Book Review: ‘A Separate Peace’: John Knowles

Posted on August 5, 2010

I’ll never know what it was like to be a 16 year old boy in America in 1942, but I have a pretty doggone good idea, having read ‘A Separate Peace’. Honestly I considered not even writing this review. Seriously? What can I add to the tomes of gushing critique? Not much really. If you are a male, over the age of 15, and you have not read this, you would be well advised to do so.

Gene Forester, our protagonist, is a very smart boy who attends the Devon School in New England. He rooms with another boy, seemingly his opposite, named Phineas. Between the two lies almost every archetype of boyhood that you can imagine. However, this friendship and its boundaries are to be tempted and tested by a simple ‘accident’ that sets the tone for the boys’ march to manhood.

The book, despite its brevity is touching and very thoughtful. I can’t believe it took me so long to pick it up. That’s all I have to say. Check it out for yourself. I guarantee you or someone you know already has this, because it is an undisputed American classic.

A Separate Peace


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