Thursday, January 08, 2009


Author:  John Knowles
Genre:  YA Classic, Standalone
Published:  1959
Personal Rating:  3.25/5
Yearly Count:  4

A New Hampshire boarding school for boys, houses roommates Gene and Phineas.  The boys develop a close relationship that doesn't necessarily bring out the best in either of them.  They struggle with their internal thoughts that many coming-of-age teens experience along with the added emotional challenge of an impending war.

The first half kept my interest and it felt like a genuine experience.  However, as the book continued, it slipped a little.  I can't pinpoint when the change took place, especially being that the boys still seemed authentic, but whenever it was - it contributed to my 'little better than just okay' rating.  Again, even though I recognize the symbolism, the theme and the general exploration of the human heart, I think this is another classic that I would have enjoyed discussing in a classroom.


  1. Sorry the story slipped some for you Joy but it does sound interesting.

  2. It's a beautiful cover. I would have picked it up just for that. Too bad it didn't quite suit.

  3. Dar ~ This is actually a decent classic. :) I'm glad I finally got to it.

    Framed ~ It would have been better if I had a pal to discuss it with. The book I have doesn't have this cover, but I listened to it anyway.

  4. Is this a big book Joy? I'm alreaady on the lookout for books for the Classic Challenge. Would it be a good one for that?

  5. Dar ~ Nope! My small paperback has 196 pages and the audio version had 6 CDs. And, yes, it would be a great classic choice. Even if you end up not liking it, you won't waste too much time. However, I think you'll like it more than me. :)

  6. This is one of my all-time favorites, although I haven't read it since I sneaked it off my sister's shelf when I was in junior high. Maybe it's a little more tiresome if you're older and less patient with your books.

  7. I think I was too old when I read this just didn't float my boat.

  8. Bookfool ~ I'm glad you think of this as an all-time favorite. The boys were truly authentic and I appreciated that aspect the most. Can you believe it's been 50 years since this book was published?

    Bybee ~ LOL I understand.

  9. We read this in 10th grade, but I don't even know if I actually read it (wasn't the best student back then). I didn't realize this one was so old!

  10. Trish ~ I didn't know it was that old either until I had the book in my hands.


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Happy Reading!