From a random review:

Get new posts by email:

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Navigate the site:
Click here for a complete list of books reviewed or select below:
Search the site:
The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


  Previous post:   McDonald, Joe: Lotto  
  Next post:   Levitt, Steven D.; Dubner, Stephen J.: Freakonomics  


Harris, Joanne: Gentlemen & Players

  Amazon  

5 stars

Joanne Harris's Gentlemen & Players is told in the first person from two dueling perspectives. Roy Straitley is a classics teacher in his 34th year at St. Oswald's Grammar School for Boys, a private establishment steeped in tradition and resented by the locals who could never afford the school's tuition. The second narrator--who for much of the book is known by the alias "Julian Pinchbeck"--is a teacher who's new to the school but who, as a one-time townie, has a score to settle with St. Oswald's. Pinchbeck proves to be intriguingly evil, vengeful and misguided and jealous yet not wholly unsympathetic, a genius at deception. Readers may be reminded as I was of Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley, a sociopath and chameleon who is, like Harris' protagonist, self-hating and motivated in part by obsessive love. Pinchbeck, having once haunted the halls of St. Oswald's in youth, now conducts a campaign against the school that culminates on Bonfire Night with a pair of jaw-dropping surprises.

Gentlemen & Players is an intelligent and suspenseful book and it offers an unusual plot. Once released from the author's spell, one begins to think the story unlikely: it's hard to believe that Pinchbeck would go to such lengths, first to fit into the culture of St. Oswald's and then to destroy it (though I suppose going overboard is to be expected from an obsessive sociopath). Still, I had no trouble suspending disbelief when it mattered.

Comments

1.

Looks great! I'll put it on my To Be Read list.

2.

Yes, that's just what I thought! I loved the plot twist too...

3.

Thanks, Clare! Maybe I wasn't reading carefully enough, but I really was surprised when certain things were revealed late in the book.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In