Friday, April 14, 2006


Book 19: Gentlemen and Players

This is the second book by Joanne Harris I've read this year. You might recall I didn't particularly enjoy the last one. This one was much better. Similar to her previous novels "Holy Fools" and "Five Quarters of the Orange", "Gentlemen and Players" is a bit of a mystery thriller, a bit of sinister revenge, and in this case a bit of Mr. Chips. The story unfolds on the campus of St. Oswald's, a prestigious school for boys both in the present and fifteen years in the past. Our hero is Mr. Straitley, aging Latin master and fond teacher of boys for over thirty years. When a new teacher sets out to destroy the school we learn more dark secrets of the school's past. Okay, that sounded perhaps like the description off the book jacket...but I was hoping to make it interesting. i gave this book a smiley face.

I would recommend most of Harris' books. They are, to some degree, a bit dark, as I believe I've cautioned before. But if you like entering into another world with great characterization and suspenseful if a little slow-moving plot, these are a good read. After finishing this book last night I was a little sad...wondering what will I read next? Will I get sucked into another world again? I hope so! St. Oswald's campus is charming and the world of the english prep school, complete with school uniforms, teaching gowns and dormitories is quite endearing. Great read. Now I have an Australian mystery to read! Happy Easter everyone.

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