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A Separate Peace
A Separate Peace
Author: John Knowles
ISBN: 44434
Pages: 208
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Bantam
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed A Separate Peace on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Critics have praised this book as a "masterpiece," and "American classic" for decades. It has been a best-seller for over 30 years, and after reading it I understand the sales records and whole-heartedly agree with all the praise given. The setting is a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of WWII. The school creates their own private world, and the ways in which the war creeps slowly into their lives is both dark and moving. Dark moments of adolescence mimic the war, and I found myself drawn to the parallels of the current Iraq war. At only 200 pages it is a fast, and moving read.
reviewed A Separate Peace on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Required reading at my school that I found to be the most boring, dry and uninteresting books I have ever picked up.
AnitaC avatar reviewed A Separate Peace on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I also was required to read this book in high school. However, it was the only required reading that I really got into. I loved this book. It is one of only a few books that I re-read years later. I just really related to the characters. It is a wonderful book.
mimicthesky avatar reviewed A Separate Peace on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I really enjoyed this book. It had a slow start, but don't let that stop you from reading it.
wantonvolunteer avatar reviewed A Separate Peace on + 84 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Quick read, beautifully written, poignant, haunting coming of age about New England boarding school boys, at the onset of WWII. Narrated by Gene as an adult revisiting the Devon School, he tells the story about his best friend and roommate Phineas, and their complicated relationship. Gene is all awkward intellectualism and Phineas is outgoing, charming, athletic and beautiful. What transpires between the two is painful and powerful.
Read All 47 Book Reviews of "A Separate Peace"

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reviewed A Separate Peace on + 39 more book reviews
Read for class. I couldn't stay interested.
reviewed A Separate Peace on
Great story, great writing.
lovescoffee avatar reviewed A Separate Peace on + 50 more book reviews
I'm so glad I had to read this in high school! Knowles makes it so easy to see yourself and examine your own potential actions faced with the same situation. I enjoyed it enough to buy and read the sequel, Phineas.
reviewed A Separate Peace on + 43 more book reviews
This was required reading for my son when he was in high school. I also read it and thought it was very good.
sauk avatar reviewed A Separate Peace on + 2 more book reviews
I reread this well known novel, because I had forgotten completely what it was about, though I know I read it in high school, most likely. Interesting story, holds up very well over time, and I had a feeling that one of the boys would die, but didn't know who. I can see now why this is a classic - the exploration of dangerous parts of ourselves is well-illustrated in this tale of prep-school boys in 1942. From the descriptions of daily life and how things changed from 1942 to 1943, we get a taste of life in the early years of World War II.

Re-reading the last chapter, lots of deep thoughts on human nature, to ponder upon.
reviewed A Separate Peace on
I hadn't read this since high school. I read it again and didn't really like it. I found the book sad and the main character despicable.
lisareinke avatar reviewed A Separate Peace on + 123 more book reviews
A very good book about growing up. A true classic, and worth reading.
reviewed A Separate Peace on + 7 more book reviews
A classic novel for high school readers
reviewed A Separate Peace on + 49 more book reviews
Glad I read this old standard. Doesn't hold a candle to Catcher, though I felt that was the challenge Knowles felt.
reviewed A Separate Peace on + 30 more book reviews
The author writes about friendship in a challenging time period of youth and society. As you read the story the reader develops a yearning for the same feelings and challenges as the characters. Very influential book to absorb.
reviewed A Separate Peace on + 16 more book reviews
Great book, makes me want to read more of his work. Lots of momentum!
buzzby avatar reviewed A Separate Peace on + 6062 more book reviews
Adolescent coming of age story set in New Hampshire in 1942-1943. Reminded me of Brideshead Revisited.
reviewed A Separate Peace on + 495 more book reviews
A parable of the dark forces that brood over the tortured world of adolescence.
reviewed A Separate Peace on + 813 more book reviews
Phineas and Ferb Gene are prep-school cronies in the last years of WW II. Phineas is fearless, socially and physically; Gene is an academic and apprehensive. In a way, they compliment each other, yet there is an undercurrent of jealousy. The plot develops around a feat of daring-do: a leap into the river from a tree limb. Phineas is injured during one of these daredevil stunts: probably the fault of Gene. This event eventually causes them to share their qualities, but later leads to Phineas early death, and causes Gene to become a whole person. You should also read J. D. Salingers, Catcher in the Rye.

Book Wiki

Original Publication Date (YYYY-MM-DD)
Phineas (Finney) (Primary Character)
Gene Forrester (Primary Character)
Leper Lepellier (Major Character)
Brinker (Major Character)
The professors (Major Character)