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Publisher's Summary

William Silver is a talented and charismatic young teacher whose unconventional methods raise eyebrows among his colleagues and superiors. His students, however, are devoted to him. His teaching of Camus, Faulkner, Sartre, Keats, and other kindred souls breathes life into their sense of social justice and their capacities for philosophical and ethical thought. But unbeknownst to his adoring pupils, Silver proves incapable of living up to the ideals he encourages in others. Emotionally scarred by failures in his personal life and driven to distraction by the City of Light's overpowering carnality and beauty, Silver succumbs to a temptation that will change the course of his life. His fall will render him a criminal in the eyes of some and all too human in the eyes of others.
In Maksik's stylish prose, Paris is sensual, dazzling, and dangerously seductive. It serves as a fitting backdrop for a dramatic tale about the tension between desire and action, and about the complex relationship that exists between our public and private selves.
©2011 Alexander Maksik (P)2011 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Both intelligent and intellectual, this is both a tribute to brilliant teachers and a cautionary tale of their imperfections." (Kirkus)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By D. Witscher on 07-04-16

Who is the teacher and who are the students?

Would you consider the audio edition of You Deserve Nothing to be better than the print version?

No. The audio version is well done but the print version, without hearing multiple voices, allows the reader to imaging the faces of the characters without outside influence.

What did you like best about this story?

The examination of the relationships between teachers and students is well portrayed. The teacher seeks to stimulate learning but can the teacher transcend his/her own flawed self in order to expand the horizon of students?

Which scene was your favorite?

The confrontation at the end between the principal, trustee, and the protagonist.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The protagonist's trip to Greece was the key to understanding his loneliness and isolation even though his outward life was devoted to social interactions.

Any additional comments?

This is a great study in the internal contradictions we all face between our ideals and our reality.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By M. Tyrrell on 03-03-17

well what to say...

it is laid out in a confusing manor. storylines left unresolved just ends. i would recommend a different book unless you are fluent in french, because there are section and lines that aren't translated..

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