t’s my #1 favorite book of all time.
To have conceived the idea for Is There Life After High School? and dismissed it would have been almost criminal. … I am convinced there is no other time that is as intense and kaleidoscopical. Frank Zappa is right: high school is a state of mind. You are right: high school can be exorcised. But, sometimes I’m not sure I want to exorcise high school. The pink and gray saddle-oxfords I wear please me.
I laughed, cried, and identified my way through Is There Life After High School? I thought I was the only person in the world who thought of the innies as still, until this day, having movie star quality.
San Francisco, CA
Absolutely super! My palms are still sweating.
New York, NY
I read Is There Life After High School? (a provocative title, if ever I saw one) last Saturday, neglecting most of my Saturday errands to do so, and staying indoors when the weather was good. It’s really great! I was impressed by the throwaways as much as by the main conclusions: the fact that the social values of the school reflect the size (and age) of the community, that they also reflect the general community orientation and value system. I was fascinated by what Mr. Keyes had found about the “famous” people in high school, too. He seems to have been very thorough in his researches, and he seems to have enjoyed himself in the process. I’ve already recommended the book with great enthusiasm to the mother of teenagers and one teacher of social studies at the high school level, as well as to one college student.
It’s a delicious book, as able to invade the insides of our generation as a chocolate malt. I was surprised that so many driven people were fueled by desires to throw their success in the face of faded high school peers …
Santa Monica, CA
Is There Life After High School? That’s agood question. It’s also a very good book. Consider that the opinion of an outie — or was I an innie? I never could be quite sure, which probably explains why I’m driven to succeed in life.
I have just finished reading your new book Is There Life After High School? Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s the first time I’ve been able to put into place my feelings about my high school years. I always knew I was one of the “outies” and now I realize that I, too, was out for revenge. It’s great to know others feel the same way.
Tomorrow night I shall reread the entire book. It seems to me to be tremendous fun, but tremendously important.
La Jolla, CA
I’ve just finished your delightful book. It’s the story of my life. How did you know?
“Life After” prompted many hours of fun but revealing discussion between my sister (who is 30) and myself (24). I was an innie who always felt like an outie, and she could have been an innie at being an outie.
I have just read your book Is There Life After High School? It is wonderful and RIGHT ON! … I think you’ve really hit on the heart of the matter. I’d like to include this on the reading list for an education class that I teach.
Colorado Springs, CO
When I quickly chose two paperbacks to take on a trip, your book Is There Life After High School? was one I chose. I read book reviews looking for likely reading material in it. the other choice was M*A*S*H Goes to Montreal, and I started it first, but our ice chest leaked on it and out atlas, so I began your book, and I’m glad I did — I think. Now I can’t sleep because I keep remembering my high school years, 1940-1944.
Long Beach, CA
I find it very comforting to know that those of us who were social lepers in school are now running the world. In thinking back to the last few classes that graduated here, I realized that while the “outies” had yet to do anything really great yet, the “innies” were in even worse shape: The student body president/basketball star/track runner is a box-boy at the local Safeway; the Prom Queen didn’t even finish school … All in all, after reading your book I may be tempted to, the next time I see her, pat the ex-head cheerleader and Senior Ball Queen on the arm and offer my condolences … Many thanks for a most enjoyable book.
I’m well into the final pages of your notes at the end of Is There Life After High School? I’ve enjoyed the book tremendously and have urged both my wife and teenage children to read it.
Several months ago I secured a copy of your book Is There Life After High School? Although I have read and re-read through the book so often it is now battered, I’m not yet through with it. I cannot thank you enough …
Thank you again. I have read the book thrice and skim it every so often.
Kansas City, MO
It was like a catharsis. In the few hours I spent with the book I got rid of about 85% of the high school that had been on my back since 1959. … I could write a book about praise for Is There Life After High School?
It gave me so many insights. I enjoyed it and only wished I’d read it before my reunion. I’m now one of your biggest boosters and recommend your book to anyone contemplating their reunion.
Mercer Island, WA
I have just finished your book Is There Life After High School? I enjoyed it very much. It was also very relevant because I will be starting high school in the fall. It is comforting to know that all is not lost if I happen to be an “outie”.
