the same time telling us how he guided the team and how good he was at getting the ball to the open man as well as driving to the basket. He never lets us forget his role as the one who continually exhorts his team to get their act together.

Conroy's team ended the season with an 8 & 17 record. 

The losses, as Conroy describes them, are not so much a failure of the team as they are of a coach with less than adequate people skills and coaching abilities.

The game descriptions are essentially the same throughout this section. We would have been better served with less games and less pages (it got boring, after all, reading essentially the same account of a game with just the names changing).

At its core, this is an interesting look into the psyche of Conroy as well as the military life at the Citadel. It's just a tad redundant and too damn long.

© Surveyor of the Passing Scene