Chuck's Reviews > A Separate Peace

A Separate Peace by John Knowles
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Feb 26, 11

Read in February, 2011

Set in an exclusive prep school during World War II, this leisurely novel explores the relationship between two adolescent boys. Cast as roommates, Gene -- the obedient intellectual narrator -- and Phineas ("Finney") -- the fearless embracer of carpe diem -- develop a close friendship that is tested in various ways after an accident occurs. In the aftermath, Gene is steeped in a sense of guilt that causes him to develop an unflattering theory about Finney, one that he revises several times before arriving at a settled and more generous interpretation in the book's closing pages. Knowles' story is OK, but for a much more compelling encounter with life at a boarding school I would opt for watching a rerun of Dead Poets Society.
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