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4 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

Gentlemen and Players: A Novel (P.S.)

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Gentlemen and Players: A Novel (P.S.) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Bestseller Harris (Holy Fools) exposes the brittle line dividing the haves and have-nots in this disturbing yet strangely rewarding morality tale set in the hallowed halls of St. Oswald's, an aristocratic British boys' school hovering on the edge of extinction. Audere, agere, auferre (To dare, to strive, to conquer), the school motto, is something young outsider Snyde, whose father has become St. Oswald's porter (or caretaker), takes painfully to heart after infiltrating the institution as a student under the alias 'Julian Pinchbeck.' Snyde's secret crush on Leon Mitchell, a charismatic upper-class boy, leads to tragic consequences that include the senior Snyde's losing his job. Fifteen years later, Snyde returns, masquerading as a teacher and plotting retribution. Classics teacher Roy Straitley, with his easygoing, ruefully resigned viewpoint, nicely contrasts with Snyde's relentless first-person intensity. Straitley, who loves St. Oswald's, unwittingly proves to be a formidable opponent and provides Snyde with a vital lesson: not every chess game ends with checkmate. Agent, Howard Morhaim. 5-city author tour. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"For readers who fancy an intricate mystery and story line that also touches on anti-Semitism and vicious intra-faculty politics, with expertly sketched heroes, buffoons and rogues to match, Gentlemen and Players will tease the mind and touch one's soul." Rocky Mountain News

Review:

"Constantly surprising and wickedly fun....Beyond the book's considerable entertainment value, Harris has written an unsettling reminder of how much our orderly lives depend on a fragile level of trust." Ron Charles, The Washington Post

Review:

"[M]oves skillfully between the two perspectives and between past and present in a well-crafted mystery. Harris shows a deep understanding of the politics of academia and the routine of the classroom, as well as the demands of a solid mystery." Library Journal

Review:

"[A]n atypical thriller. Rather than suspense, dramatic irony drives the plot; and two participants, both a little unreliable, tell the story. It's a lot for one novel to do, and Harris isn't quite able to force all the pieces into place." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"The problem with giving Snyde a narrative soapbox is that the more the reader knows about this character, the less plausible this character becomes. A daring gambit, poorly played." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Harris shows what a master storyteller she is through the play and counterplay of current happenings twisting through the telling of what went on before. The story builds suspensefully and cleverly with surprises and turns to a satisfying denouement." School Library Journal

Synopsis:

Friendship, murder, revenge, and class conflict collide in an upper-crust English school. As a new term gets under way, a number of annoying incidents befall students and faculty, escalating to murder.

About the Author

Joanne Harris is the author of seven previous novels — Chocolat, Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange, Coastliners, Holy Fools, Sleep, Pale Sister, and Gentlemen & Players; a short story collection, Jigs & Reels; and two cookbook/memoirs, My French Kitchen and The French Market. Half French and half British, she lives in England.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Lydia Cox, October 25, 2013 (view all comments by Lydia Cox)
This read will keep you on your toes! While the first half paints a vivid picture of life for a young boy and the relationships surrounding him, the second half is a page turner that takes you through so many twists and turns that it's difficult to know who is who and where the truth lies. You'll have a hard time putting this one down.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
redrockbookworm, July 22, 2008 (view all comments by redrockbookworm)
For this reader Gentlemen & Players by Joanne Harris is a blockbuster of a novel with more twists and turns than an amusement park thrill ride. Set at a British boys' school, this riveting tale plays out like a game of chess with each move and counter-move by the participants advancing the story toward its unexpected climax.

The narrative itself covers a fifteen year period in the history of St. Oswald's School for Boys and moves back and forth in time between past AND present. Through the eyes of its two narrators, one a Professor of Classics and the other the offspring of the schools groundskeeper, we are given an "up close and personal" look at subjects as diverse as the youthful despair of "not belonging", to the inner workings of an obsessive mind, to the ambitious in-fighting and competitiveness of the teaching profession.

I will go no further with my critique since too much information would ultimately ruin the surprises neatly concealed in this tale of malice and revenge run amok. Suffice to say that Joanne Harris has given us a protagonist equal to Patricia Highsmith's sociopathic Tom Ripley character.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060559151
Author:
Harris, Joanne
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Author:
by Joanne Harris
Author:
by Joanne Harris
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Traditional British
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Boarding schools
Subject:
Boys
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
England
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20061231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.00x5.36x1.08 in. .72 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense

Gentlemen and Players: A Novel (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060559151 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Bestseller Harris (Holy Fools) exposes the brittle line dividing the haves and have-nots in this disturbing yet strangely rewarding morality tale set in the hallowed halls of St. Oswald's, an aristocratic British boys' school hovering on the edge of extinction. Audere, agere, auferre (To dare, to strive, to conquer), the school motto, is something young outsider Snyde, whose father has become St. Oswald's porter (or caretaker), takes painfully to heart after infiltrating the institution as a student under the alias 'Julian Pinchbeck.' Snyde's secret crush on Leon Mitchell, a charismatic upper-class boy, leads to tragic consequences that include the senior Snyde's losing his job. Fifteen years later, Snyde returns, masquerading as a teacher and plotting retribution. Classics teacher Roy Straitley, with his easygoing, ruefully resigned viewpoint, nicely contrasts with Snyde's relentless first-person intensity. Straitley, who loves St. Oswald's, unwittingly proves to be a formidable opponent and provides Snyde with a vital lesson: not every chess game ends with checkmate. Agent, Howard Morhaim. 5-city author tour. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "For readers who fancy an intricate mystery and story line that also touches on anti-Semitism and vicious intra-faculty politics, with expertly sketched heroes, buffoons and rogues to match, Gentlemen and Players will tease the mind and touch one's soul."
"Review" by , "Constantly surprising and wickedly fun....Beyond the book's considerable entertainment value, Harris has written an unsettling reminder of how much our orderly lives depend on a fragile level of trust."
"Review" by , "[M]oves skillfully between the two perspectives and between past and present in a well-crafted mystery. Harris shows a deep understanding of the politics of academia and the routine of the classroom, as well as the demands of a solid mystery."
"Review" by , "[A]n atypical thriller. Rather than suspense, dramatic irony drives the plot; and two participants, both a little unreliable, tell the story. It's a lot for one novel to do, and Harris isn't quite able to force all the pieces into place."
"Review" by , "The problem with giving Snyde a narrative soapbox is that the more the reader knows about this character, the less plausible this character becomes. A daring gambit, poorly played."
"Review" by , "Harris shows what a master storyteller she is through the play and counterplay of current happenings twisting through the telling of what went on before. The story builds suspensefully and cleverly with surprises and turns to a satisfying denouement."
"Synopsis" by , Friendship, murder, revenge, and class conflict collide in an upper-crust English school. As a new term gets under way, a number of annoying incidents befall students and faculty, escalating to murder.
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