|Print List Price:||$12.00|
Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price set by seller.
A Separate Peace Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
National Review A masterpiece.
The Observer A model of restraint, deeply felt and beautifully written.
Warren Miller Mr. Knowles has something to say about youth and war that few contemporary novelists have attempted to say and none has said better.
About the Author
- ASIN : B00JN7BNR0
- Publisher : Scribner (April 22, 2014)
- Publication date : April 22, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 4472 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 228 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #52,208 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The book is sometimes interpreted through the lens of repressed homosexuality, though John Knowles in a 1987 interview denied that as his intention. Indeed, the story is stronger when we resist that anachronistic reading. Instead, to the extent that A Separate Peace still speaks to us nearly 60 years later, it is only when read at face value, a tale about rivalry, jealously, and the mixture of nobility and evil that lurks in the human heart. Gene comes back 15 years later to try to come to terms with the enormity of his betrayal, to try to forgive himself. How many of us have stood before our own trees, longing to forgive ourselves for hurts impulsively perpetrated in the past? Knowles holds up a mirror to our own visage, and in so doing, guarantees that a lesson from an otherwise obscure setting and a forgotten time will endure.
By KD on August 6, 2019
Although A Separate Peace is anything but simple. It is a short but scintillating book, flawlessly written. Every word is perfectly placed, nothing superfluous. Every time I read it (or hear it, as nowadays I listen to an audio version) I am amazed anew at Knowles' ability to craft such a powerful story. I become Gene, and I squirm as my ugliest human traits are revealed. Listening to (or reading) A Separate Peace is like having a scab brutally ripped off, revealing the bloody wound beneath.
This is a truly unforgettable story that has a power few books achieve.
Top reviews from other countries
The story shifts into a different gear in the last third of the book and at last one begins to see the point of it all, why the book gained such popularity. The act of rivalry is like a ticking time-bomb that explodes in the book's final act, forcing the two friends to face up to the truth of their relationship. It's the kind of act that will haunt Gene for the rest of his life.
The book is very good on the effect of war on those destined to enlist in it, a whole, some might say, doomed generation. There are two other main characters in the story, both of whom exemplify this effect. A boy nicknamed Leper is a misfit at school; he leaves early to enlist, but finds life in the army so disorientating he has frightening hallucinations and is discharged on medical grounds. Brinker, another boy, who tends to represent authority among the boys, feels bitter about the war, blaming it on the stupidity of his father's generation who left such a mess, politically, after the carnage of the first world war. Phineas is debarred from participating because of a disability. Gene alone seems the least affected by it.
The star of the book is not Gene, the narrator, a high-achieving but rather isolated intellectual, it's Phineas. Not because, before his accident, he's a star athlete, but because of his nature. He survives by constructing his own view of the world, bending the rules, reality even, to suit how he thinks life should be. At the end of the book, Gene describes him thus: "During the time I was with him, Phineas created an atmosphere in which I continued now to live, a way of sizing up the world with erratic and entirely personal reservations, letting its rocklike facts sift through and be accepted only a little at a time, only as much as he could assimilate without a sense of chaos and loss. ... He possessed an extra vigor, a heightened confidence in himself, a serene capacity for affection which saved him... nothing even about the war had broken his harmonious and natural unity." Then Gene owns up to his guilt: "So at last I had." Gene broke him by a tiny, subconscious act: that lies at the heart of this subtle moral tale.
It didn't make a great impression on me, it's too quiet and restrained for that. But I admired its final act, and the style too - the book has some beautiful, well-crafted, fastidious prose. I suspect one should read this when one is young, just as one should read 'Catcher in the Rye' when young to feel its fullest impact.