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A Good School

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  1,345 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
Richard Yates, who died in 1992, is today ranked by many readers, scholars, and critics alongside such titans of modern American ficiton as Updike, Roth, Irving, Vonnegut, and Mailer.

In this work, he offers a spare and autumnal novel about a New England prep school. At once a meditation on the twilight of youth and an examination of America's entry into World War II, A Goo
Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 7th 2001 by Picador (first published 1978)
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Oct 04, 2012 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa
Una buona scuola è una scuola che ti prepara alla vita, alle lotte, ai sacrifici, alle sconfitte, ai colpi vietati e alle cadute che troverai più in là, quando verrai catapultato fuori. La Dorset Academy è una buona scuola: tra le sue mura gli studenti , un microcosmo fatto di cameratismo e di solidarietà ma anche di esaltazione dell’individualismo, con conseguente spirito di rivalsa e di emulazione, affrontano l’adolescenza con il caos emotivo che la caratterizza e si preparano alle vicende dol ...more
Sometimes it seemed that he couldn’t really consider Britt a friend – how could anything as warm and sloppy as friendship apply to an ice-cold perfectionist like Britt? – but he had to acknowledge that Britt was still the one person in the world whose approval he wanted most. And there were signs that he might soon win it, if he watched his step and didn’t fall into dumb stuff like asking if The Brothers Karamazov was any good.
Or take Lear, whose rich English accent, when he was called upon t
Adam Floridia
Sep 28, 2009 Adam Floridia rated it it was amazing
Reading Yates’ writing is like ambling along a country road on a slow Sunday afternoon. With no set destination, you merely admire the changing, cascading fall leaves, feeling deeply a sense of loss yet at the same time enraptured in the profound beauty of life. Yates’ sentences are often long and winding, but they are, at the same time, smooth and soothing—you never get lost in them; you just travel along and enjoy them. This holds true for the novel as a whole, too. With no real plot, the pure ...more
Feb 18, 2010 Cecily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada-and-usa
Sadly, the weakest Yates I have read, though it was written roughly in the middle of his writing career.

This is more overtly autobiographical than his others (though all are heavily based on aspects of his life): it is the story of an awkward, not very academic 15 year old boy joining a prep school and it is topped and tailed by the boy "Grove" (i.e. Yates) explaining why he went there and what happened afterwards. In fact, the introduction was the best section: quirky, personal, poignant and wi
Feb 16, 2010 Peter rated it really liked it
I was hovering between 3 and 4 stars with this one. 3 because I thought, simply, the book was a little too short. There are so many interesting characters in these pages: an alcoholic cuckold with polio, a lonely prep school newspaper editor, a womanizing french teacher, a lone pretty teenage girl on an all-boys campus. And the list goes on. They all get their moments, but I could have read some meatier chapters about all of them.

That said, this book had a slow burning power over me. It seems,
Aug 04, 2011 Diane rated it really liked it
A Good School, Dorset Academy in Connecticut, is the setting for this very short novel -- just 178 pages and seven chapters long. The school is an all male prep school on the brink of financial disaster. The story takes place around the time World War II began. From what I've read about the author, Richard Yates, this novel seems to be the most autobiographical of those I've read: Revolutionary Road, The Easter Parade and Disturbing the Peace.

The first person narrator, we learn as we read, is Wi
Jun 03, 2010 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
A good school. What do such inane statements mean? Yates explores exactly what goes on behind the facade of such places, from gang masturbatory attacks to failed suicides. All of his trademarks are here; jumping from third person omniscient to third person limited, sometimes within the same sentence, focusing on subjective inequalities and anxieties. A generation of men, unwittingly bred for war. It's all beautifully bleak and at the same time so reassuring. When I read yates I know that someone ...more
Mad Dog
Jan 15, 2010 Mad Dog rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Literary types that like coming of age stories
"Positive" Yates. I am a sucker for 'coming of age' stores and I really like Yates, so this book was in my wheelhouse. I was rooting hard for the main character and many of the other characters in this book. This is a "rooting for the characters" kind of book. And Yates kept me from rooting against the 'bad guys' (which is a heck of a writing skill considering that most writers have you 'hating' the bad guys). And everything (as usual with Yates) rings so true to me.
Jan 14, 2014 Nickie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 out of 4 stars, purely because although I really enjoyed it, his other books are better and I know you're avidly looking at my ratings to inform what you should read and I would hate for you to opt for this as your gateway as opposed to say Eleven Kinds of Loneliness which I would pretty much give 9 billion stars to if I could. A galaxy.
André van Dijk
De boog van Yates staat niet altijd gespannen

Uitgeverij De Arbeiderspers komt opnieuw met een boek van de herontdekte Amerikaanse schrijver Richard Yates. Zijn grotendeels autobiografische romans worden gekenmerkt door een dramatische psychologische ontwikkeling tussen personages in ontwrichte verhoudingen. In Een goede school doet hij dat minder nadrukkelijk.

