Schools Out Paperback
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
On the down side, the translation is at times awkward. I would like to explain the difficulties away by claiming British usage but phrase such as "two crew" rather than "two crew members" disrupt one's reading more than simple British-isms. The book could be improved by a bit of editing - in the early part of the book the scene setting is overly long for its narrative function. But Dufosse is definitely an author worth watching - entertaining and thought-provoking.
The book focuses on classroom 9F. Their young, first year teacher, has just committed suicide by jumping from the classroom window, and Pierre Hoffman takes over. He's warned by his fellow teachers and by one of the students of 9F that something's wrong in the class, and that he's in danger, but he never really seems endangered. He gets a strange package in the mail, and suffers through anonymous hangup phone calls, but that's it. He discovers that one of 9F's elementary school teachers is also dead, but as the novel moves toward a surprising climax the whole thing ultimately feels pointless, because the author never lets us get to know any of the students. They act as one group, which is part of the point of the novel, but we never really care about that group, so we aren't really that bothered by 9F's fate.
I guess it's possible that a book like this resonates differently in our culture from the way it does in France, but I felt like reading this was a waste of my time.