Thursday, August 10, 2006
Gentlemen and Players
by Joanne Harris (read August 2006)
I read this novel because of a review on JenClair's blog, A Garden Carried in the Pocket. I read Harris' Five Quarters of the Orange and really did not like it. As much as I disliked that book I liked Gentlement and Players. The story takes place in England at St. Oswald, an exclusive school for boys. Five new teachers are hired for fall term, one of them has a vengeance to inflict on the school. Like watching dominoes fall, the descent of St. Oswald's from an orderly academy with a stellar reputation to a house of dark, hidden secrets starts building momemtum according to the offender's carefully devised scheme.
The chapters were narrated alternately by the 2 main characters: Roy Straitley, the eccentric 65-yr-old Classics teacher and the perpetrator, one of the 5 newly hired teachers. Cleverly, Harris identified who was telling the story with the picture of a chess piece at the beginning of each chapter - a white king piece to indicate Straitley and a black pawn to signify the 'bad guy'.
I rate this book 5 out of 5. Really enjoyed this book.