Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary
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 crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic.

My Review
First of all, I was forced to read this book for school, and honestly if it had been my choice and I had, for some weird unknown reason, started reading it I wouldn't have finished it.

To be fair, it wasn't terrible. Looking at A Separate Peace from a literary/writing perspective, it's a well written book and I see why it's a classic. Life at the Devon school for boys is a microcosm for the world at war, and there are many literary aspects to it that were kind of genius.

Looking at it from a readers point of view - I kind of hated it. I didn't like the main character/narrator Gene at all. He was academic, calculating, and kind of dark. He looked for the worst in people. Finny was sporty, optimistic, sunny, and naive. He loved sports, where everyone won. He was charismatic and made up rules as he went easily getting everyone else, even teachers, to follow him.

But I didn't like or understand the main character at all. I get that his thoughts and actions show the darker side of humanity, obviously, but I just can't even. I don't know even know how to write about my feelings for this book, so I'm going to leave it at that.