Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris

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Synopsis

For generations, privileged young men have attended St. Oswald's Grammar School for Boys, groomed for success by the likes of Roy Straitley, the eccentric Classics teacher who has been a fixture there for more than thirty years. This year, however, the wind of unwelcome change is blowing, and Straitley is finally, reluctantly, contemplating retirement. As the new term gets under way, a number of incidents befall students and faculty alike, beginning as small annoyances but soon escalating in both number and consequence. St. Oswald's is unraveling, and only Straitley stands in the way of its ruin. But he faces a formidable opponent with a bitter grudge and a master strategy that has been meticulously planned to the final, deadly move.

 

About Joanne Harris

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JOANNE HARRIS is the author of the Whitbread Award-shortlisted Chocolat (made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp) and eleven other bestselling novels. She lives with her husband and daughter in Yorkshire.
 
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 422 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, History, Romance, Business & Economics. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Gentlemen and Players

Kirkus Reviews

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The shifty individual sometimes known as Snyde arrives at St. Oswald’s as the offspring of the school porter and returns, bent on destruction, in the guise of a teacher.

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The Guardian

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The story is told by two narrators - Roy Straitley, old-school Latin beak starting his 100th term, and the cunningly anonymous person whose father was once the school caretaker - and flits between the present and 15 years before, when the villainous mystery narrator lived in awe and envy of St Os...

Oct 15 2005 | Read Full Review of Gentlemen and Players

Publishers Weekly

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Pacey plays both sides of the story's central chess match for the soul of a posh British boy's school with equal energy and wit, bringing to life the sad and troubled outsider Snyde, who wants so badly to be a student at St. Oswald's, and the deeply embedded classics master Roy Straitley, who car...

Mar 06 2006 | Read Full Review of Gentlemen and Players

Book Reporter

Harris supplies a didn't-see-it-coming, major plot twist and ending that I think will surprise even the most seasoned of veteran readers, in the tradition of PRESUMED INNOCENT or --- if you'll excuse the movie reference --- The Usual Suspects.

Dec 26 2006 | Read Full Review of Gentlemen and Players

Reviewing the Evidence

Joanne Harris' novel is a carefully-plotted tale of revenge targeted at an exclusive boys' school by someone who feels wronged by the school.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Joanne Harris is best known for the rich and lush novel CHOCOLAT, set in rural France.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Andreas Campomar Critical Summary Harris, author of Chocolat (1999), Five Quarters of the Orange (2001), Holy Fools ( 4 of 5 Stars May/June 2004), and other fiction, has switched genres once again.

Aug 28 2007 | Read Full Review of Gentlemen and Players

Curious Book Fans

She is less successful with her antagonist, but this was because she needed to keep as much of an air of mystery about the “Mole” as was humanly possible – since some of the mystery behind this ‘trouble-maker’ is even withheld from the readers until near the end of the book.

Aug 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Gentlemen and Players

Red Room

Roy Straitley, caught up in the torrent of school scandal and talks of his own impending retirement, stands firm in remaining at the school and even discovers the ulterior motive of the unnamed narrator with a twist at the very end.

Nov 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Gentlemen and Players

At Home With Books

Each Wednesday I am featuring a guest post by a book blogger detailing which books they think are the “best” and “worst” by the author of their choice.

Mar 14 2012 | Read Full Review of Gentlemen and Players

Classic Book Club

I found this book, at the same time, gripping and yet difficult to get into!

Apr 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Gentlemen and Players

Reader Rating for Gentlemen and Players
86%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 134 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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