John Knowles - Separate Peace: A Novel

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  • War, Love, and Ignorance

    Dec 21, 2009 by
    Rated a Very Helpful Review
    Pros: true and gritty
    interesting
    in depth look at the characters
    Cons: a bit too dry

    Summary: "I never killed anybody and I never developed an intense level of hatred for the enemy. Because my war ended before I ever put on a uniform; I was on active duty all my time at school; I killed my enemy there. Only Phineas never was afraid, only Phineas ... read more

  • Enjoyment Sold Separately

    Feb 13, 2009 by
    Rated a Very Helpful Review
    Pros: Deep themes, a fun character named Finny
    Cons: Underwhelming

    Summary: Though World War II is raging somewhere across the ocean, the young men who attend Devon School are experiencing a more peaceful existence. Yes, at this prep school, war is the most common topic of conversation, but it doesn't seem quite real when you're ... read more

  • Childhood's End

    Sep 17, 2005 by
    Rated a Very Helpful Review
    Pros: dynamic characters, engaging plot, Knowle's catchy writing style
    Cons: immature and annoying (albeit fascinating) characters

    Summary: A Separate Peace by John Knowles "It wasn’t the cider which made me surpass myself, it was this liberation we had torn from the gray encroachments of 1943, the escape we had concocted, this afternoon of momentary, illusory, special and ... read more

  • A SEPARATE PEACE

    Sep 5, 2003 by
    Rated a Helpful Review
    Pros: A classic, what more can you say.
    Cons: The jury of his peers scene may have been a little far-fetched.

    Summary: Not sure if it was required reading for me in high school, but I remember seeing the movie when I was in college. (I think the movie was underrated by the way).The story stayed with me and I later read the book. The story has a haunting quality, as Gene ... read more

  • The Inner War

    Jan 2, 2003 by
    Rated a Very Helpful Review
    Pros: Interesting exploration of jealousy and identity.
    Cons: A long, hard read for a thin little book.

    Summary: I never had to read John Knowles' A Separate Peace when I was in high school --- but I can see why it'd be a good book to teach. Knowles' coming-of-age story is narrated by Gene Forrester, who tells us about the events that ... read more

  • ..I only read it because I was forced to.

    Jun 17, 2002 by
    Rated a Helpful Review
    Pros: You're kidding me, right?
    Cons: Boring, too descriptive-- the list goes on.

    Summary: Sitting in English class one day, the teacher announced that we would be reading a new book over the next few weeks: A Separate Peace. I wasn't taken aback by the title or anything, because I didn't know how horrible it was going to be. We were told to ... read more

  • A Separate Piece of Crap

    Sep 6, 2001 by
    Rated a Very Helpful Review
    Pros: It's a drug-free remedy for insomnia...
    Cons: ...which is not necessarily a good thing.

    Summary: I love WWII. My old man loves WWII. A Separate Peace takes place during WWII. But I do not love A Separate Peace. Like so many others, I was forced to experience this severe medium of torture through an English Honors class. As I ... read more

  • Phinneas and Blitzball

    Jan 8, 2001 by
    Rated a Very Helpful Review
    Pros: Excellent story, interesting characters
    Cons: none

    Summary: Finny’s Blitzball In John Knowles’ A Separate Peace, an outgoing, friendly, athletic schoolboy named Finny invents an intense sport he calls “blitzball” (28-31). The sport is designed as a personal test, having no teams, and no winner or ... read more

  • The significance of A Separate Peace

    Oct 23, 2000 by
    Rated a Very Helpful Review
    Pros: easy read
    Cons: ?

    Summary: DID GENE JOUNCE THE LIMB? Gene intentionally jounced the limb when he and Phineas were up in th tree. He was jealous of the perfectness of Phineas. He was strongly intimidated by him. Gene is searching for something that tells him Phineas ... read more

  • Give me Peace and don't Read this!

    Jun 29, 2000 by
    Rated a Helpful Review
    Pros: Big Words
    Cons: Horrible Subject

    Summary: AAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Oh the horror. A Seperate Peace is a book about a young mans jealousy of his talented and handsome best friend. This young boy, who is also handsome and talented, gets so jealous that he causes his friend to have an accident which ends up ... read more

  • A Somewhat Interesting Book

    Jun 27, 2000 by
    Rated a Very Helpful Review
    Pros: a somewhat interesting book
    Cons: goes into too much detail possibly boring the reader

    Summary: In a Separate Peace by John Knowles, Gene, a teenage boy at Devon Boarding School, has a war to fight. It is not World War II, the war that is going on at this time period, but his own private war. He has done wrong to his best friend and it is up to ... read more

  • *sigh* They made me read it..

