- ISBN-13: 9780812969689
- ISBN-10: 0812969685
- Publisher: Random House Trade
- Publish Date: March 2005
- Page Count: 224
- Dimensions: 8.08 x 5.24 x 0.54 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.38 pounds
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.