Customer Reviews for

A Separate Peace

Average Rating 3.5
( 457 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(163)

4 Star

(122)

3 Star

(88)

2 Star

(40)

1 Star

(44)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

A Separate Review

When i first came upon this book was in my AP English class in the 10th grade, with the limited list of books and the library out of the easy read books, I found A Separate Peace. As i showed and told everyone what i was reading they gave me mix reviews, Some said it wa...
When i first came upon this book was in my AP English class in the 10th grade, with the limited list of books and the library out of the easy read books, I found A Separate Peace. As i showed and told everyone what i was reading they gave me mix reviews, Some said it was too much of a guy book and was deemed boring and not worth the time to read. As i read on, i was captivated by the main character, and his struggle of guilt and jealousy of someone whom he called a best friend. I was angry and yet i found myself relating to the character of Gene. I mean if you had a friend who had qualities that you wished you could possessed, wouldn't you be jealous of that friend? You couldn't stay mad at Gene but you couldn't help but not love Phineas. They were two friends of the opposite side of the spectrum, yet they found a way to be friends. Phineas must have known the jealousy that possessed Gene, and the fault of the accident, yet Phineas, as marvelous as he was, forgave Gene. But it was not just about friendship going through it's rough and uneasy edges but it was about manhood, these boys going to school and figuring what type of men they will become while a war hung over their heads. These boys had their adventures in school, and when it comes to male friendship, its about who you're having the fun with and the strong bond that is created through fears, and understanding of the world. These boys were all shaped and touched by the essence that was Finny, he was their leader so to speak, and he was the one that they looked to for advice and reaction to the everyday commands of life and school.

posted by SunnyMay on June 13, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

SLOW TORTURE

This book is one of the worst i have read. I try to keep an open mind when i read books but this one was just plain dull. It was so boring and weird. If you like to slowly torture yourself, then this book is for you. I would put a no star on this book but the rating doe...
This book is one of the worst i have read. I try to keep an open mind when i read books but this one was just plain dull. It was so boring and weird. If you like to slowly torture yourself, then this book is for you. I would put a no star on this book but the rating doesn't go that low. Save Yourself!!!!

posted by Anonymous on January 6, 2008

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Separate Review

    When i first came upon this book was in my AP English class in the 10th grade, with the limited list of books and the library out of the easy read books, I found A Separate Peace. As i showed and told everyone what i was reading they gave me mix reviews, Some said it was too much of a guy book and was deemed boring and not worth the time to read. As i read on, i was captivated by the main character, and his struggle of guilt and jealousy of someone whom he called a best friend. I was angry and yet i found myself relating to the character of Gene. I mean if you had a friend who had qualities that you wished you could possessed, wouldn't you be jealous of that friend? You couldn't stay mad at Gene but you couldn't help but not love Phineas. They were two friends of the opposite side of the spectrum, yet they found a way to be friends. Phineas must have known the jealousy that possessed Gene, and the fault of the accident, yet Phineas, as marvelous as he was, forgave Gene. But it was not just about friendship going through it's rough and uneasy edges but it was about manhood, these boys going to school and figuring what type of men they will become while a war hung over their heads. These boys had their adventures in school, and when it comes to male friendship, its about who you're having the fun with and the strong bond that is created through fears, and understanding of the world. These boys were all shaped and touched by the essence that was Finny, he was their leader so to speak, and he was the one that they looked to for advice and reaction to the everyday commands of life and school.

    16 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2000

    THOUGHT PROVOKING

    John Knowles did an excellent job on A Separate Peace. The way Gene will do anything to be like his friend is very disturbing, and yet it relates to a lot of people...maybe not to the point of death, but a lot of readers can relate to competition among friends. This novela has many important themes to it. It shows that the victims of 'battle' are not always on the front line, and are unseen. I can not think of one bad thing to say about this novel. Instead of making poor reviews, maybe people should actually take the time to analyze and try to understand the book.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2008

    SLOW TORTURE

    This book is one of the worst i have read. I try to keep an open mind when i read books but this one was just plain dull. It was so boring and weird. If you like to slowly torture yourself, then this book is for you. I would put a no star on this book but the rating doesn't go that low. Save Yourself!!!!

