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Gentlemen and Players Audiobook

Gentlemen and Players

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Publisher's Summary

At St Oswald's, a long-established boys' grammar school in the north of England, a new year has just begun. 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, the eccentric veteran Latin master, 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.

©2005 Joanne Harris (P)2010 Random House AUDIO GO

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (199 )
5 star
 (119)
4 star
 (45)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (5)
Overall
4.3 (159 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.6 (160 )
5 star
 (127)
4 star
 (14)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Laurie-an Rushden, United Kingdom 01/05/2011
    Laurie-an Rushden, United Kingdom 01/05/2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
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    Overall
    "Stunning Narration"

    This is arguably Joanne Harris' best novel, combining
    stunning characterization with her remarkable talent
    for weaving nail-biting tension and eerie mystery into
    the minute of life a la normality. But it is the
    narrator, Steven Pacey, who gets the brownie points
    for this book. His interpretation of the characters is
    nothing short of perfect, as is his pacing, tenor and
    clarity of voice. Overall this is one of the best
    audio books of the genre.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steven 01/05/2012
    steven 01/05/2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    67
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    47
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    1
    Overall
    "Playing the readers to the end"

    Had I stopped listening at the half-way mark this would have been a fairly pedestrian but well-written thriller with a fairly predictable plot. But then the twists come - completely unforeseen and astonishing. They are so overwhelming that one wants to re-listen to see where one missed the clues - but there are none. In the end I thought this one of the very best thrillers I had heard. Harris is superb in the way she leads the reader on - the story just credible enough to keep reading until it suits her to unleash her arsenal of surprises. The narration is truly brilliant - subtle changes in tone and pitch convey different characters very well. I can't really say more without revealing too much. No doubt about the five stars - see for yourself.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Manly, Australia 30/10/2011
    Elizabeth Manly, Australia 30/10/2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
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    51
    5
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    Overall
    "Excellent book"

    This was my introduction to Joanne Harris's longer fiction, and I am very impressed. It's a great, twisting story with a deliciously alluring villain, whose frank narration alternates with that of jaded elderly romantic Roy Straitley, physical emblem of St Oswald's school for boys, which the other narrator is out to destroy.

    Harris recreates the otherworldly feel of the staffroom beautifully, and the reading by Steven Pacey is excellent. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed listening to a book this much; Pacey's timing is perfect as he reveals the layers upon layers of Harris's story.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie-Anne 23/12/2012
    Julie-Anne 23/12/2012

    I drive 80 miles a day so need plenty of listening material!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
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    15
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    "Absorbing, interesting and clever"

    When the penny dropped near the end, I said: "Ohhhhh!" aloud. SUCH a cleverly plotted book with wonderful characters - goodies and baddies alike. I found myself running further than planned most days because I didn't want to unplug, and as others have already said, Steven Pacey's narration was perfect. Subtle alterations of tone were enough to differentiate clearly not only between the characters, but also the time periods in which they were speaking. Really wasn't expecting this story from Joanna Harris. Loved it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane PRINCES RISBOROUGH, United Kingdom 02/06/2016
    Jane PRINCES RISBOROUGH, United Kingdom 02/06/2016 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    8
    7
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    "Superbly narrated"

    Steven Pacey again on excellent form in this engaging story. My 17 year old son, who has just left an all boys grammar school, assures me that it would be perfectly possible for someone to merge into school life when not actually enrolled in the school which is an essential part of the story. A very satisfying ending.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia 24/05/2016
    Patricia 24/05/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
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    "Terrific read!"

    Loved this book! Really well written and extremely well narrated. The suffocating atmosphere of an all boys school, coupled with all the pettiness and snobbery of the staff, are brilliantly evoked. Mr Straightly is like an academic Rumpole, full of wit and wisdom - I'm planning on listening to the next story very soon.

    Lots of twists and turns and with the story told from two perspectives, this is not to be missed. I didn't realise that Joanne Harris was such a good writer, having only read Chocolat which I didn't particularly enjoy. Glad I gave her another go!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Sevenoaks, United Kingdom 07/07/2014
    Susan Sevenoaks, United Kingdom 07/07/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    3
    3
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    "Excellent listening."
    What did you like most about Gentlemen and Players?

    I thought the story was gripping and very clever. Although uncomfortable to listen to at times as characters so well described I was drawn in and found it difficult to turn off. I am not normally a reader of 'novels' but I had enjoyed Chocolat and decided to try another of Joanne Harris' books. So pleased I did.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    c WALSALL, United Kingdom 11/01/2013
    c WALSALL, United Kingdom 11/01/2013 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    91
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    280
    40
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    13
    6
    Overall
    "Fascinating, Thrilling and Different!"

    Superbly written and read, this novel has quite a different setting for a thriller - and the end result of that combination is really very intoxicating. It's quite slow to unwind but it's the attention to detail that pulls you in and keeps you hooked. I took particular notice of the other reviews - mainly because it's my first Joanne Harris novel - and I have the greatest regard for Steven Pacey. All of that paid dividends and I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole journey through this novel. Get ready for a great twist at the end. Brilliant!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tanya UK 30/07/2016
    Tanya UK 30/07/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    79
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    97
    37
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    FOLLOWING
    2
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Did not see the end coming until the end!"
    What did you like most about Gentlemen and Players?

    I loved the characters, the style of writing. I was drawn into the life of Roy Straitley, the eccentric veteran Latin master, I wanted him to teach me Latin. This was my first read of Harris and it will not be my last. SUPERB. It is a rare book that keeps you engaged the whole way through


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything, I just loved everything, the Dark the Light, the characters everything


    Which character – as performed by Steven Pacey – was your favourite?

    Roy Strailtley, he was brilliant, bu then Steven Pacey could make the Yellow Pages sound good!


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?


    If this was a book, you will not want it to end


    Any additional comments?

    This was the best book I have read in a long time. Enhanced by Steven Pacey

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kisag_queen 01/07/2016
    kisag_queen 01/07/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
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    38
    22
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    0
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    "As Twisty and Turning as a Twisty Turny Thing"

    Excellent narration lead me through excellent prose with and exciting and unforseen conclusion. Very enjoyable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Paddington
    Sydney, Australia
    15/08/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a good mystery"

    Quite unlike previous Joanne Harris novels this story set in an established private boy’s school and warms up after the first few chapters into an intriguing mystery. It takes some interesting twists and turns and kept me spellbound until the end. Having been a teacher in a private boy’s school, I did think that Harris depicted the range of characters and attitudes very well. It made me smile to recognise some! This added to the charm of the story but also reflects how the demands are so great that some teachers sadly make it their whole life and they are easily discarded when their “used by” date occurs! Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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