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By Taylor Antrim | Comments: ( 403 ) | Date: ( May 28, 2020 )

Taylor Antrim s 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 readyTaylor Antrim s 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.

  • Title: The Headmaster Ritual
  • Author: Taylor Antrim
  • ISBN: 9780618756827
  • Page: 347
  • Format: Paperback

About Author:

Taylor Antrim

Taylor Antrim is the author of the novels The Headmaster Ritual and Immunity His short stories have appeared in numerous publications including Five Chapters, American Short Fiction, and Best American Short Stories A senior editor at Vogue, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.

Comments The Headmaster Ritual

  • Emily

    Acceptance and finding your place are the themes in Taylor Antrim's newest addition to prep school lit. The Model UN descriptions are spot-on. The North Korea contrasts add drama but sometimes feel unnecessarily over developed. James and Dyer are both outcasts in the world of Britton. James, for being the headmaster's son, and Dyer for being a Oxbridge failure looking for a safe place to land.Each is presented a series of challenges that test their internal strength and direction. With a more de [...]

  • Arjuna G

    Read about a third of the way through before giving up skimmed a few pages here and there to see if anything of import or any writing of note would occur nope.

  • Haley Pratt

    During the first half of this book, I was thinking I would probably give it three stars. The writing flowed well for the most part, and there were even hints that some of the characters might get pretty interesting as things progressed. Admittedly, a story about upper-middle class white boys and men was probably never going to knock my socks off, but I thought Antrim was basically doing a decent job.As the book went on, however, I found myself more and more irritated by certain elements of the s [...]

  • Robert

    Dyer Martin finds his life at a crossroad before he gets the call to teach history at a prestigious prep school. He quits his job and breaks up with him girlfriend to take it. The Headmaster has his own agenda for hiring Martin. James Wolfe, who is the Headmaster's son, does not have a great bond with his father, like Martin, but with the help of Martin, he comes to realize that although his father isn't perfect, he loves him in his own way.

  • Ensiform

    Dwyer Martin, reeling from a breakup and being let go from his real estate job, is hired to teach history at a very exclusive private school, and is quickly ensnared in the local gossip and politics, finding the headmaster to be a leftist radical with his own mysterious motives for hiring the new guy. Intertwined with Dwyer’s story is James Wolfe’s, the son of the recently divorced head, and reluctantly living a targeted life in the cool kids’ dorms. The two characters’ father issues and [...]

  • Beckie

    i just finished reading 'the headmaster ritual' by taylor antrim. what a great read. in the spirit of 'a separate peace', my favorite high school required reading assignment, this book is about coming of age at a boarding school. it centers around the relationship, or lack thereof, between a father and son; the father being the school headmaster, and the son, a student. the son is meek in the beginning and strong in the end. the book follows his great personal blossoming through his final year i [...]

  • Hey Sailor!

    It is difficult not to compare The Headmaster Ritual with the bitter film, The Squid and The Whale. The Headmaster Ritual deals with the issue of parental abandonment - be it physical or emotional. The main character, the new History teacher and failed real estate man Dyer, and the titular Headmaster's son, James, both drift the edges of life, never fully engaging in anything and not understanding what is the source of their unhappiness. Dyer seeks out father figures in his bosses - his girlfrie [...]

  • James

    I love his writing style and the way he unfolds a scene. The character development was very interesting and the pacing of the book was consistent without feeling drawn out. My major complaint is with the story itself. Some reviews found the North Korea element to be overbearing, which I disagreed with until I finally finished the story entirely. It's a bit unbelievable, and is a random subject for a headmaster to be obsessed with. It seems like something Taylor Antrim chose out of a hat as the u [...]

  • Caroline Bartels

    The big question I always ask to myself is what possesses people to send their children to boarding school. Drugs, sex, bullying -- that's always changed a bit over the years, but it's always there and everyone in the school always seems one step away from going postal. (I also say this after having been at workshops over the years with people who teach at boarding schools.) I also hate it when an author has a character correct another character's grammar by correct when the character misuses wh [...]

  • Heather Knight

    The story of a first-year teacher at a boarding school, the eponymous headmaster, and the headmaster's son who is — unfortunately — a student at the school. The headmaster is a socialist who uses his son, and his students a bit to his own ends.I want to say I liked this book less because it was unsympathetic to socialists. I liked its deadpan, and the way it spoke to me on a generational level. Oh, and the way it made me sing The Smiths in my head every time I read it. I've read a lot of "ca [...]

  • Austin Mckinley

    An awful, myopic view of boarding school life. The two main characters are identical: generically insecure whitebread male American intellectual outcasts, with the same fears, problems, tragedies and triumphs. Despite a 20 year age difference, they have the same level of emotional maturity, and the same gawkish, unbearable, self-conscious inner monologue. Jumping between their stories ends up being jarring only because it often happens without the reader even noticing.The entire novel builds to [...]

  • Sally Smith

    I mean, I don't know. I'm scratching my head. Theoretically, I feel like this book deserved more than three stars: the writing was good, the characters were mostly well crafted and three dimensional, the dialogue was even occasionally compelling. But, like, something went wrong somewhere--something I'm having a hard time putting my finger on. Maybe the plot wasn't as gripping as it could have been? 'Boarding School' is usually synonymous with dramatic hi-jinks, but they were disappointingly spar [...]

