Gentlemen and Players

by Joanne Harris

eBooks of the Month Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on Gentlemen and Players

One of Anne Berry's favourite books.

So different from her lyrical, female-based French novels for this one is set in an English Grammar School and is very much a thriller.  Fast-paced and suspenseful, with an unexpected twist, it flows easily between two narratives with both humour and dark undertones.  It is a most rewarding read.

Comparison: Kate Atkinson, Sebastian Barry, Marina Lewycka.



I have thoroughly enjoyed all Joanne Harris’s books but Gentlemen and Players I quite simply adored. I loved the character Roy Straightley, an aging Classic’s teacher with a dicky heart, clinging tenaciously to honest old values, his delightfully ironic sense of humour, his warmth, his dedication. In his secure hands we are led into such a gripping story with so many twist and turns that my only sadness was that it had to end.

Sarah Broadhurst

Gentlemen and Players Synopsis

At St Oswald’s, an old and 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, Latin master, eccentric, and veteran of St Oswald’s, 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.

Win a signed copy of The Ghost Tree

Win a signed copy of The Ghost Tree

Closing date: 07/09/2018

Barbara Erskine's fabulous new book The Ghost Tree is out on the 23rd August. In order to celebrate we are giving away a SIGNED copy of the new book to THREE lucky winners!! The competiton closes on the 7th Septmber 2018. The winner will be informed by the 17th September 2018. The past is about to become the present... The inspiration for The Ghost Tree lies in Barbara Erskine's own personal history - branching back to the days of Thomas Erskine, her great grandfather, five times removed. Once again, the Sunday Times bestselling author brings the past to life in vivid, spellbinding colour. 

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Gentlemen and Players Press Reviews

[A] literary gobstopper with an aniseed heart... wildly entertaining' THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY


'[A] clever story of obsession and revenge... Ms Harris has scored another success' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH


'Book groups of the world, watch out' GUARDIAN


'With a lightness of touch, Harris illuminates just how resentment of privilege and exclusion can lead to violent resolutions... Marvellously mischievous' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING


'A classic whodunnit with the characters carefully crafted and the tension at a knife edge' SUNDAY EXPRESS TOP TEN FICTION 2005

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780552770026
Publication date: 05/06/2006
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780385603669
Publication date: 01/10/2005
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780552770026
Publication date: 5th June 2006
Author: Joanne Harris
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 512 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Joanne Harris

Joanne Harris was our Guest Editor in June 2012 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing. Joanne Harris is the author of the Whitbread-shortlisted Chocolat (made into a major film starring Juliette Binoche), Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange, Coastliners, Holy Fools, Jigs & Reels, and, with Fran Warde, The French Kitchen: A Cookbook. She lives in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, with her husband and daughter. Fellow novelist ANNE BERRY on JOANNE HARRIS I have thoroughly enjoyed all Joanne Harris’s books but Gentlemen and Players I quite simply adored. I loved the character Roy Straightley, ...

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