A Separate Peace


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An American coming-of-age tale during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to the second world war Set at a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peaceis a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.

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Jul 18, 2013

Thought provoking

I'm about 1/4 into the book and it's definitely a good read. This is my first John Knowles; I like his style of writing.

jeff k

Oct 3, 2011

A Simple Classic

The laughable thing about most of the negative comments posted here, among other things, is that these faux critics believe that a novel is important only if the character is "likable". What nonsense! The character Gene Forrester may or may not be a likable character, but he is completely believable.

I would argue that Gene's struggle with loyalty, jealousy, remorse, and sorrow are more than believable--they're part of the WWII era that marked top students for the top positions in many aspects of American life in commerce, law, education, and the military.

For those who cannot get out of their own heads, I'm sure that the story was "boring" or "unlikable" but that is due to your own limitations.

The book is flawlessly written and captures both the time period and the coming of age feel for young men who understand the pressure of competition and the real fear of not living up to high expectations. The novel is a classic and will remain so unless the spurious notion of "likability" becomes the new currency for rating high works of art.

None of the critics here could touch Knowles' ability.

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