By Paige DeNardi
A Separate Peace by John Knowles is a novel about two young boys, Gene and Phineas, who trial through their days in a prep school together. But, when Gene develops jealous feelings toward Phineas, he damages his best friends life forever. The two deal with their friendship, and quite possibly some deeper feelings for each other in this book.
Although the book is a classic “peace” ‘of American Literature, I found myself falling asleep many times while reading it. The story line is predictable, and the tone is very boring and melancholic. There’s a deeper concept, such as the homosexuality, but it doesn’t show through in the novel. You don’t really grasp the fact that Phineas and Gene have deeper feelings for each other, you just think maybe they are sensitive with the fact that they may be sent off to war and never see their best friend again.
Another point that ruined the book for me was that it was never made clear exactly why Gene did what he did to Phineas. Not to mention when Gene tried to tell Phineas, Phineas wouldn’t even listen. He believed Gene respected him too much to do something like that. Maybe that’s when a bit of the homosexuality shows through, but it’s still not enough to make the fact clear.
All-in-all I believe the book was a waste of my time. I didn’t enjoy the language, the story line, the characters, or anything. The best part of the book was when it ended. Sometimes I found myself skipping complete pages to try to make it end. My advice? Don’t even pick this book up.