This semi-autobiographical work tells the story of Gordon Caruthers schooldays at the English public school, Fenhurst. From his confusion and isolation, through rebellious school escapades and relationships with fellow students, Alec Waugh reveals his own deep criticism of a system forcing pupils to conform to flawed ideals, and the inevitable consequences of thrusting thirteen year old children and eighteen year old adolescents together. The book caused a storm of controversy at the time and was banned in many schools. Today it can be rightly seen as a controversial comment on public school life, and a classic.

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