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Extended Audio Sample A Good School: A Novel Audiobook, by Richard Yates Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (615 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Yates Narrator: Kristoffer Tabori Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2010 ISBN: 9781427209405
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Richard Yates, who died in 1992, is today ranked by many readers, scholars, and critics alongside such titans of modern American fiction as Updike, Roth, Irving, Vonnegut, and Mailer.

In this work, he offers a spare and autumnal novel about a New England prep school. At once a meditation on the twilight of youth and an examination of America's entry into World War II, A Good School tells the stories of William Grove, the quiet boy who becomes an editor of the school newspaper; Jack Draper, a crippled chemistry teacher; and Edith Stone, the schoolmaster's young daughter, who falls in love with most celebrated boy in the class of 1943.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A first class work of the imagination marked by an interest in real history . . . [A Good School] is enriched with many fine touches. Julian Moynehan, The New York Times Book Review

  • [Yates] is an expert . . . This [novel] is acute and poignant. John Skow, Time
  • A graceful and articulate narrative . . . affectionate, witty, and wry. The New Yorker
  • Distinguished by fine writing and convincing adolescent angst. The Atlantic Monthly
  • [Yates's] small-scale tapestry is rich in intricate detail--much of it wonderfully droll. Elizabeth Peer, Newsweek

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharonm | 1/18/2014

    " This is the story of a group of boys growing up in an all boys boarding school in Connecticut just before WWII starts. It portrays the casual cruelty of these adolescent years, the yearning for acceptance, the sudden turns of fate. At the same time, Yates sheds a light on the closed community of the faculty. Dorset Academy, founded by an idiosyncratic old woman who always wanted to be a boy, is a place for misfits and oddities...a "funny" school, and a "good" school in the sense that it allowed this generation of boys to retain a lot of their innocence before heading off to war. As they graduate, the school closes and the war begins, signalling an end to innocence both for the boys and for the country. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff Smith-Hayzer | 1/7/2014

    " A good school. What do such inane statements mean? Yates explores exactly what goes on behind the facade of such places, from gang masturbatory attacks to failed suicides. All of his trademarks are here; jumping from third person omniscient to third person limited, sometimes within the same sentence, focusing on subjective inequalities and anxieties. A generation of men, unwittingly bred for war. It's all beautifully bleak and at the same time so reassuring. When I read yates I know that someone understands. The reflective power of the novel was never in such good hands. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff Revlett | 12/29/2013

    " I really like Yates' writing style. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elise Hamilton | 12/27/2013

    " Another excellent Richard Yates book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane Kim | 12/14/2013

    " Surprisingly good. Modest. Wandered into a poignant end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirk Ashworth | 12/1/2013

    " A friend let me borrow this after I praised Revolutionary Road. I am enjoying this book in the same way as A Separate Peace. I like this American version of prep school better for a depiction of male adolescence, but prefer a Separate Peace for its war time subplot. I think Knowles' book The Collector is my favorite of his. All that said, I really like how Yates is able to study broken homes and the dynamics of that. I am impressed by his middle class understanding. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew | 11/12/2013

    " My least favorite of all the Yates novels I've read; it still has enough Yates-y goodness to be worthwhile. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsey | 10/30/2013

    " Beware: depressing. Well, it was good, but depressing (not surprising considering the author) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erin | 10/5/2013

    " Yates being Yates-y though with slightly more underdeveloped characters than I'm used to from him. A solid read, but there are much better choices than this if one is interested in Yates. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 6/27/2013

    " The story of a year in a failing prep school, this book crackled with intensity. I love Richard Yates and this book, though short, reminded me why. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jillian Blackshaw | 2/19/2013

    " Disappointingly not his best "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn | 11/29/2012

    " Not one of my favorites of his, but I still enjoyed reading it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 hirtho | 7/11/2012

    " A bad book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Terry | 4/2/2012

    " Thinking back 10 years, I don't remember anything remarkable about this novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamey | 1/3/2012

    " Everything he writes is great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brennon | 11/6/2011

    " I wanted more. It didn't deliver. But it's still Yates and therefore still good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emeanley | 6/30/2011

    " The writing didn't blow my mind like it did in Revolutionary Road. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Don | 5/30/2011

    " Too many characters, not enough pages, but some brilliant moments. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alicia | 4/9/2011

    " Love the author but this was my least favorite of his work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 3/21/2011

    " The story of a year in a failing prep school, this book crackled with intensity. I love Richard Yates and this book, though short, reminded me why. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 3/14/2011

    " Surprisingly good. Modest. Wandered into a poignant end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alinola | 11/16/2010

    " Come si commenta Yates? Dicendo che è dio. Sempre. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emeanley | 1/1/2010

    " The writing didn't blow my mind like it did in Revolutionary Road. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 8/1/2009

    " Felt like a prototypical NE schoolboy book set in the 1950's. All the right characters are there. It did not shed a ton of light for me. "

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About the Author
Author Richard Yates

Richard Yates (1926–1992) was the author of the novels Revolutionary Road, A Special Providence, Disturbing the Peace, The Easter Parade, A Good School, Young Hearts Crying, and Cold Spring Harbor, as well as the short-story collections Eleven Kinds of Loneliness and Liars in Love.

About the Narrator

Kristoffer Tabori made his screen debut when he was six years old and appeared on Broadway for the first time at age sixteen. He has garnered numerous honors for his stage, screen, television, and radio acting and directing, including an Emmy and three Earphones Awards. His first solo narration won the 1993 Audie Award for best audiobook of the year.