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The Class Paperback – April 7, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press (April 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583228853
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583228852
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #647,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

FRANÇOIS BÉGAUDEAU is the author of two novels: Jouer juste (2003) and Dans la diagonale (2005). In 2005, he published a fictional biography of the Rolling Stones titled Rolling Stones: Un démocrate Mick Jagger 1960–1969. A filmcritic for the Cahiers du cinéma and the French version of Playboy, he played in the punk band Zabriskie Point before becoming a teacher in France's public school system.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By kinopku on August 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
perhaps it is not fair to judge the book in reference to the movie, but, after having seen the movie, i was expecting a lot more from this book. the book reads exactly like a diary - but one that was not expected to be published. it is a rushed log of events. little is done to bring continuity to any of the scenes. once something happens, it is over, and little analysis is provided to clarify what a student's action might mean in the larger context of french culture, and, there is extremely little in there that would indicate that the author has any particular feelings one way or the other about anything that has happened. students are not individualized, so it is difficult to remember who is who and their histories. instead, students are described by what they are wearing, or reference is made to a particular habit of theirs, such as wearing a hat to class. in the book, the teacher is very harsh with the students, often refering to them as "stupid" or "imbeciles," and i was given no context to determine if this was standard, or if the teacher was being overly severe. furthermore, the subject matter is not one that would be taught in where im from - an all grammar class would be a disaster. given that context, it would have been nice to see what kinds of things the teacher did in order to get the class interested in the subject matter, because difficult as the kids might have been, they seemed to respond to this teacher, and seemed relatively clever in terms of the questions they ask and the responses they give might often be insolent, but were often not far from the topic. oh, and the whole entire aspect of the book that had to do with the teachers lounge was deadly boring and served only to make the narrator out to have great stamina and methods as compared to his colleagues.Read more ›
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Ogan on August 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The movie was excellent. I wanted to read the book, and I bought the book in English to save a few bucks. I worked in a French lycée and know what it is like. The English translation gave me zero feeling of being in a French collège. Reading the book just left me cold. It becomes apparent how far the Anglo and the French mentality are from one another. That is a lesson for those of you who do not learn foreign languages. You may be able to read a translation of any book, but you are not getting the whole flavor of the book until you read it in the original language in which it was written.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Both the book and the film tread the fine line between social vision and idealism and the realities of culture clash, especially between the initial and ongoing struggles of young teachers to be helpful to their students, and the realities of social stratification promulgated by international capitalism into the immigrant culture of France. A French-style "Blackboard Jungle" scenario, hearkening back to the Glenn Ford, Sidney Poitier film of the 50s, but based on the author's experience in a modern French immigrant school. In classic French cinema style, the author also portrays himself in the film.

At the same time, the film has a visionary, almost surrealistic edge as when, in the book "Entre les murs", a ghostly voice echoes Rimbaud's famous motto from the shadows of an isolated stairway, "Il faut être absolument moderne." (It's necessary to be absolutely modern.)

"Les murs,"(the walls) depicted here are multi-dimensional, both in the narrow avenues available to immigrants, the resources and preparation available to teachers, and finding and enlarging cracks in the walls that culture and circumstance have erected in the minds and hearts of the students.

Hopeful and difficult.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. George on June 25, 2013
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Even though the story takes place in France, the day to day challenges of teaching are the same: from adolescents who don't understand the concept of adult authority to uncooperative copy machines.
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