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Lord Dismiss Us (Phoenix fiction) Paperback – April, 1984

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Paperback, April, 1984
$35.90 $2.59
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Campbell is a writer and pianist. A California native, he is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst College and holds a doctorate from Peabody Conservatory, where he studied piano with Leon Fleisher. As a commercial musician, he has assisted such artists as Angela Lansbury, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Bob Hope, Redd Foxx, Ethel Merman, and Don McLean. As a concert pianist, he has performed a broad range of repertoire, including his own transcriptions of recordings by Art Tatum, Jelly Roll Morton, and other legendary jazz pianists. He also performs all of the piano selections included with this textbook.

DENNIS DRABELLE is author of "Mile-High Fever. "He has written for multiple publications and is currently a contributing editor and a mysteries editor for "The Washington Post Book World. "In 1996 he won the National Book Critics Circle s award for excellence in reviewing. He lives in Washington, D.C. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Series: Phoenix fiction
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (T) (April 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226092445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226092447
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,697,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Without question, the British public school system (what Americans would refer to as private boarding schools) which isolated the sexes of the students during their school years had an enormous impact upon the lives of countless school children. There are novels aplenty to attest to that and the uniqueness of the system--so much so that one could almost consider the British boys (in particular) school novels a subgenre of British fiction. Michael Campbell's Lord Dismiss Us (1967; with an Introduction by Dennis Drabelle in the 2014 re-issued edition by Valancourt Books) is one of the more distinguished works to be set at such a school--in this case, at the fictional Weatherhill (based upon St. Columba's College in Dublin). A new headmaster, Philip Crabtree and his wife have arrived at the school to replace a long-time Head who, according to many, grew too slack "both in the classroom and in the field" and lackadaisical with the school and its some two hundred boys suffering the consequences. The Crabtrees' mission is two-fold: "bringing Weatherhill up to the mark" and proving to critics that such a school system is not "finished" and "out of date." It is a colossal undertaking, especially given the nature of such a school system, the diversity of the staff and students in age, backgrounds, and values and the rather inflexible attitude Philip Crabtree brings to his mission.

What elevates Lord Dismiss Us from many novels set in the British public school system are the characters Campbell creates and the situations in which he places them. Philip Crabtree comes the closest to being a stereotypical character: a humorless and stern new man in charge variously described as "weak and ridiculous.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It read as if it had been written in the 1930's. Some of the plot seemed to be a bit constrained when dealing with the subject of homosexuality as much of plot happens in the late 1960's, a time when a certain acknowledgement of gays was rapidly taking place. It gave me the feeling that the characters were living in a vacuum.
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Format: Paperback
I'm very happy to have found this jewel amist the cobwebs of a used bookstore. I highly recommend taking some time with it. Lord, Dismiss Us is a remarkable novel with quite some depth to it. The setting is the Spring term of a boys' boarding school in the English countryside. Of note, Campbell actually makes the spirit of the school, for lack of a better phrase, one of the novel's characters as well giving us 2 main characters plus a number of other near-protagonists. The characters are quirky, passionate, intelligent, human & touchingly resonant with familiarity. We've all gotten caught up in being distracted from growing up by falling in--& being confused by--love. Campbell has penned a tragicomedy without much excessive narrative exposition but his lively dialogue gives us everything we need to follow the story, share the characters' growing pains & root for their successes. A criticism might be some readers may get lost with so many characters but Campbell handles his charactes with aplomb; no one gets lost. Campbell's style lies somewhere between a fleshed out play & a stripped down novel; it falls neatly in line with proper British restraint, the kind that sticks it tongue out when you turn your back. At 1 point the chaplain has the thought, "It is possible to have murder in one's heart. She had lately given a new & terrifying meaning to many sections of the Old Testament." The plot is engaging & unpredictable, surprising the reader. There are themes those more conservative will be uncomfortable with but Campbell never quite crosses that line. In fact, sex never quite happens, although it does approach. The novel is an insightful, biting comment on the destructive nature of, not so much homophobia in particular, but intolerance & the damage too close adherence to propriety can wreak, in general. At term's end, the reader is certainly left with both a bittersweet aftertaste & a need to ruminate on the limits of sacrifice.
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