Reeling from a terrifying assault that has left him physically injured and psychologically shattered, nineteen-year-old Brad Land must also contend with unsympathetic local police, parents who can barely discuss the incident (as they call it), a brother riddled with guilt but unable to slow down enough for Brad to keep up, and the feeling that he ll never be normal again. Read more...
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Reeling from a terrifying assault that has left him physically injured and psychologically shattered, nineteen-year-old Brad Land must also contend with unsympathetic local police, parents who can barely discuss the incident (as they call it), a brother riddled with guilt but unable to slow down enough for Brad to keep up, and the feeling that he ll never be normal again.
When Brad s brother enrolls at Clemson University and pledges a fraternity, Brad believes he s being left behind once and for all. Desperate to belong, he follows. What happens there in the name of brotherhood, and with the supposed goal of forging a scholar and a gentleman from the raw materials of boyhood involves torturous late-night hazing, heartbreaking estrangement from his brother, and, finally, the death of a fellow pledge. Ultimately, Brad must weigh total alienation from his newfound community against accepting a form of brutality he already knows too well.
From the Hardcover edition."
Goat, a searing memoir from Brad Land, explores the brutality that is all too often a part of fraternity initiations at colleges around the county. The author19 years old at the time of the narrativeis no stranger to violence. Prior to entering college, he picked up a pair of hitchhikers who proceeded to kidnap, beat and rob him. To make Land's nightmare even worse, he got no compassion from the police, who seemed to believe he was somehow responsible for the episode. Still coming to terms with the incident as he joins his younger brother Brett at Clemson University, Land is ill-prepared to cope with the pressures of pledging Kappa Sigma, the group to which his brother already belongs. Yet he decides to go through with the initiation in the hope that entering a fraternity will help him fit in on campus and recover from his trauma. In the end, the bullying and harassment Land encounters as a "goat," or new pledge, is more than he can endure. When a fellow pledge dies of a heart attack after a particularly severe bout of hazing, Land knows it's time to move on. This is an honest, unflinching memoir, as well as a revealing look at college life. The difficulties of decision-making and the stress of dealing with peer pressure are sure to resonate with younger readers. Land also presents a sensitive and striking account of his troubled relationship with his brother. A reading group guide is available at www.thereaderscircle.com.