    Jun 26, 2000 by
    Rated a Helpful Review
    Pros: n/a
    Cons: a bit..on the dull side

    Summary: This book itself wasn't very interesting. The story got a little more interesting towards the end. ^.^; I've never really been a fan of war novels, but my school's honor's english class made us read the book and write up a report about it. It seemed ... read more

  • Not Even a Truce

    Jun 13, 2000 by
    Rated a Very Helpful Review
    Pros: Young men come of age in war time, written with power and sensitivity
    Cons: none--always gripping

    Summary: I'm always troubled by war stories--stories that take place on the battlefront or in the combat zone of the troubled heart. But I know they touch the very core of human existence, and one of them, A Separate Peace is so exquisitely crafted and finely ... read more

  • « Psst.. Don't Move. I Can See Through Your Window »»

    May 16, 2000 by
    Rated a Very Helpful Review
    Pros: Outstanding Story Based on Reality, Great Plot, Excellent Characters
    Cons: A Bit Dry at Times

    Summary: All around you, war and punishment flourish. The world is not the same as it was, while evil and hatred are the key ambitions unto which leaders are born, thus creating our world into a personal chaotic haven. Alas, ... read more

  • A Tale of Two Friends...by John Knowles

    May 4, 2000 by
    Rated a Very Helpful Review
    Pros: Nice plot
    Cons: Short lapses of boredom

    Summary: The main character Gene is jealous of Finny's natural athletic ability and fluid walk, but believes he compensates for this lack of ability by excelling in academics. Gene leads himself to believe that Finny is attempting to sabotage his academic success ... read more

  • Illusions of life were all these boys had

    Apr 23, 2000 by
    Rated a Very Helpful Review
    Pros: Time period it is set in is great
    Cons: can get really slow at times

    Summary: A Separate Peace is a novel that deals with illusion so much that at times one cannot distinguish reality from fantasy. The reason for so much illusion is due to World War II. All the characters are frightened of being sent out to the “front lines, ” so ... read more

  • A Great "Peace" of literature

    Apr 13, 2000 by
    Rated a Very Helpful Review
    Pros: Great, interesting writing style
    Cons: Story moves a little slow

    Summary: Gene and Finny are two students who attend Devon School in New England during the early years of World War II. "A Separate Peace" recounts one summer in the lives of these boys and the great relationship that they shared. The book is written ... read more

  • Disturbing Our Peace

    Mar 7, 2000 by
    Rated a Very Helpful Review
    Pros: Makes you think, very realistic
    Cons: sad, not very flattering portrayal of human nature

    Summary: "A Separate Peace" is the story of Phineas, as told through the eyes of his friend, Gene. The two of them are roommates at a New England Prep School during the second World War. Phineas is a most engaging character, a clown and natural ... read more

  • Forced to read, was it worth it?

    Feb 11, 2000 by
    Rated a Helpful Review
    Pros: very deep plot
    Cons: hard to understand

    Summary: I was forced to read this book in ninth grade and it was a great book if you can understand the symbolism. The author often hints towards what is going to happen. It's not an action-packed or mystery book and in no way is it suspenseful but it has a ... read more

  • A Special Time, A Special School

    Jan 14, 2000 by
    Rated a Very Helpful Review
    Pros: Characters are real, situations are familiar.
    Cons: If you didn't like the style of Lord of the Flies, you might not like this one.

    Summary: "Nothing endures, not a tree, not love, not even a death, by violence." The writer's work begins in the time and place of his own childhood experiences. For John Knowles, these were the final years of the second World War, at the Phillips ... read more

  • Tragic Blindness of Heart

    Dec 20, 1999 by
    Rated a Helpful Review
    Pros: Great insight to the human heart
    Cons: A bit dated--though still meaningful

    Summary: A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, portrays two teenage boys, each blinded by his own values. Each saw only in others what was found in his own heart. One could only see the good, pure, and positive energy in others; the other could only interpret ... read more

  • Express Customer Reviews

  • A Separate Peace: War or Peace?

    Nov 14, 2010 by
    Rated Show
    Pros: The characters seemed to grow and develop as the story went on.
    Cons: It is unable to capture the reader's attention in the beginning. 

    Summary: I read this book a few days ago and thought it quite interesting (albeit slow). It is about a man who goes back to his old school and recalls the memories from his school days. These are mainly centered around Phineas a.k.a. Finny, his best friend and ... read more

Showing 1-22 of 22 reviews


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