An American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to the second world war. Set at a boys’ boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world. A bestseller for more than thirty years, A Separate Peace is John Knowles’s crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic.
ISBN: 9780743253970
A Separate Peace
Description: An American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to the second world war. Set at a boys’ boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world. A bestseller for more than thirty years, A Separate Peace is John Knowles’s crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic.
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Praise

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“I am tempted to say that A Separate Peace is wasted on the young. There is so much that you may not notice when you first read this book. What an extraordinary writer, sentence by sentence, John Knowles is. How he knows exactly the right moment to deliver an unforgettable line. How—when you’re no longer a teenager—you realize that this is as much a war novel as it is a novel about adolescence. Yet without this deep back story, Knowles couldn’t have created in the story of Finny and Gene our abiding archetype of boarding school pranks and insouciance, and the standard against which all boarding school novels will always be measured. Young and old, we envy the exalted freedom these boys enjoy before the war (even if that war turns out to be adulthood) bears down on them."

 

—KATHRYN KRAMER,

author of Missing History: The Covert Education of a Child of the Great Books

 

 

“A novel that made such a deep impression on me at sixteen that I can still conjure the atmosphere in my fifties: of yearning, infatuation mingled indistinguishably with envy, and remorse”

 

—LIONEL SHRIVER,

author of We Need to Talk About Kevin

 

 

"Unforgettable…A deeply moving coming of age story, set against the backdrop of war…[that] explores what it means to have a true friend, and to be a true friend; how some friendships mold us, stamp us, for better or worse, on the fledgling’s path to the adult world. "

 

—M.L. STEDMAN,

author of The Light Between Oceans

 

 

“A model of restraint, deeply felt and beautifully written.”

 

The Observer

 

 

“A quietly vital and cleanly written novel that moves, page by page,

toward a most interesting target.”

 

—TRUMAN CAPOTE,

author of In Cold Blood

 

 

“A gem of controlled eloquence.”

 

NEW YORK WORLD-TELEGRAM AND SUN

 

 

“Artistry of a high order.”

 

SATURDAY REVIEW

 

 

“A coming-of-age tale set in a New England boarding school, it bears immediate comparison to its better known contemporary The Catcher in the Rye but is an altogether gentler, more quietly brilliant book…Reading this novel will feel like unearthing a forgotten gem.”

 

THE INDEPENDENT

 

 

“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

 

 

“Is Knowles the successor to Salinger for whom we have been waiting so long?”

 

ENCOUNTER

 

 

“Beautifully written…great depth.”

 

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

 

 

“Exceptional power and distinction.”

 

THE TIMES (UK)