We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Gentlemen and Players | [Joanne Harris]

Gentlemen and Players

For generations, privileged young men have attended St. Oswald's Grammar School for Boys, groomed for success by the likes of Roy Straitley, the eccentric Classics teacher who has been a fixture there for more than 30 years. But this year the wind of unwelcome change is blowing, and Straitley is finally contemplating retirement. He is joined this term by five new faculty members, including one who holds intimate and dangerous knowledge of St. Oswald's ways and secrets.
Regular Price:$29.27
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

For generations, privileged young men have attended St. Oswald's Grammar School for Boys, groomed for success by the likes of Roy Straitley, the eccentric Classics teacher who has been a fixture there for more than 30 years. But this year the wind of unwelcome change is blowing, and Straitley is finally contemplating retirement. He is joined this term by five new faculty members, including one who holds intimate and dangerous knowledge of St. Oswald's ways and secrets. Harboring dark ties to the school's past, this young teacher has arrived with one terrible goal: to destroy St. Oswald's.

As the new term gets under way, a number of incidents befall students and faculty alike. Beginning as small annoyances, they are initially overlooked. But as the incidents escalate, it soon becomes apparent that a darker undercurrent is stirring within the school. With St. Oswald's unraveling, only Straitley stands in the way of its ruin. The veteran teacher faces a formidable opponent, however, a master player with a bitter grudge and a strategy that has been meticulously planned to the final move, a secret game with very real, very deadly consequences.

A harrowing tale of cat and mouse, this riveting, hypnotically atmospheric novel showcases New York Times best-selling author Joanne Harris's astonishing storytelling talent as never before.

©2006 Frogspawn, Ltd.; (P)2006 BBC Audiobooks America & HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Best of all is a dazzling climactic twist...its last move is a winner." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Harris combines the conventions of the academic novel -its vicious politicking and rich dynamics - with the taut suspense of a thriller as she leaves tantalizing clues as to the perpetrator's identity....This is one hypnotic page-turner." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (133 )
5 star
 (52)
4 star
 (48)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (11)
Overall
4.0 (42 )
5 star
 (19)
4 star
 (14)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.2 (43 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
 (12)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Leslie Laguna Beach, CA, USA 03-12-06
    Leslie Laguna Beach, CA, USA 03-12-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    137
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Wonderful read"

    I could not put my ipod down. I shut my eyes and I was transported to a West End theatre where I was entertained by a cast of amazing characters. The reader was magnificent, the plot was top notch British--very dramatic, full of the intellectual.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Philomath, OR, USA 03-08-06
    Sean Philomath, OR, USA 03-08-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Yep."

    Nice twisty plot, well developed, believeable characters, super narrator. Kept me intrigued and guessing for all 13 hours.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angel fullerton, CA, United States 08-06-07
    Angel fullerton, CA, United States 08-06-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    195
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    688
    51
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    16
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent Beginning to End"

    I'm so glad I found this one. Fascinating villain, one worthy of association with Professor Moriarty and Hannibal Lector. Fabulous narration, really made the characters come alive. Fine story, most satisfying. In fact, before I listen to this one a second time, I'll definitely be exploring the other selections available by Joanne Harris, who's a happy new discovery for me. "Gentlemen and Players" is a darkly burnished psychological drama, gleaming like a sleek auto in the moonlight, purring to life when started, then accelerating thrillingly under its own power all the way to the end of the road. Don't miss the ride!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Moss Beach, CA, United States 09-16-08
    Scott Moss Beach, CA, United States 09-16-08 Member Since 2008

    Wine, food and travel writer, editor, and aspiring novelist.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    246
    40
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    0
    Overall
    "Fine Book"

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Freeport, IL, USA 07-14-08
    Judy Freeport, IL, USA 07-14-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Marvelous"

    I really enjoyed this novel. In addition to being quite a good suspense story, it has all sorts of great little pieces of sly humor about educational bureaucracy and academic foibles. I loved it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 07-07-12
    Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 07-07-12 Member Since 2011

    Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    321
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    226
    110
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    63
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it."

    A fun and clever thriller set at St. Oswald's, a venerable exclusive private school for boys with a long history and a solid reputation. There are two narrators relating the story, the first being Roy Straitley, the Classics teacher with the heart of gold who is looking forward to his "century", i.e. his 100th term at the school, and the second being the now grown child of the school's former caretaker, who had developed an unhealthy fixation on the institution and one of it's students in pre-pubescence, and is now out to bring St. Oswald's down in a chaos of carefully orchestrated scandals and meticulously planned murders. We know from the very beginning that people will get killed, though we don't know who, why, how nor when, nor whether Straitley will end up as the hero who saves the day, or as one of the killer's victims... or possibly both?

    Loved Steven Pacey's performance and will be on the lookout for more audiobooks narrated by him.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 01-15-13
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 01-15-13 Member Since 2010

    Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1449
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    222
    175
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    401
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Diabolical cat and mouse"

    This is a revenge story in the extreme. Seeking payback for years of being invisible and irrelevant, "Snide", now reinvented as a novice instructor at St. Oswalds private school for boys, sets about manipulating teachers, students and administrators in an inticately planned plot to destroy the school. Half the story is told through Snide's eyes, including the childhood history that set current events in motion. The counterpoint is the narrative of Roy Straightly, classics professor and the one instructor who has the best chance of figuring out and stopping the plot.

    This is not an action packed thriller, but a slowly paced, meticulouly detailed cat and mouse game in which the tension comes from knowing the POV of both the cat and the mouse. We don't know the current identity of Snide, so that becomes part of the guessing game. I actually did figure out who it must be about half way through, and from that point it was a matter of how to stop the cat from anihilating the mouse. Good twists, extremely well written and very well narrated. Small complaint that it got a bit talky at the point that Straightly confronts Snide - in the tradition of TV villians who give a monologue about why they have done what they've done. Wrapped up in an unconventional way that I'm not sure if I liked or not, but I do appreciate that the ending was not predictable.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy St Charles, MO, United States 01-08-13
    Nancy St Charles, MO, United States 01-08-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    123
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    100
    99
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    20
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really good!"

    At first, I thought I wasn't going to enjoy this, but after 30 minutes I became enthralled.

    The writing was excellent! Vivid phrases and subtle sardonic humor permeate this book. There are several layers of mysteries which interlace nicely throughout the story. I suspected one, but was not sure until the end and was surprised by several twists!

    The narrator was perfectly chosen. His voice and manor were perfectly suited to the witticisms and tongue in cheek humor. I found myself envisioning Rumpole. The book has 2 main characters both in 2 time-lines. I never had a problem distinguishing between them.

    I am looking for books by this author and narrator! Yes, I recommend it!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shanna Spokane, WA, USA 02-18-09
    Shanna Spokane, WA, USA 02-18-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "College"

    I had to read G&P along with 3 other books for a sociology class I had and this audio book saved my life!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    scott waban, MA, United States 05-16-08
    scott waban, MA, United States 05-16-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    168
    31
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    "Terrific thriller"

    What a great book! I couldn't stop listening. Great narration, tremendous suspense. Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.