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When a teacher is found dead, having apparently committed suicide, his friend Pierre Hoffman takes over class F and finds himself responsible for a group of strangely subdued, well behaved and yet menacing pupils Assuming their behavior to be a response to the trauma of their teacher s death, Pierre Hoffman at first takes it easy with the precocious class, refusing to share the other staff members hostility toward the children Over the weeks that follow, however, he receives a series of signals and warnings that cause him to question the motivations of his pupils and the circumstances of his colleague s suicide I found this book by Christophe Dufoss quite enjoyable I spent several hours in uncertaintythan in real fright, but they were, to be true, quite creepy, a hundred miles away fromoptimistic texts on the redeeming role of the educator Pierre Hoffmann doesn t like his job Pierre Hoffmann is not necessarily someone we would like to meet Actually, Pierre Hoffmann and the other characters seem to be the stereotypes of their own manias, and here is the full catalogue of them Between t I found this book by Christophe Dufoss quite enjoyable I spent several hours in uncertaintythan in real fright, but they were, to be true, quite creepy, a hundred miles away fromoptimistic texts on the redeeming role of the educator Pierre Hoffmann doesn t like his job Pierre Hoffmann is not necessarily someone we would like to meet Actually, Pierre Hoffmann and the other characters seem to be the stereotypes of their own manias, and here is the full catalogue of them Between the gruff lesbians, the young suicidal teacher, the stupid gym teacher, the headmaster that plies to the will of the parents, the overtly sexual teenager and yet This classroom of cold teenagers, who talk like adults, so young and yet so close to the end Who could believe in such a plot Paradoxically, the slightly contrived language used by Dufoss reinforces this illusion this is only a novel, a finely observed social and psychological study, the exploration of something that will never happen and yet There is in all something that rings very true as far as relationships are concerned I advise this read for teachers who are a little blas s about their work, as well as for those who want to spend a few hours reading a story of suspense I didn t say horror which takes the reader deeper in manipulation and unnaturally creepy human relationships.Having said that, excuse me, but who was in charge of the summary on the backcover on the French edition What a blunder to reveal the ending v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v J ai assez aim ce livre de Christophe Dufoss Il m a fait passer quelques heures plus incertaines qu inqui tantes, assez glauques vrai dire, cent lieues de textes plus optimistes sur la fonction salvatrice de l ducateur Pierre Hoffmann n aime pas son m tier Pierre Hoffmann n est pas quelqu un que l on aimerait forc ment rencontrer Plut t, Pierre Hoffmann et les autres personnages sont les st r otypes de leurs propres n vroses, et il y en a un catalogue Entre les lesbiennes un peu brusques, le jeune enseignant suicidaire, le prof de gym idiot, le principal soumis la pression des parents d l ves, l adolescente nymphomaneet pourtantCette classe d adolescents froids, la diction si adulte, si jeunes et pourtant si proches de la fin Qui pourrait y croire Paradoxalement, le langage un peu ampoul de Dufoss renforce cette illusion ce n est qu un roman, une tude psychologique et sociale tr s bien observ e, une exploration d un fait divers qui ne se produira jamaiset pourtantIl y a dans tout cela une forte part de v rit sur les rapports humains.Je conseille la lecture de ce livre tous les profs un peu d sabus s, ainsi qu ceux qui ont envie de passer quelques heures lire une histoire de suspense, sans terreur pourtant, mais o l on s enfonce de plus en plus dans la manipulation et dans des rapports humains qui mettent mal l aise Par contre, qui s est occup du r sum au dos du livre C est un peu ballot de d voiler la fin NO SPOILERS What School s Out is supposed to be about a class of sinister freshman students with murderous tendencies What it is instead 321 pages of tangents, plus five pages of an unfocused, yawn inducing main plot This is such a frustrating book Here are just some of the tangents I was subjected to while impatiently waiting for the main story a detailed memory of a punk rock concert the narrator s ramblings about the television shows he likes to watch, the various sounds he can he NO SPOILERS What School s Out is supposed to be about a class of sinister freshman students with murderous tendencies What it is instead 321 pages of tangents, plus five pages of an unfocused, yawn inducing main plot This is such a frustrating book Here are just some of the tangents I was subjected to while impatiently waiting for the main story a detailed memory of a punk rock concert the narrator s ramblings about the television shows he likes to watch, the various sounds he can hear from his apartment, and his oddball neighbors a television show the narrator liked to watch as a child, with special mention of the show s theme song excessive detail of a home s gardens and property and a bizarre out of the blue incestuous encounter between the narrator and his sister Just when Dufosse focused on the main plot, just when the pace finally quickened the slightest bit, he switched back to some completely irrelevant, utterly boring, pages long tangent The pace then reverts to a snail s crawl I was desperate fordetails about the students, the dead teacher, the history the students had with each other, something having to do with the main plot line Equally problematic is that School s Out tells but doesn t show A few characters describe these students as peculiar and scary, but the students are never shown actually doing anything criminal my curiosity never was piqued much I was supposed to accept these kids are threatening and clannish simply because they are As