By Rhonda Johnson
Updated March 25, 1994 at 05:00 AM EST

Stand Before Your God: A Boarding-school Memoir

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Seven-year-old Paul was under the impression he was going to a party when his parents took him from their Rhode Island home to England’s Dragon School and left him there. His account of leaving behind school-bus rides and Donny Osmond lunchboxes for a British boarding school’s sadistic teachers, vile- smelling kippers, and teddy-bear torture is so hilarious and horrible that the stunning lyricism of Stand Before Your God takes a while to sink in. For out of the crushing loneliness of life at Dragon and, later, at Eton, an accomplished writer is born. Watkins (who published four novels before he turned 30) renders a rare glimpse of flowering talent. A

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Stand Before Your God: A Boarding-school Memoir

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