>having said that, they are hardly what I would call a locus of enlightenment.
Sure, but I think the comparison Michael is making is a false dilemma.
>The atmosphere is constrained, dour, anti-social, and somewhat
>asphyxiated. The drugs flow like water. The sense of entitlement is
>through the roof. The sense of isolation and the pressure to succeed
>is palpable. The kids cultivate a very professional and aloof
>attitude and are completely unnatural.
For this I'd skip Trollope and take a look at something like Savage Grace or Edie:American Girl.