Matters of Honor

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Jan 23, 2007 - Fiction - 336 pages
3 Reviews
“Terrifically intelligent, moving, and entertaining.”
–The New York Sun


“With snappy dialogue [and] intelligent prose . . . Begley paints a memorable portrait of lasting friendship and of the strength required to step outside of the expectations that surround each of us.”
–Rocky Mountain News

At the beginning of the 1950s, three disparate young men are thrown together as roommates at Harvard College: Henry White, a Polish-Jewish refugee who survived World War II by hiding in Poland; Archibald P. Palmer III, an Army brat; and Sam Standish, ostensibly the scion of a fine New England family who has just learned that he was adopted at birth by parents he cannot respect. Each seeks to come to terms with his identity or to remake it altogether. Henry’s task is especially daunting: He is determined to live as an American, free of the shackles of his hideous past. But reinvention is a bargain with the devil, and over the years each will find that it comes at a high cost, challenging one’s honor and loyalty to parents, friends, and ultimately oneself.


BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Louis Begley's Memories of a Marriage.

“Absorbing . . . In full Henry James mode, Begley uses a lucid prose style to dispassionately eviscerate the upper classes even as he illuminates the true meaning of friendship.”
–Booklist

“The final moral crisis of Henry’s life [is] gorgeously evoked. . . . Begley’s analysis of class and anti-Semitism in America is often brilliant.”
–The Washington Post Book World

“A moving tale . . . [Begley’s] technique demands attention–and richly rewards it.”
–The New York Observer

“An elegant novel of enduring friendship.”
–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Miguelnunonave - LibraryThing

Interesting but too flat. Reads well but leaves you with no memorable impression. The writing style is too factual, like a business report or a diary. Just a load of babbling on the life of the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hemlokgang - LibraryThing

This is a sleeper of a novel. On the surface it is simply a tale of four post-WWII Harvard freshmen and their coming of age with typical life struggles in the arenas of career, family, and ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Louis Begley lives in New York City. His previous novels are Wartime Lies, The Man Who Was Late, As Max Saw It, About Schimdt, Mistler’s Exit, Schmidt Delivered, and Shipwreck.


From the Hardcover edition.

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