    5 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 14, 2009

    This is my favorite book EVER!

    Ok...so I had to read this book in high school, like a lot of people did too, most likely. And I hated it. Really. I didn't really even bother to read past the first few chapters. But then we watched the movie in class, and I was suprised! It was good! Really good!!! So that summer, I went back and reread the book...It was AWESOME!!! It really get's at the complexities of growing up and friendship. It has become my favorite book of all time. I try and read it at least once a year! It has some really great messages within it's pages if you are willing to give it a chance.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2008

    You won't be able to find a book like this for a long time

    A Seprate peace is an icredbily book you will not be able to but down until you read the very last word.This book is an amazeing jouney beetwen two best freind that are always together. This is my favriot book of all time.I am not some one that loves to read but this just made me one.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    No Wonder This is a Classic

    Read this book for book club, and it provided fodder for a very lively discussion. Someone even brought Cliff's Notes, which added even more discussion topics! Beautifully written book, characters are well fleshed out and distinctive, the narrative moves right along. The book hinges on an accident that changes the lives of all involved forever, but figuring out what exactly happened during this pivotal event left all of us puzzled. (That's where Cliff's Notes came in handy!) Meaty, but enjoyable.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2009

    Very well put together in many great plot choices

    Another summer another assignment but this book was one I did enjoy to read. It is one of those that you can just flow through and you can just enjoy reading (as long as you don't have an assignment). So without that assignment you will enjoy reading this book and you should like to read it and enjoy each of the very well put together characters. So enojoy.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Don't read this book!!!

    i had to read it for my 10th grade English class and let me tell you...I HATED IT!!!!!!! don't blame me because i just feel like burning it now. I had to write a report but this book makes no sense! never read it again if u hate it!

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2003

    A Seperate Peace

    I did not like this book.I thought that it was to long to get started. I also thought tha the story did not have a real point.One person Finny was over the top, and another person Gene was a baby.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A different book

    This book is in the first-person and is told by the main character, Gene. The book is somewhat one-sided because Gene puts his own views on certain aspects in the story. This book takes place at the Devon boarding school during World War II. The two characters, Gene and Finny, are best friends and room mates. The first part of the book takes place during the Summer Session at Devon. The Summer Session is a carefree time for the boys and it is their last chance at being young because they are ready to start training for the war. Gene is extremely smart and Finny is very athletic. Gene begins to feel jealousy and hatred toward Finny, but he never shows Finny this. During the entire Summer Session the boys get into the habit of jumping off of this tree limb into a pond. At the very end of the Summer Session Gene realizes that Finny is a better person than he is and it makes Gene very mad. So that afternoon when they go to jump off of the tree Gene shakes the branch that Finny is standing on. Finny falls and shatters his leg and the doctors tell Gene that Finny will never be able to play sports again. Gene feels terrible and this incident takes the entire novel for Gene to overcome. After Finny's fall Gene becomes symbolically a part of Finny. Gene wears Finny's clothes and starts playing sports. The Winter Session at Devon is a dreary time for the boys and this is where I thought the book got slow. Not very much action goes on. By the end of the novel Gene has forgiven himself and what he did to Finny. This book is an ok book, but it is a good book for school if you have a project to do. But, I wouldn't recommend it for pleasure reading.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I am glad to have picked this book up

    If my summer reading list didn't require me to do so, I would have never thought to look past the cover of this book. I enjoyed following the characters through their difficulties. The characters in this book have distinct personalities, sometimes with mysterious auras surrounding them. A great wartime novel that not only focuses on the war, but the kids growing up in that time period.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2009