for the few creepy student teacher momentsthey re laughably underwhelming at least to modern readers desensitized by stories of real life school massacres The characters in this book are so cardboard, though, that I m not even sure seeing them commit a crime would be so frightening The most dimension Dufosse gave each student, for instance, was a first and last name at one point even listing all twenty four full names as if full names are the most important kind of characterization The students barely even speak Additionally, this book has at least twelve extraneous non student characters they in no way relate to the main plot or serve any purpose It feels almost as if Dufosse mistakenly believed that to achieve a certain level of literary sophistication he had to cram his work full of characters Stylistically, School s Out is flawed Numerous sentences are rambling and convoluted to the point of nonsense I m not sure whether the fault lies with the translator or the author Regardless, it s torture The well proportioned quasi neutrality of her silhouette, of her appearance, even in a seated position, the fragile rectitude of it all, evoked in me an irreversible negation, flaws concealed beneath a deceptive classicism Gobbledygook like this completely halts the pace about every two pages The ending is supposed to be dramatic and shocking but is meaningless Again, because Dufosse barely focused on the main plot and failed entirely to flesh out his main characters and show them acting criminal , the ending has zero impact and doesn t even make sense I can t praise a single thing about this book As a short story or novella, this tale could have turned out beautifully, as Dufosse would have been forced to home in on main characters and main plot only The premise is provocative, and it s obvious Dufosse wanted to create something chilling and memorable, but unfortunately he failed entirely in its execution Final verdict Throw out School s Out It was translated from the French into British English, and Americans have to do the second translation mentally, which, in addition to the loads of unfamiliar cultural and political and philosophical references, makes it a tough read for such an unassuming little book.The story ppppllllooodddssss along By the end, I just kept hoping that the kids would put him out of his existential French misery As several other reviewers have pointed out, the author spends a lot of time on character studies It was translated from the French into British English, and Americans have to do the second translation mentally, which, in addition to the loads of unfamiliar cultural and political and philosophical references, makes it a tough read for such an unassuming little book.The story ppppllllooodddssss along By the end, I just kept hoping that the kids would put him out of his existential French misery As several other reviewers have pointed out, the author spends a lot of time on character studies of peripheral characters such as faculty spouses and parents of victims, but only sketches the adolescents in quick, broad strokes On a positive note, the author has a different very different voice then one might encounter in most American and British novels, and some uniques turns of phase amused and startled But not enough to recommend plowing through this long, dreary, rainy tale I came across this book at the library a while ago and thought why notHence, I borrowed it and started to read it At first, I wasn t impressed at all I found the reviews saying it was a thrilling read bla, bla, bla were a bit exaggerated The author seemed to have some kind of megalomania going on with a lot of difficult words in like every sentence Interestingly enough, I continued reading The plot was at the point quite boring and the book was being a really slow read It was actuall I came across this book at the library a while ago and thought why notHence, I borrowed it and started to read it At first, I wasn t impressed at all I found the reviews saying it was a thrilling read bla, bla, bla were a bit exaggerated The author seemed to have some kind of megalomania going on with a lot of difficult words in like every sentence Interestingly enough, I continued reading The plot was at the point quite boring and the book was being a really slow read It was actually just standing in my bookshelf for a while, nothing made me want to read it until I just decided to get rid of it That s when it started getting better Suddenly, some interesting characters were introduced and the mystery which the book evolves around was starting to become a real mystery Earlier it had just seemed like a teacher s obsession Hmm, maybe I should talk about what the book is about Let s do that 30 ish year old teacher Pierre Hoffman takes over a school class after the mentor died in what looks like a suicide The class has a strange way of acting and Pierre realises something has got to be wrong with the class He comes up with the conclusion that the class murdered their old teacher and it developes into his own little detective s show Throughout all this he has some philosophical moments where he ponders everything that he can come up with When he is not pondering och doing detective s work, he is observing people s behaviour and making assumptions about them which are almost always spot on.Well, well Let s get to the reviewing stuff I was a bit annoyed by the Hey Let s put all kinds of pro words into this book so that I look really smart mentality The funny thing was that it reflected in both the author s style and in the main character Coincidence All in all, I give it a three To give it a two would be too hard as it wasthan OK but it wasn t good enough to deserve a I really liked it I disliked it becouse of the excrutiatingly slow pace and the lack of a good plot but liked it because of the unique style and all the things that go around the plot, the backgrounds, descritions and thoughts about I don t know what If you have some patience, read this book It s not a masterpiece, far from it, but it s worth a try