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The Headmaster Ritual by Taylor Antrim

The Headmaster Ritual

by Taylor Antrim

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There was nothing really new here. The characters were rather shallow and I didn't find any of them to be especially likable, which, in this type of story, is absolutely essential. Dyer is a new teacher looking for a fresh start. James is the headmaster's son whose father fresh started his life for him. Read on and watch each of them grow and learn in highly predictable ways!Seriously though, this was after-school-special predictable. The sad thing is, both of the protagonists in this story are affected in the same ways at the same times. I don't know if this was intended or just lazy. Each guy has a hard time adjusting, then meets a girl, then has a falling out with the girl, then starts fitting in, all the while clashing with the headmaster...and at this point, it's quite likely you'll be fully able to fill in the blanks. The metaphors were forced and the plot was contrived, but if you're really into these "campus fiction" books or you start salivating at the thought of high school kids at the model UN, then by all means, read Mr. Antrim's book. You'll find it on the bargain shelves at your local bookstore. ( )
  anoceandrowning | Jan 21, 2010 |
I just couldn't get into this book. I had a really hard time relating to anything in the book. There was too much history about North Korea and things that I didn't quite understand. It was too masculine for me. I usually really like books about prep school and the like, but this just didn't do it for me. ( )
  goldiebear | Sep 29, 2008 |
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Dyer Martin curled his fingers through the chainlink and stared at the empty field of shrub.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618756825, Paperback)

Taylor Antrim’s debut novel is a darkly comic, clear-eyed look at hidden worlds whose complexities and rules can be understood only from inside: the insular hothouse of boarding school, the thorny dynamics between father and son, and the self-delusion of blind ideological commitment.

Dyer Martin, a new history teacher at the prestigious Britton School, arrives in the fall ready to close the door on the failures and disappointments of his past: a disastrous first job, a broken relationship, and acute uncertainty about his future. James, a lonely senior, just wants to make it through his last year unscathed, avoiding both the brutal hazing of dorm life and the stern and unforgiving eye of his father, the school’s politically radical headmaster, Edward Wolfe.

Soon, however, both Dyer and James are inescapably drawn into Wolfe’s hidden agenda for Britton, as the headmaster orders Dyer to set up and run a Model UN Club for students. As the United States moves steadily toward a conflict with an increasingly hostile North Korea -- whose pursuit of nuclear technology is pushing the world to the brink of nuclear Armageddon -- Wolfe’s political fervor begins to consume him, and he sets in motion a plan that will jeopardize his job, his school, and even the life of his own son.

With precisely controlled, deceptively subtle storytelling, The Headmaster Ritual is an insightful and captivating examination of the halting, complicated course young men must chart to shake off the influence of fathers -- and father figures -- while refining their convictions about the world and their place in it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:54 -0400)

Dyer Martin, a new history teacher at the prestigious Britton School, and James, a lonely senior who only wants to make it through his final year unscathed, fall victim to the radical political fervor of the school's stern headmaster, James's father Ed Wolfe.… (more)

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