Stand Before Your God: An American Schoolboy in England

Overview

At the age of seven, Paul Watkins was roughly transplanted from his home in Rhode Island to England's Dragon School. He was greeted by a delegation of bullies who, in time, would become his friends and whose rules would become his own. For at Dragon, and later at Eton, "there was no middle ground. You could not go here and come out not caring one way or the other. You had to stand before your God and commit."

In this enthralling and sometimes harrowing memoir, the acclaimed ...

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Stand Before Your God: An American Schoolboy in England

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Overview

At the age of seven, Paul Watkins was roughly transplanted from his home in Rhode Island to England's Dragon School. He was greeted by a delegation of bullies who, in time, would become his friends and whose rules would become his own. For at Dragon, and later at Eton, "there was no middle ground. You could not go here and come out not caring one way or the other. You had to stand before your God and commit."

In this enthralling and sometimes harrowing memoir, the acclaimed author of The Promise of Light gives us a masterly companion to such classics as Brideshead Revisited and A Separate Peace. Here are the masters who paddle boys for small infractions and then offer them sweets; the seniors who pamper pretty favorites and subject all others to humiliating servitude; the deep friendships and sudden, devastating betrayals. Above all, here is the exhilaration of a boy discovering own capacities for learning and creativity, in a book that conveys with astonishing insight the pangs of growing up.

This true account of coming of age in an English boarding school, by an acclaimed young writer, is reminiscent of such books as A Separate Peace and The Catcher in the Rye. "Strong and evocative. . . smoothly written. . . romantic."--The New York Times Book Review.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The literature of school includes such classics as Tom Brown's School Days and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. No one has ever told it so well from the student's point of view as Paul Watkins." — Denver Post

"Strong and evocative. . . smoothly written. . . romantic."—The New York Times Book Review.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679759416
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1995
  • Series: Vintage Series
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 539,877
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.95 (h) x 0.66 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2005

    Stunning!

    An unalloyed work of genius, 'Stand Before Your God' transports us to a world few of us know firsthand, yet Paul Watkins makes it all feel real, and immediate, and best of all, familiar. His portrait of coming of age as an outsider in the most tradition-bound environment imaginable is compelling and authentic. His analysis of emotion is beyond compare. He knows himself well, and thus we know ourselves better after we've read of his process of discovery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2001

    An inspiring memoir

    Stand Before Your God is a must read. This book is witty and intelligent. The story itself is sure to bring back memories for people of all ages. Highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2001

    The book you can't put down

    I couldn't even move away from the book without wanting to know more. I even got my mother to read the book and she loved it. It puts you into a whole new world...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2001

    The Perfect Book

    I have suggested this memoir to almost everybody I know: not one person didn't absolutely love it and become instant readers of Paul Watkins.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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