The Oath

(8 customer reviews)


  • Author Name: Michael L. Lewis
  • Publication Date: 28/02/2019
  • Format: Paperback

In stock

ISBN: 9781912575862

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The polished veneer of a boys’ boarding school in Northern England masks a cadre of wickedness. Seniors viciously torment any junior they deem unfit. Jonathan Simon, in his first term at Blackleigh School in 1955, is warned: 1) There are three monsters in his dorm: seniors Flicker, Sleeth, and Tunk; and 2) A code of conduct mandates no snitching.

Simon befriends two other juniors; pixie-faced Ian Gracey; and witty, grossly overweight Arthur Crown. Juniors are required to clean seniors’ studies and Crown panics when he’s assigned to Flicker, who was under suspicion by the police a year earlier after a junior fell from the church bell tower in the off-limits cemetery. During a cross-country run, the three friends take a shortcut and stumble into the cadet rifle range. Corps Sergeant Sleeth puts them through a degrading punishment using human excrement. The three juniors swear a blood oath never to allow another bully to abuse them.

Will this oath be their downfall, or will they make it through the school year? Snitching could have serious consequences, but keeping silent will break their blood oath. As Simon, Gracey and Crown try to survive this perilous journey, the constant threat of harm brings their friendship ever closer…

Michael L. Lewis was born and raised in England. After preparatory school in London, he was educated at Stowe School, Buckingham. Michael says, “My novel takes the reader on a journey through the lives of three dynamic school boys between the ages of 13 and 15, and the extraordinary triumphs and tragedies that they experience.” This book is the first in a series. Michael now lives in Los Angeles, California, has a law degree, and writes full-time. He was on the Board of Trustees for several schools, and has been a member of the same book club for twenty-five years.

8 reviews for The Oath

  1. Tuya Sam

    Can’t wait to read ! Teen age ” Bullying” in modern days big issue for parents. Very interesting how bullying and prejudice in UK elite school evolve.

  2. Kindle review

    The Oath, by Michael L Lewis, is a bit similar to a Harry Potter story. But for a much more adult audience. Brutal and frank the plots unveil life and death in a British Public School. New boys are subjected to bullying and fagging ( A form of slavery!). Couldn’t put the book down. So frank and revealing. I am just happy that my sons and grandsons did NOT go to Public School. Thankfully I understand that the beatings and inhumane treatment of pupils has now been abolished.

  3. Sceptic

    This novel is a very well-written and suspenseful story about boys who find the courage to stand up to menacing bullies in their boarding school. A page-turner.

  4. Darryl Denning, Musician and Poet, Los Angeles, CA.

    “The Oath” is a beautifully written novel exploring “bullying”. It is gripping and suspenseful. Michael L. Lewis is excellent at his craft. A must read. Darryl Denning, Musician and Poet, Los Angeles, CA.

  5. Sandra K Harris

    This book is getting 5-star reviews at Amazon UK, Good Reads and Book Guild. It takes an in-depth look at bullying, good for young adults to read, good for parents to use as an intro to talking about bullying with their kids. There is a suspenseful story line; you get drawn into the lives of the boys at the boarding school. Highly recommended as a good read, and for being informative about the issue of bullying.

  6. Ashley G

    So for those of us not raised in the traditional British upper-class (therefore, uh, most of us) the idea of an all-male boarding school is caged in secrecy and brings up images of raucous boy behavior and hazing – and The Oath is like all of those nightmares brought to life in a suspenseful drama that makes readers wonder if they could survive the onslaught.

    There’s three main characters who are “juniors” at a prestigious school in Northern England – Arthur, Ian and Jonathan. They soon find themselves the targets of a group of sadistic seniors, who put them through a series of torturous rituals. After one particularly gruesome event, the boys vow to avenge themselves, no matter what.

    This particular school will give you chills as soon as you follow Jonathan and the others onto the train. It’s clear that they are at the bottom of the food chain and that those at the top are quite disturbed. I totally was cringing as they settled into the school and learned how things work. I was definitely sure I would have run for my life.

    I found that I liked the trio and was really rooting for them. Especially after the episode that required them to make “the oath.” I was anxious to see if things were going to work out or if they would become victims of the school’s environment.

    I have mixed emotions about the ending. I don’t want to say too much but I wish things had worked out a little more….judiciously. It seemed some people didn’t nessecarily get what they should have, so to speak.

    But overall, this book was filled with suspense and really opened up a world that is pretty foreign to most of us. I enjoyed it very much and would read more from this author, definitely.

  7. Cristi U

    Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.

  8. Keri H

    Great read about bullies and finding courage. This novel is graphic and frank in the torment boys receive in a British school. Excellent read to start conversations to take steps to end bullying.

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