De vertaling van Revolutionary Road in 2003 zette Richard Yates (1926-1992) definitief op de Nederlandse kaart. De daaropvolgende verfil
Richard Yates' fifth novel (his first is the well-known Revolutionary Road) is an anchronistic work of staunch realism written during the turbulent era of the post-modernistic late 1970s. He writes defiantly against those newer authors in this nevertheless slight work of nostalgic fictionalized autobiography. It makes no great impression on the reader, flitting into his mind easily and departing quickly. Yates uses a large cast of teenage characters, uncomfortably and stereotypically differentia ...more
Feb 26, 2009 James rated it really liked it
When I reviewed Richard Yates' novel Revolutionary Road I wrote that it was "a perfectly-written book" and "a modern classic in the true sense of the word." In his novel A Good School, published seventeen years later, I found a classic of a different sort in that I believe in this later work he captured a certain spirit of place and time perfectly. Even though the book did not seem to me as being perfect in writing style, the economy of Yates' prose still impressed me. Even more striking was his ...more
Stephen Curran
An unfocused novella with a brilliant epigraph: "Draw your chair up close / To the edge of the precipice / And I'll tell you a story" (F Scott Fitzgerald)

Kicking off with a Foreword featuring a version of a character familiar from many other Richard Yates books - based on the author's own mother - it then moves on to a boarding school, where we are stutteringly introduced to a cast of characters far too large for a story of just 169 pages. It is, as usual, a thinly disguised autobiography, and m
Feb 02, 2016 Librofilia_it rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A.A.A. tranquilli che il titolo del libro in questione non ha nulla a che vedere con quello squallido piano governativo renziANO di qualche anno fa.

La verità è che, quando ti imbatti e ti innamori di uno scrittore e di una scrittura potente come quella di Richard Yates, non vorresti abbandonarlo per nulla al mondo e dunque: nuova lettura, nuova recensione, di un libro che in molti ritengono come "il più fiacco dell'intera produzione yatesiana" ma che invece a me è piaciuto abbastanza, a tal punt
Reminds me of Cold Spring Harbour. Too many character perspectives but I think this one will stick with me more. It's a good book (see what I did there?) but definitely not his best.
Feb 02, 2009 Jesse rated it liked it
and another half star for good measure because, without a doubt, richard yates is one of the best prose writers america has seen in the last 50 years. however, "a good school" is a testament to the debilitating power of alcoholism. with "revolutionary road" and "eleven kinds of loneliness", yates had produced the prerequisite great novel, in tandem with the piercing short stories, that is required to be considered for canonical status. yet, yates had trouble with the alcohol, and this - in turn ...more
Oct 24, 2014 Piperitapitta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Avevo gi�� deciso di assegnargli tre stelline, non perch�� non fosse scritto bene, Richard Yates in questo senso �� una garanzia, quanto piuttosto perch�� l'ambientazione in un collegio maschile degli Stati Uniti negli anni Quaranta non era riuscita a creare alcuna sorta di empatia durante la lettura.
Da una parte per�� era anche vero, come spiegato anche nell'introduzione e nella bellissima premessa scritta dallo stesso Yates - leggerle dopo aver letto Bugiardi e innamorati �� impressionante per
Jun 10, 2014 Joe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
The author, (Revolutionary Road), takes a trip down memory lane – from my minimal research this novel is somewhat autobiographical – into the world of a Connecticut boys’ boarding school. The story begins in 1941, on the eve of America’s entry into World War II. The financially strapped “good school” of the title - Dorset Academy – was founded by a now aging, and at best, “eccentric” widow. The academy is also a magnet for “unique” individuals – A faculty that has trouble finding employment else ...more
Feb 11, 2017 Gabe added it
Revolutionary Road and The Easter Parade are two of the best novels I've ever read, and A Good School can't match those two, primarily because of the decision to make this an ensemble cast of ten or so characters (you get close third on one character for a few pages, then the narrative jumps to the next), rather than focusing on one or two primary characters, as Yates does in Revolutionary Road and The Easter Parade. The result is what comes across as a lighter work, with less memorable characte ...more
Feb 19, 2017 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
it is a good read. I wished it would have been an extra 100 pages longer. the characters are great, but I wanted more development in their stories.
Nov 15, 2010 Karenina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
Un Yates in apparenza meno cinico, quasi sentimentale, ripercorre gli anni dell’adolescenza in una scuola pseudo alternativa scelta dalla “solita” madre in cerca di riscatto sociale. Gli anni sono quelli della seconda guerra mondiale, presenza incombente nel romanzo che narra le vicende di un gruppo di ragazzi in un college americano di provincia, con i suoi riti di appartenenza e i piccoli/grandi drammi di ogni adolescenza; attorno a loro il mondo accademico con le sue piccinerie, le crisi di c ...more
May 03, 2014 Cruna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
E tre. "Revolutioonary Road", "Easter Parade" e adesso "Una buona scuola".

