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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.
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Critic Reviews

"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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Leslie on 03-12-06

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.

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19 of 19 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By angel on 08-06-07

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!

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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