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Publisher's Summary

Ever since its first publication in 1960, A Separate Peace has been hailed as a modern classic. Now the story of two best friends attending a New England boarding school during World War II comes to life in this powerful audio presentation. Featuring a dramatic reading by Matthew Modine, this abridgment of John Knowles's critically acclaimed novel provides a startling insight into war and youth that you will never forget.

Gene Fowler is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, charismatic, daredevil athlete. Their bittersweet rivalry leads to a tragic accident during the ill-fated summer of '42 - one that will disrupt the uneasy peace of their artificial oasis and force them to accept the grim realities of manhood. The story of their unique friendship is a starkly moving parable of lost innocence and tortured adolescence in a generation coming of age during the dark years of war.

©1987 John Knowles;©1987 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House Inc.

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  • Overall
  • Tani
  • Grapevine, TX, USA
  • 09-28-05

Old Verison

This is an older version of the novel. If you are intending to use this for reading along with a current copy, check the version dates. There are more current releases of the audio on other web sites.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Great Story Spoiled

John Knowles' coming-of-age introspective is a well written tale that captures the turbulence, excitement and controversy of America's role in World War II, especially from the perspective of draft age young men. It also reveals the very personal interaction and peer rivalries of this group of elite boarding school boys.

Unfortunately, this classic has been undermined by the excessive use of unnecessary sound effects and distracting long musical interludes. Matthew Modine has turned in memorable performances as a movie actor, but his dull uninspired recitation of this story is like a summer camp letter to his mom. His monotone reading is only sparked when he stumbles over new parts of the story that he apparently had never read before undertaking this project.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Boring but had some plot twists

The narrator was very clear and crisp. One problem I had was knowing who was talking by the similar voices

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Mitchellville, MD, USA
  • 05-06-04

Classic Novel that is Well Read

This is a classic novel that is well narrated. I haven't read the full novel so not sure how good or bad it was abridged. Not having this knowledge, this version is well worth the time.

5 of 11 people found this review helpful