  • Alex Myers

    I would rate the plotting at 3 stars, the writing at 3.5 but the plausibility at 1 (or lower). Granted, I both went to and taught at a prep schools, but still. If you place a school in Massachusetts, you should at least look up which routes might hit a school and which might not (there is a difference between 91 and 93). You should also know something about extracurriculars and school culture (for a plot that centers around North Korea, it is very odd that a prep school seems to have no Korean s [...]

  • Pieter

    Not the traditional prep school novel you would expect from the title. Instead, this headmaster is a 60's-era radical who is now a devil's advocate for North Korea. The main characters are the headmaster's shy son, James, who is forced to live in the dorms, and Dyer, the school's emotionally underdeveloped new history teacher. The unique plot device revolves around the school's Model UN program. The plot is minimal, the climax rushed, and the main characters can be frustrating, but that made the [...]

  • Nickmeyer14

    Was kind of a dull book. Had like 2 actual conflicts in it, and they weren't even that suspenseful, and they didn't make you want to read on at all.when i finished this book, i nearly cried. maybe the suspense was actually finishing the book?hmm anyways this book really sucked and was a boring read. the author DID make the book realistic (as in everyday life, nothing interesting ever happens) and that may have been why it was such a bore; most people could care less abouty somebody's day to day [...]

  • Maya

    Okay, I admit that the title was originally what hooked me, because I'm shallow like that. And then I read a great review, and started readingd was enjoying it, but wasn't blown away, jacket blurbs or no. "The best prep school novel since 'A Separate Peace?' Really?" Just past the halfway mark things really started getting interesting. It's an incredible finish. I still don't know that it's the best thing ever to hit prep school lit (or even that we were waiting for such a thing), but I'd recomm [...]

  • Heather

    I guess I need a new bookshelf/tag - "could not finish." I got almost halfway through and gave up. It's not that it's poorly written, per se, but I didn't find the protagonist relatable or interesting, and the headmaster's obsession with Vietnam-era protest just felt tired. Maybe if my own personal experiences had been different, I'd find this book more interesting, but as it was, I was bored beyond belief.

  • catechism

    The writing itself was pretty good -- tight pacing, nice turns of phrase, etc -- but the story was pretty lackluster. I didn't find any of the characters particularly well-developed or likable, and there was this whole thing about North Korea that was weird and random and heavy-handed. I also thought the themes (parental abandonment, isolation) were overdone. Bottom line, if one must read books about rich white boys in boarding school, there are much better options available.

  • aaron

    this is taylor antrim's first book and it is a pretty decent first work. it centers on dyer martin and his new job at a prestigious boarding school by the name of britton academy. while there, he meets the politically charged headmaster, edward wolfe and his son, the loner james wolfe. together, dyer and james are pulled into edward's scheme involving the academy, a group of teenagers, and north korea. an interesting book and worth a look if you are into political styled novels.

  • Diane

    The story of a new teacher at an elite private high school, and his relationship with the headmaster, who has an agenda of his own. The story was too cliche-ridden to be really interesting, and the characters weren't overly likable. It seemed like too many spoiled rich people, who weren't all that interesting.

  • Ashly

    This has been compared to A Separate Peace uh, no. Nope. I was 2/3s of the way through before I really stopped asking, " what's the point?" And when I finished, I still wasn't clear. Disappointed in this one.

  • Katelynn

    When I read this book it was a way different from the other books that I had just finished, so this was a welcome change. I would say that it is a little slower in pace, but if you are looking for a book about relationships, this is definitely the one. I did not care at all for the political aspects that were written into the story line, but overall I liked it.

  • Stephanie

    A quick read, probably only really engaging if you went to prep school. I found the twist that sets this apart from other prep school novels--the headmaster's obsession w/North Korea--to be distracting and jarring, not to mention totally unrealistic. If he had found another conflict to hang the plot on I would have enjoyed it much more.

  • Stephanie

    I loved the idea of having the headmaster be a radical. I like the development of the main character, Dyer, starting a second career at a private school. I related with his development into an educator. But I had a harder time with the headmaster's relationship with his son. The character development wasn't fluid enough for me.

  • angrykitty

    i found myself not being able to stop reading this book once i started it, unfortunately, it ended in kind of a lmae way (so i thought). the ending was such a downer to a book that was so good throughout. it's still worth the time though.

  • Lindsay

    I was so excited to read this, but I couldn't even get through it. I stopped at page 70. It has a bit of the Chocolate War in it, and the narrative switches between two characters. I found reading it to be a chore, and since I have eleventy other books to read, I don't need that!

  • Cynthia Rider

    I liked this book. It had a very masculine vibe. The characters were sympathetic and the persepective on the North Korea situation was pretty interesting. It was one of those books that presents a little lesson in the story that you don't even notice because the story is so enjoyable.

  • Dawn

    Christopher Buckley's cover quote on this book says "A stunning debut in every way." I was dazed by how un-stunning this book became after the alluring prologue. Entertaining, standard-issue boarding school novel with quirky global politics sub-plot.

  • Anne

    I literally only picked this book up due to the title, also a title of a fantastic smiths song. I'm open but the first 50 or so pages are slow moving, I'm going to stick with it After reading this bookwell at least the book mentioned morrissey in the epilogue lol

  • reed

    Predictable and unsympathetic characters. Didn't finish.

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  • [PDF] æ Free Download ↠ The Headmaster Ritual : by Taylor Antrim Î
    347 Taylor Antrim
  • thumbnail Title: [PDF] æ Free Download ↠ The Headmaster Ritual : by Taylor Antrim Î
    Posted by:Taylor Antrim
    Published :2020-02-01T04:29:47+00:00