Not exactly what I anticipated, but still a mildly enjoyable read. It reads beautifully but I couldn't care much for the plot. Gene has always been introverted and jealous of his best friend Phineas. At a boy's boarding school in New England they find themselves competing in every manner of sport and game; only Phineas doesn't realize how seriously Gene takes it all. For once in his lousy life, Gene wants to be better at something than Phineas, even if it's just grades. He doesn't want to steal the spotlight he just wants to be an equal. One day while fooling around, tragedy strikes. Will things ever be the same again? Set during World War II, this tale of friendship, loyalty, and competition has still remained a classic decades later. Not my cup of tea, but not bad either.