Saturday, January 14, 2006

A Separate Peace, by John Knowles

I always wondered what book the students are reading from at the end of Sideways and now I know! It's this one! It was in the Young Adult section of the library (and Miles was an eighth-grade teacher in the movie) so it is obvious not Ulysses-level reading difficulty. Still, far from simple.

A Separate Peace is a somewhat spare story of two boys at a boarding school, and the Summer That Changed Everything. Spare, as I said, but with a great deal of depth and insight into the characters of the two boys, Gene and Phineas. Quick but thought-provoking; a book I probably would have enjoyed even in eighth grade, although who knows? I enjoyed this one.

""All of them, all except Phineas, constructed at infinite cost to themselves these Maginot Lines against this enemy they thought they saw across the frontier, this enemy who never attacked that way-if he ever attacked at all; if he was indeed the enemy." (Page 196)

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