Book Review, Books!, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Review: Dead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum

Hey all, Dani here.

As you are probably aware, I am participating in the summer session of the Biannual Bibliothon being hosted over on BookTube, Twitter, Bookstagram, etc. Today I offer up my first book review from my TBR for the event. Most of my reviews for the books I’m reading this week will be up in the next couple weeks, whenever I can squeeze them in due to my already scheduled reviews.

Anyway this covers reading challenge #5: Book to Movie Adaptation.

Yes, I am still counting this for the challenge even though I learned that the book is adapted from the screenplay.



Todd Anderson and his friends at Welton Academy can hardly believe how different life is since their new English professor, the flamboyant John Keating, has challenged them to “make your lives extraordinary! ” Inspired by Keating, the boys resurrect the Dead Poets Society–a secret club where, free from the constraints and expectations of school and parents, they let their passions run wild. As Keating turns the boys on to the great words of Byron, Shelley, and Keats, they discover not only the beauty of language, but the importance of making each moment count.But the Dead Poets pledges soon realize that their newfound freedom can have tragic consequences. Can the club and the individuality it inspires survive the pressure from authorities determined to destroy their dreams?

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

This was a movie I watched for the first time, I believe, in high school, and it has stuck with me ever since. Dead Poets Society is one of my favorite films, and even though this book is merely an adaptation of the screenplay, it still stands strongly on its own. No matter how many times I watch this (or in future reread this) I feel that it will always resonate in me and there are certain lines and certain lessons that I will hold close to my heart for the rest of my life.

Some of my favorite lines from the book/movie:

  • “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world”
  • “But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”
  • “So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.”
  • “To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

In many ways I feel like some of those quotes explain why I do what I do, why I am so passionate about sharing my love of books and movies and television shows and RPGs and board games and so many other activities attributed to nerd/geek culture. It also is why I will continue to read and write and share my love of the written word.

It is also why I will continue to get emotional any time I approach the end of Dead Poets Society. The final classroom, showing the impact Mr. Keating had on the class, will continue to inspire me, as will Mr. Keating’s approach to learning and to life in general.

While yes there are some troubling acts in this tale, I think it is still an important one to tell. If you have not watched the movie (or read the adaptation novel), then I very highly recommend that you check it out. And you may want to have tissues handy, just in case the story resonates within you as well.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of Dead Poets Society from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. Of course you can probably also pick up the movie from those places as well.

Biannual Bibliothon Update

Wow, we are halfway through the Biannual Bibliothon. For those of you also participating (or those of you doing BookTube-a-Thon instead), I hope you are having a productive week of reading. I finished reading Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger yesterday, completing my challenge of reading a book that I bought because of the cover. And now I’m reading Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh, which is the Bibliothon group read pick.

Readathon totals

# books completed: 4

# reading challenges completed: 1.5

1 thought on “Review: Dead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum”

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