Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris

Author: Joanne Harris
ISBN # 0552770027

Publisher: Black Swan

First Published: 2005

506 pages

Rating: 8/10

A new year has just begun, and for the staff and boys of the school, a wind of unwelcome change is blowing. Suits, paperwork and Information Technology rule the world and Roy Straitley, Latin master, eccentric, and veteran of St Oswald's, is finally - reluctantly - contemplating retirement. But beneath the little rivalries, petty disputes and everyday crises of the school, a darker undercurrent stirs. And a bitter grudge, hidden and carefully nurtured for thirteen years, is about to erupt. Who is Mole, the mysterious insider, whose cruel practical jokes are gradually escalating towards violence - and perhaps, murder? And how can an old and half-forgotten scandal become the stone that brings down a giant?

This is the complete opposite of Chocolat – no quiet French town and wandering single mothers here, but a town in England, where a young, working class girl works hard to become everything she is not, in short, a wealthy young boy attending a prestigious all-boys public school, setting into motion a sequence of events that could conceivably tear apart the school and the lives of everyone in it.

It’s terse, it’s dark, it’s mysterious and it’s enthralling. The pace never slackens and the characters are all well-drawn, even those who only appear briefly, so that none of them feel at all two-dimensional. A very well-rounded novel that is engaging and very entertaining.


Post a Comment

<< Home