A Separate Peace  -     By: John Knowles
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A Separate Peace

Simon & Schuster / 2003 / Paperback

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Product Description

It would be inconceivable for an American author to write a coming-of-age novel in a comedic vein without reckoning with J. D. Salinger's A Catcher in the Rye; and it would be equally impossible to explore the genre in a tragic vein without taking account of John Knowles's A Separate Peace. In a way comparable perhaps oly to The Lord of the Flies, in England, this book looms over American literary imagination as both beacon and sentinel, enticing as many emulators by its extraordinary success as it discouraged by sheer magnificence of John Knowles's accomplishment. Season after season, coming-of-age novels are still published, as they will always be, but succeeding generations discover for themselves why A Separate Peace brooks no competitors. Set among a group of boys at a New England boarding school during World War II, it shines a light into the highest heights of beauty and the most profound depths of evil that young men are capable of reaching. At once harrowing and luminous, brooding, and bittersweet. A Separate Peace has captured as if in amber the experience of adolescence for millions of readers over four decades.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 226
Vendor: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2003
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.25 (inches)
ISBN: 0743253973
ISBN-13: 9780743253970

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Publisher's Description

An American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to World War II.

Set at a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is 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.

Author Bio

John Knowles, who died in 2001, was a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University, as well as a recipient of the William Faulkner Award and the Rosenthal Award of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

Editorial Reviews

Aubrey Menen I think it is the best-written, best-designed, and most moving novel I have read in many years. Beginning with a tiny incident among ordinary boys, it ends by being as deep and as big as evil itself.
National Review A masterpiece.
The Observer A model of restraint, deeply felt and beautifully written.
Warren Miller Mr. Knowles has something to say about youth and war that few contemporary novelists have attempted to say and none has said better.

Product Reviews

4 Stars Out Of 5
4 out of 5
4 out Of 5
(4 out of 5)
4 out Of 5
(4 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4 out Of 5
(4 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    An interesting read
    December 24, 2011
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This review was written for A Separate Peace.
    In the middle of World War II, Gene and Phineas are coming into their last year of high school. Roommates, away at boarding school, they find themselves growing closer over the summer session. As Gene tries to find himself, he also senses a rivalry building between him and his friend. After a serious accident (or was it an accident after all?) neither of the boys will ever be the same.

    This is an interesting read; seeing how the idea of being drafted or the decision to enlist into the military affects these boys. Especially since we no longer have the draft here, even in times of war most people don't think about the military very often. Gene's journey is interesting as well. He's telling this story, so we understand everything from his perspective. You get to see his inner struggles and get insight into his reactions, which you sometimes want to smack him for_ or maybe that's just me. Overall, it's pretty good. I would suggest reading it at least once.
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