Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Pick of the Month -- Gentlemen and Players
Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris (on audiobook)
Setting: St. Oswald's Grammar School for Boys, England
"It is the game, not he who plays it," Roy Straitley, Latin master at St. Oswald's, tells his nemesis at one point. But oh, this book is about the players as much as the game. The narration alternates between Straitley and Snyde, whose father once was the school's porter. It also flashes back to Snyde's childhood, one spent yearning to be part of St. Oswald's. Eventually, Snyde steals a school uniform and sneaks into St. Oswald's, becoming fast friends with student Leon. But all this pretense leads to drastic consequences, and 15 years later, Snyde is back, masquerading as a teacher and seeking revenge, maybe even murder. Can Straitley, now near retirement, stop Snyde? This book was riveting, and made all the better by narrator Steven Pacey, who with just slight changes of voice, brings us the two narrators. The book will definitely be on my top 10 this year, and I give it a perfect rating, not finding one thing wrong with it!