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.
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.
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.
I bought this book from a thrift store and decided to read it because it is considered a classic and the story sounded interesting to me. I started to read it but by the end of the 2nd chapter couldn't make it any farther, I couldn't get into the story.
No wonder why this is an American classic-I read it in High School, and again, years later. Still a fabulous book. Had a completely different perspective on it the second time I read it. The two main characters are intriguing, and the plot is also.
This book was required reading in 10th grade. I can honestly say that this book still holds the position for the worst book I have ever read 5 years later. I didn't care about what happened to any of the characters, and the writing was boring.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My son is reading this book for high school English, and is enjoying it. He was surprised when the teacher made a Monty Python reference/comparison, and has since found many more in the book. It is a story about youths and their school experiences, as well as war and afterwards and how school affects their whole lives. It is good for the current youths to read, and see that what they are doing now will affect them forever.
Interesting story of two boys in their last year of a private high school in New England in the early 1940's. Not quite sure why it is considered such a classic; may appeal more to male readers under 30 than it did to me.
Gene was a lonely introverted intellectual. Phineas was a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happened between them at school one sumer during the early years of WWII is the subject of a Seperate Peace.
Dark forces that bood over the tortured world of adolescence.
A classic that young and old can relate to. Gene and Phineas attend a boarding school in New England during WWII and become friends. Gene betrays Phineas out of jealousy and rivalry. Years later Gene is still trying to forgive himself as he recognizes the evil of the dark side of adolescence and the consequences of his jealousy. Book teaches a lesson about how boys can become both rivals and intimate friends but need to be wary of each other.
A review from Amazon.com:
This is an underappreciated classic that, while labelled as a children's book, resonates with you at any age. Set in the world of a boarding school, two friends contemplate the outbreak of war even as their bonds of friendship grow. Like great "young adult literature," the characters in this book ring absolutely true. And when tragedy strikes at the end of the novel, you will be stunned when adolescent bravery plunges into sadness.
Didn't read this, but it is about two boys and their complicated relationship with each other. Basic realism/fiction, moral tale of action/ consequence/ and redemption. Sometimes required reading for schools.
Gene was lonely, introverted, intellectual. Phineas was a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happened between them at school one summer during the early years of World War ii is the subject of A Separate Peace. A great bestseller for over twenty years - one of the most starkly moving parables ever written of the dark forces that brood over the tortured world of adolescence.
" 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." - Aubrey Menen
Gene was a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas was a handsome taunting, daredevil athlete. What happened between them at school one summer during the early years of World War 11 is the subject of this great bestseller for over twenty years. One of the most starkly moving parables ever written of the dark forces that brood over the tortured world of adolescence.