I have to admit that I'm a total Audible junkie. MUST have book going at all times. I may be the subject of a family intervention someday.
The classics teacher (Straightway?). A great reading by Pacey, made me mentally cast the role with the late great Charles Laughton.
The rooftop scene, as told by Julian.
At one point I thought to compare this with "The Talented Mr Ripley", since it explores some similar themes, but the author threw in a couple of truly jaw-dropping curveballs and plot twists that I really didn't see coming until they were revealed. Wonderful writing, witty and suspenseful. Terrific, fully realized characters. Absolutely could not turn it off. Highly recommended!!!!
Wine, food and travel writer, editor, and aspiring novelist.
This is a very fine book, a sort of Mr. Chips goes to Hell, or to the Fun House. Fascinating characters, each distinct, each interacting with the others. The book is told from two perspectives, one narrated by a young person, the other old. The only problem I had was that at first I assumed the youthful narrator was a flashback and that the narrators were one-and-the-same person, which is not the case. There would have been no confusion if that had been understood from the beginning. Nonetheless, this book takes a twist on manners, appearances and the clever machinations of a diabolical mind. Very fine writing.
I debated whether this book deserved five stars. It is not "great" literature. It is not a particularly "unexpected" plot. (I figured out the who-done-it earlier than I would have liked!) And yet, how could I not give it the maximum score? I read for entertainment and I could NOT stop listening. The writing was spectacular (turning the "not particularly unexpected plot" into an absolute delight, wrapping you up into the horror-you-know-is-coming without letting you avert your eyes) and the reader's spot-on delivery just added to the experience (incredible performance).
Told from two points of view, this is a story of diabolical revenge. You see it unfold from the eyes of a student who felt invisible fifteen years before at an English private school for boys (we all know how much evil lurks in those!), as well as from the eyes of an old professor whose entire life has been devoted to preserving that institution (even though he is well aware of its shortcomings). The story switches between the two, as well as between the present time and "the past" that brought it all on. As I said, not particularly original...but rendered so by the way it's told.
I was disappointed to see that the writer's previous books seem quite different (even though I did enjoy the movie, "Chocolat."). Might have to try some of them anyway. This one was such a great experience.
Harris is at her best in creating the atmosphere of inside and outside the world of the British upper crust prep school: the kindly, the snooty, the beastly, the acceptable and the invisible. It's a wonderful juicy mystery with characters worth caring about and thinking about.
BUT added to that is the best narrator in Audible Steven Pacey who is fantastic here but would be worth listening to even if he were reading all the "begets" in The Bible!
A long time reader and listener - I just can't get enough of Audible! (Especially mysteries and Buddhist texts and history and ...etc!
Yes, because even though I now know who did it, it was an excellently told (and narrated) mystery, with complexity and subtelty.
The "reveal", when things started to come together.
Two very distnct voices - Mr. Straitley (the school teacher) and the nemesis - who alternately are the narrators of the story, so we get two different points of view throughout.
Schoolmasters and Schoolboys, I suppose.
This was a really good story, well-written and well-narrated. A nice change from some of the less stellar books I've read recently.
I have recommended this book to many people, none of whom have actually read it. It is too bad, because after listening to hundreds of books on Audible, "Gentlemen and Players" stands out. This mystery is twisty, fun, complex and above all, entertaining. I tried "Runemarks' after I read this and it did not grab me, but I would like to read more by Joanne Harris.
I did have a bit of a hard time getting into this story, but I am glad I stuck with it. Superbly crafted mystery novel plus perfect narration - a great listening experience.