    Best Book I've Read Yet

    Wow! When my English teacher told me we had to read this book for school I was like great, another boring book but I was so surprised to find that with every page I began to love this book more and more. The words just drew me in and I found myself feeling the emotions of those in the book. I was brought to tears at the end but, this is a great book. Truly a classic and I would recommend it for anyone.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2008

    Worst Book Ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This book is literally the worst book I have ever read. The story is very boring. I couldn't relate to the story or any of the characters at all. It was a complete waste of time. The plot lacks depth, there is little to capture the interest of readers, and it was a complete disaster from start to finish. No one should ever be tortured with something as bad as this!!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2007

    A reviewer

    In seventh grade, my mom suggested to me that I read this book as my 'first classic novel'. I didn't think much of it at first, but I must say that I was shocked at how beautiful it was. I hadn't expected a classic set during World War II to be one of my all-time favorite books, but the insight and conversation in this story is like no other. Once I got over the initial boredom at the first chapter, emotion swept through my veins, tied me down and yet released me from my burdens at the same time. This is a must-read for any middle- or high-schooler seeking acceptance or struggling with emotions and pain... a real heart-opener, whatever that may be! :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    This book was terrible. It was slow and hard to get into. My boo

    This book was terrible. It was slow and hard to get into. My book club(30 people) all disliked it. Don't buy this. 

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2012

    I'm not getting into this book like I thought I would. It just s

    I'm not getting into this book like I thought I would. It just seems too boring. I'm not one to give up on books, but I'm getting close with this one. There really is no plot line to it.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Separate Peace

    I have always loved to read books; ever since I was old enough to sit on my dad's lap and listen to him talk, as I recall. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, has particularly struck me as great book because it teaches a great life lesson. I can relate myself to both Phineas and Gene personally. I am happy, thoughtful, and intelligent, like Gene, yet goofy, a dare-devil, and a good athlete like Phineas. A Separate Peace is a very good book in my opinion. John Knowles wrote this book to teach the lesson: "you don't know what you have until it's gone." He uses suspense while he foreshadows over many various places in the book to set the tone.


    A Separate Peace by John Knowles shows great examples of how dramatic it is to be an adolescent. This book is written in first person. Throughout this novel the protagonist, Gene's, feelings of admiration and abhorrence towards his roommate and best friend at the Devon boarding school, Phineas, grows to the point where Gene is too confused to focus on reality. I would recommend this book for those who love suspense.A Separate Peace takes you to a boarding school at Devon, New Hampshire during the summer of 1942. Gene, the main character and the narrator, is smart, cunning and mildly physically active, but not as active as Phineas. Phineas could easily be the best athlete at Devon. One of Phineas's nicknames was Finny. Together they start a Secret Society for those brave enough to jump out of a limb of a tree over a river.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Such a great read!

    A Seperate Peace has to be one of the best books I have ever read. It made me think a lot about how teenagers act today compared to how Finny and Gene and the rest of the boys would act back during WWII. The story is so touching and it reminds me of my friendships with many of my friends and I feel like I can somehow relate to Gene. Overall, I can tell you that you won't be able to put this book down.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2009

    It's okkk...

    In my opinion I did not like this book. I had to read it for school and I didn't even finish it! It was boorringgg. I ended up having to use sparknotes for the last few chapters of the book because it took me forever to read A Separate Peace! And I'm usually a fast reader! Don't get this book unless you have to read it.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2008

    Great piece of literature.

    I am a Graduate student and picked this up several weeks ago while looking for a light story to read this summer. I am pleasantly surprised at how much I truly enjoyed this book. While it may not appeal to everyone, the characters and setting truly added depth to this turning of age piece. Although there has been some discussion on the subtle gay overtones, the bond of friendship with the two main characters is what is truly meaningful and can be found in many male/male relationships whether gay or straight. Don¿t let this dissuade anyone from reading the book. It is a great piece of literature.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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