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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    295
  • 4 Stars
    211
  • 3 Stars
    116
  • 2 Stars
    46
  • 1 Stars
    28

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    299
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    164
  • 3 Stars
    68
  • 2 Stars
    23
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    15

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 3 Stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rebecca
  • Tampa, FL, United States
  • 08-14-12

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • Bellevue, WA, United States
  • 11-08-14

Still good

I read this book multiple times in high school and college, about 25 years ago, and revisited when students at my school were reading it. I found the story is still captivating and interesting, a relief when other recently revisited classics had lost their luster for me. Knowles' exploration of jealousy set at a prep school at the dawn of WWII still holds relevance today as today's teens struggle with that emotion in the midst of the technology age.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ALB
  • Draper, UT USA
  • 09-10-12

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shaneka
  • PALM COAST, FLORIDA, United States
  • 04-09-12

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!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rachiel
  • TROY, Vatican City State (Holy See)
  • 04-28-18

good book

it was awesome, I loved all of it the writing was great, so was the story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Still My Favorite Book

I had to read this in high school and it became my favorite book. This is the first time I have re-read/listened to it and it is still my favorite. I hope you enjoy it as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A good classic

This is quite good, even made me chuckle a number of times. The narrator was quite excellent. I very much enjoyed all the voices of all the characters. This helps to bring them alive as I watch the story in my mind.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great!!

Loved it!!

I would definitely read this book again! I recommend this book! The ending was definitely a plot change but overall it was a fantastic book!!😃😃

1 of 1 people found this review helpful