perhaps it is not fair to judge the book in reference to the movie, but, after having seen the movie, i was expecting a lot more from this book. the book reads exactly like a diary - but one that was not expected to be published. it is a rushed log of events. little is done to bring continuity to any of the scenes. once something happens, it is over, and little analysis is provided to clarify what a student's action might mean in the larger context of french culture, and, there is extremely little in there that would indicate that the author has any particular feelings one way or the other about anything that has happened. students are not individualized, so it is difficult to remember who is who and their histories. instead, students are described by what they are wearing, or reference is made to a particular habit of theirs, such as wearing a hat to class. in the book, the teacher is very harsh with the students, often refering to them as "stupid" or "imbeciles," and i was given no context to determine if this was standard, or if the teacher was being overly severe. furthermore, the subject matter is not one that would be taught in where im from - an all grammar class would be a disaster. given that context, it would have been nice to see what kinds of things the teacher did in order to get the class interested in the subject matter, because difficult as the kids might have been, they seemed to respond to this teacher, and seemed relatively clever in terms of the questions they ask and the responses they give might often be insolent, but were often not far from the topic. oh, and the whole entire aspect of the book that had to do with the teachers lounge was deadly boring and served only to make the narrator out to have great stamina and methods as compared to his colleagues. where the movie was an exploration of the highs and lows of conducting a school year, and an exploration of the cultural forces at play during a turbulent time in paris, the book is much smaller in scope, limited to the perspective of one man, seemingly written between class periods on scraps of paper.