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A Separate Peace | [John Knowles]

A Separate Peace

Now a modern classic, this story of two boys' friendship at an exclusive New Hampshire prep school as it parallels the inescapable and escalating atmosphere of World War II, is intense and engaging to the last word.
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Publisher's Summary

Now a modern classic, this story of two boys' friendship at an exclusive New Hampshire prep school as it parallels the inescapable and escalating atmosphere of World War II, is intense and engaging to the last word.

©2003 John Knowles; (P)2002 Audio Bookshelf

What the Critics Say

"Snively does an excellent job conveying emotions in scenes of conflict...This is an excellent treatment of a modern classic." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (160 )
5 star
 (46)
4 star
 (51)
3 star
 (35)
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 (11)
Overall
3.8 (102 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Story
3.9 (98 )
5 star
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4 star
 (36)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
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1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 06-02-13
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 06-02-13

    "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How can one fault a Classic like this?"

    This is probably one of John Knowles' most popular titles and represents a coming of age story between two friends over the course of a year. It has a very sobering tone and can be perceived as very 'heavy' in terms of the overall ending of the title. The author doesn't in any way spare you from the realities of that time and provides no 'magical fixes' for any of the problems the boys at the Academy faced. This book does in fact teach some rather jarring life lessons through its exquisite writing and sheer honesty.

    The narration for me was lacking. I found myself somewhat steeling myself to get through the book. Had it not been for my 'grit your teeth and get through it' mentality or the fact that I simply enjoyed the book's content, I wouldn't have made it through the title.

    I am taken back in time to when I first started getting into books with this one. Reading, or in this case listening, the classics always tending to produce in me a sense of nostalgia for the past, a time dated in the early 90's when I was just a kid.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnny Myerstown, PA, United States 04-07-10
    Johnny Myerstown, PA, United States 04-07-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Thoughtful; great character development."

    If you're looking for an exciting adventure story--this isn't it. But if you enjoy listening to a slower story that deals with adolescence, peace and war, and the relationships of different personalities, this is a great read. It is well written, thought-provoking, and does a great job drawing emotions that most of us experience but rarely think about.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SJ Idaho 02-25-13
    SJ Idaho 02-25-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "essay assistant"

    I am reviewing this on behalf of my 16 year old, who could not get through the printed book and needed to do well on this in order to be allowed to play baseball. The audiobook was more accessible than the written word and he found the story "okay", but his comments were that the writer made little effort to be theatrical in his reading and was extremely slow paced. It was hard for him to stay focused on the story and he would have sped up the reader about double if he had a speed control on his player. Given all that, he did much better than he would have just reading the book on his own and so it was definitely worth the money. At some point I will read it myself and give a 'non 16 year old' review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 10-05-12
    Stephanie ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 10-05-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Pick a different narrator"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I am reading the books assigned to my high-schooler, partly so we can discuss them. So in that sense, yes: time well spent. I appreciate having a glimpse of my grandparents' generation as well. In retrospect, I'd have chosen to read a paper copy rather than listen.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I was not exactly surprised by it. The denouement was a little bit flat, though ... in fact, the narrator's emotional reaction to all the key events seemed flat. This may have been partly due to Snively's performance, however.


    What didn’t you like about Scott Snively’s performance?

    He has a nice voice but does dialog terribly. He sounds like he's reading a book for children. What could be emotional scenes are rendered almost comical: not good.


    Was A Separate Peace worth the listening time?

    Six hours? Sure. There's some lovely language contained in the story, even if the story itself didn't really move me. If it was longer, probably not.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crusader Palm Springs, CA, United States 11-06-11
    Crusader Palm Springs, CA, United States 11-06-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Excellent story!"

    Brilliant writing. First Knowles book I have read, and I was very enthralled with the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cally 12-18-13
    Cally 12-18-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Couldn't wait for it to end."
    What would have made A Separate Peace better?

    I was so disappointed, I had read so many great reviews and was really looking forward to listening, what a let down. The story was very boring and had no great meaning. I think the only reason I kept listening was in hopes something would happen and it never did. I would not recommend to anyone.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    judy 11-16-12
    judy 11-16-12
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    "Seemed to be going no where"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Move it faster in the school setting.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    It did keep me listening to find out where it was going. I am not a real patient person


    Any additional comments?

    Unfortunately I downloaded this to disc and the end of the story was not there! I don't want to print the whoe thing again. Am having some issues with Audible library since I installed a new disc drive which could be this user. Will contact audible.
    Thanks.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Draper, UT, United States 09-10-12
    Anne Draper, UT, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Good story"

    I listened to this because my daughter had to read it for eight grade. I probably would not have read it if otjerwise, but I am glad that I did. The narrator was very good and the story kept me engaged.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Tampa, FL, United States 08-14-12
    Rebecca Tampa, FL, United States 08-14-12
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    "I loved it!"

    This was one of my summer reading books for my high school, and I struggled when trying to read it in my head. I instead listened to this while reading along with the printed book.

    I did notice that there were some word changes in the narration, I don't know if it was the narrator improvising or my book, but it didn't in any way affect the story line (ex. when the word in my book was "huge" the narrator said "large," little things like that). But other than that, the narrator did an excellent job in portraying the characters in general, as well as the many emotions in the novel.

    As for a review of the book, it was very touching and I loved it. The writing did get a bit slow and confusing at times, but nothing too bad. I felt like I was there, right along side Gene and Finny...in a word, it's just spectacular! :D

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shaneka PALM COAST, FLORIDA, United States 04-09-12
    Shaneka PALM COAST, FLORIDA, United States 04-09-12
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    "Outstanding Story and Was Read Very Well!!"
    Would you listen to A Separate Peace again? Why?

    I would listen to this story again, simply because of the different voices the reader used to allow me to know which character was speaking. It was fun and easy to follow.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters came to life.


    What does Scott Snively bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A broader sense of the characters personalities.


    If you could take any character from A Separate Peace out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Finny!!!


    Any additional comments?

    I love the name Phineas now!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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