London: Arktos, 2013
Read Greg Johnson’s review here
Thirteen-year-old Leland Pefley was minding his own business, enjoying a day’s fishing near his father’s farm in Tennessee, when the odd, well-dressed and well-spoken man from the city appeared, inviting Lee to accompany him to a more interesting place.
Out of curiosity, Lee followed him, and found himself hustled off to a strange, rustic academy in the wilderness with a group of other boys, all of whom had been semi-abducted as he himself had been.
None of them knew why they were there. Some believed they had been brought there to be murdered, or worse. The Academy, it turned out, is an actual school, run by eccentric, curmudgeonly teachers obsessed with training an elite band of boys who will grow up with a passion to preserve some vestige of genuine culture amidst the tide of democratic, egalitarian degeneracy which they see ruining the modern world. To this end, the boys’ heads are stuffed, day in and day out, with mathematics, Ancient Greek and classical music, among other subjects.
Rankling at first under the teachers’ bizarre, authoritarian methods, Lee sticks around, knowing that he can slip away at any time he wants. But, for some reason, he doesn’t, and before long, he finds that his teachers are starting to make quite a lot of sense . . .