I very much enjoyed your book. I have already purchased 10 copies to give my friends.
I wrote you that I enjoyed your book so much I was ordering 10 copies. Last year for our high school reunion, I ordered 125 copies which left me several to give out to my friends.
Kansas City, MO
I read your book Is There Life After High School? and felt gratified and vindicated. I wanted to shake it under the noses of my grownup, skeptical, “I’m through with all that” friends and say “see!? see!?” … your book is a very accurate description of high school and its effects on people. The paragraph on breast size being a medium of exchange rang so true that I reread it several times for the reverberations. How true. How discouraging. Oh, well. Thanks for a great book, for taking something seriously which has too long been ignored.
That book was my bible in high school.
It solved a lot of problems for me.
I love this book. I keep telling people they have to read it.
I have just finished reading your book Is There Life After High School? I am a junior in high school and I don’t want to sound too dramatic, but it has changed my life. I am at the bottom of the innies group, and it’s hard. … The other night at a dance it was slow-dance time and, as always, a friend of mine and myself were left to sit out. this always happens to us. (My friend has read your book also). All of a sudden we looked at each other and started laughing at ourselves. We know that as long as we are in high school it won’t change, but since your book came along, at least we know it will improve. My friend looked at me and said, “Meet me in Las Vegas after high school.” All I could do was to tell her that all those pretty girls would drown in their own blood. It sounds severe, but it’s nice to know it all will work out. The point is that you’ve helped all of us outies and we can’t thank you enough.
Park Forest, IL
Where did you get permission to write my biography? … I loved your book. If I ever have kids, when they say, “Mom, what were you like in high school?”, I’ll squirm a while, sweat a little, and hand them your book.
All set to enjoy your book, I too early glanced at the back cover of your yearbook picture. I hated you immediately … You were the enemy. You were the kind of guy in high school who was “in things.” How DARE you call yourself an outie!
Studio City, CA
I was what you would label an innie. I was a cheerleader, student council member, co-editor of the the yearbook’s student life section, a member of the literary magazine staff, in the National Honor Society and very active in intramural sports. I have no regrets about my years of secondary education and I don’t feel that I was as ruthless as the outies you describe would have me be. … Another point I would like to argue is your theory of what happens to innies after they graduate. I don’t agree that all innies end up selling insurance and getting divorced … I also must disagree with you that all outies end up running the world. I must admit, I fall into your stereotype, as I am seeking to obtain a teaching certificate (“teaching is a field shared by innies”). You said yourself that “outies control America’s means of communication.” Does that mean I shouldn’t even try? Where do I fit in?
I am a 51 year-old high school teacher who owns a dog-eared copy of Is There Life After High School? I have lent the book to many friends and the book is suffering. Your book is a definite affirmation to those students who have not seen or realized their potential in high school, but who will later in life.
A sociologist colleague says he refers to your book every semester!
West Lafayette, IN
I hope it can come out again – and I think it is timeless.
Is There Life After High School? was an extremely important book to me. It’s only a slight overstatement to say it saved my life: After a high school career that was undistinguished, to say the least, I read Is There Life… during my freshman year of college. It showed that things – life – can change. That’s just what I needed to hear at that point in my life. Is There Life After High School? showed me that just because you were unpopular and unsuccessful in high school doesn’t mean the rest of your life has to be a replay of that.
Is There Life After High School? really had a profound affect upon me. There is someone who understands!!!!
Thanks again for writing such a wonderful book!
Ft. Thomas, KY
I read your book in about 2 days! Excellent and incredibly relevant … your findings are truly timeless.
Every time someone talks about going to their high school reunion I tell them if I ever became Emperor of Washington State I would require every student who attends their high school reunion to first read Is There Life After High School? You packed so much wisdom and whimsy into this little tome!
Mercer Island, WA
I am reading Is There Life After High School? for the first time, EVER, and well, my interest has been piqued. Gee whiz, Ralph wrote this 28 YEARS ago? It took me 28 years to find this book? Have I been living in Guam, under a clam shell? Oh well, when the student is ready, the teacher appears, even if it does take 28 years.
Coal City, IL