Goat: A Memoir

Goat: A Memoir

Brad Land

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 0812969685

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Soon to be a major motion picture starring Nick Jonas, this searing memoir of fraternity culture and the perils of hazing provides an unprecedented window into the emotional landscape of young men.

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.

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balance and I have to be very still so I won’t puke. Tom wins. Justin loses. Runs to the bathroom. Mackie loses. Wipes his mouth after the shot. What? he says and he’s all calm like he just drank water. Rick calls us all pussies. Except for Mackie. So fuck you, man, Brett says, your turn. Slams the deck. All right, Rick says, bring it on, and Brett throws him a card. Jack. Low, Rick says, and the next card’s high (queen) and then he’s bringing the shot up to his mouth, gold in the light,

Drink, fucker, Wes says. He points at Ben. Drink you fat fuck, he says. Ben stares across the table. Fat? he says. He draws a circle on the table with his index finger. My dick’s fat, he says. He lifts the beer to his mouth. Looks over at Wes again. Don’t call me fat you bony bitch, he says. Wes and the girl both laugh. Chance rubs his forehead and reaches over into my shirt pocket. Pulls out my cigarettes, shakes one into his mouth, drops them back into my pocket. Thanks, he says. It’s

me and I am a quivering breathless child. Late in the afternoon I dress in a navy blue sport coat (the only one I own), a white oxford shirt that fits loosely on my shoulders, a red tie and brown loafers. This is what we’re supposed to wear. Personal appearance is important. The pledge master tells us that he doesn’t want to see any fucking sloppy pledges and that brown shoes are correct, white or blue shirts are correct, solid or striped ties are correct, but, above all, he doesn’t want to see

from my mouth mixes with the mud and standing water. Painted red and brown I am a ghost. My face, my arms, my clothes are covered. Inside the ditch tall grass wraps my shoulders, my arms, my neck. I am standing in water up to my ankles. My feet sink into mud. Over the edge, through grass, I can see the road strewn with granite. The moon lights the granite’s sharp faces and they shine, sparkle like a long bed of jewels reaching out in both directions into black. Behind me the woods are thick and

* Acknowledgments Thank you. Kenneth and Nancy Land. The most amazing parents. Brett and Matthew, who are also Lands, and also the best ever. Howell and Land grandparents. All of whom told me to do what I wanted. Mark and Pat and Zelle and Wilson Land and all their horses and dogs and fields. Deborah and Dow and Elizabeth and Julie Stanley. All other derivations of aunt, uncle and cousin, of which there are many. These people helped a whole lot. Sarah Messer, Laura Ford, Jason McLeod,

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