Se Easter Parade è un romanzo tutto femminile, Una buona scuola, dedicato al padre, e svolto in un collegio maschile, è il suo opposto.
è un fatto singolare che "prologo" e "conclusione" sembrino scritti da Grove (il personaggio-protagonista, anche se Yates costruisce anche in questo libro un labirinto di punti di vista e relativi portavoce-protagonisti) in riferimento a Yates e non viceversa.
Ancora una volta i riferimenti
Oct 28, 2014 Antonia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20th-century
The story is set shortly before and during WWII and it is focused on a group of students from a boarding school and their teachers. The book examines their relationships and the situation during the war. The Forward and the Afterward are narrated in 1st person by William Grove, the protagonist, whereas the other seven chapters are written in 3rd person and follow various characters (Grove included) as they struggle with the inability to sexually express themselves and establish their own identit ...more
Aug 29, 2011 Ruth rated it liked it
c1978. I seem to recall that this book appeared on my radar as part of the tedious process of transferring and checking my books from Visual Bookshelf (thanks for that by the way!!!!) onto Goodreads. I am glad that I was diverted from my task as this was a great read. The Times is quoted as saying "A magnificent writer" and indeed, his writing is plain, evocative, and sometimes, shocking. And I mean in the manner of the plot rather than any brutality and blood etc.. The characters quickly become ...more
Dec 09, 2008 Martin rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008books
Almost too slight for its own good, this, the second novel I have read by Richard Yates, is as lovely and insightful a piece of writing as "Revolutionary Road." Yet it is nowhere as good. While the comparison is almost certainly unfair, having read both novels in recent enough proximity to each other, it's also inevitable.

"A Good School" has all the cold and cutting observational quality that made "Revolutionary Road" such a -- if you'll pardon the repetition -- revelation. But "A Good School" a
Apr 10, 2013 Boziswelt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: neuste-literatur
Es ist ein autobiographischer Roman über die Schulzeit in einer "komischen" Schule, kurz vor dem zweiten Weltkrieg. Es ist eine Privatschule, die gar nicht wirklich so gut war, aber eine Ansammlung von verschiedener Persönlichkeiten und Charakteren. Den Kindern wurde erlaubt sich frei zu entfalten, auch wenn die Schule lange nicht alle Möglichkeiten angeboten hatte. Kritisch betrachtet werden die Lehrer, von denen die meisten eher als Looser dargestellt werden.
Die Geschichte ist dennoch sehr sc
May 23, 2012 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Io non voglio soldi, voglio lettori"

(Richard Yates)

Inizierei dicendo che Yates ha appena conquistato una nuova lettrice.

I temi di "Una buona scuola" sono quelli che io amo di più, l'adolescenza, il percorso di crescita di un giovane uomo e la presa di coscienza di quelle passioni che dureranno una vita intera. E fin qui ci siamo. Eppure non sarebbe bastato senza questa scrittura così realistica e appuntita, che mi ha raccontato una scuola vera, con persone terribilmente imperfette, a volte di
Jennifer Campaniolo
Apr 21, 2009 Jennifer Campaniolo rated it liked it
This was a welcome departure from the usual themes Yates is known for--post-World War II, suburban-angst. In A Good School, we're on the cusp of the Second World War, in a down-at-the-heels boarding school for boys in Connecticut--Dorset Academy. The main character--and I'm going to go out on a limb and say he's probably a facsimile of the author as a teenager--is William Grove, a slight, socially-awkward kid who becomes the whipping boy of the other, more popular students. Other characters incl ...more
Simon Reid
I've read several of Yates' novels and short stories now, and this was middling by his standards. It compresses his own experiences of boarding school into an awkwardly short novel.

Yates flits so quickly between the masters and pupils and a few peripheral figures that they all feel very loosely drawn. There's an auspicious set-up – the new French teacher 'Frenchy la Prade' seducing the wife of a polio-surviving English master, Dorset Academy's impending financial ruin, Grove (cipher for Yates)
Dettie Leestafel
Een dag voor het lezen van dit boek zag ik de aangrijpende film Revolutionary Road. Dat boek had ik lange tijd geleden al gelezen maar de film had meer impact dan het boek. Misschien dat dit mijn indruk over het boek 'Een goede school' heeft beïnvloed.

'Een goede school' is een goed geschreven en onderhoudend boek maar haalt het niet bij Revolutionary Road. Het verhaal beslaat een jaar uit het leven van de leerkrachten en leerlingen op de Dorset Academy, een kostschool maar er zijn teveel persona
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Richard Yates shone bright upon the publication of his first novel, Revolutionary Road, which was nominated for the National Book Award in 1961. It drew unbridled praise and branded Yates an important, new writer. Kurt Vonnegut claimed that Revolutionary Road was The Great Gatsby of his time. William Styron described it as "A deft, ironic, beautiful novel that deserves to be a classic." Tennessee ...more
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