Gentlemen and Players
ISBN: 0552153664 Global Overview for this book
11 journalers for this copy...
Released 13 yrs ago (3/6/2007 UTC) at
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
This audiobook is on its way to Schneefee as part of an audioring. Good listening!
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 thirty years. This year, however, the wind of unwelcome change is blowing, and Straitley is finally, reluctantly, contemplating retirement. As the new term gets under way, a number of incidents befall students and faculty alike, beginning as small annoyances but soon escalating in both number and consequence. St. Oswald's is unraveling, and only Straitley stands in the way of its ruin. But he faces a formidable opponent with a bitter grudge and a master strategy that has been meticulously planned to the final, deadly move.
After getting used to Derek Jacobi I really enjoyed this book. I liked his voice and the way he speaks, but found him quite hard to listen to in the beginning and I needed the whole first CD to understand that the story is told from different views:
The first narrator is Roy Straitley, the Latin teacher. He knows that the school's administration regards him as something of a nuisance, a dinosaur who refuses to toe the line and change with the times. The head of St. Oswald's attempts to make Straitley's life miserable in an effort to force him into retirement.
The other protagonist is the child of John Snyde, the Head Porter of St. Oswald's. Young Snyde, like Straitley, is also a rebel. He daydreams and reads books, trying to avoid the anger of his drunken father who is raising him alone. The child misses his mother who walked out on the family years earlier, and he has no interest in pretending to be the son his father always wanted. He is insanely jealous of the privileged boys who attend St. Oswald's and embarks on a daring plan. He pretends to be a student at the school, blends in with the other chaps, and even befriends an older student, with whom he gets into all kinds of mischief. Snyde is an adolescent with serious emotional problems, but there is no one to help and guide him. As he says forlornly, "At thirteen, everything counts; there are sharp edges on everything, and all of them cut." (see: www.mostlyfiction.com)
PLUS the story is told from the view of different times:
15 years ago, when Straitley was a younger teacher and young Snyde sneaked into St. Oswalds to be one of many pupils, making a best friend, wangling to lessons and games and even to a class-photo
And today, when the child of the former janitor had come back as a teacher at St. Oswld's.
The plot is inventive, surprising, sardonically funny, and deeply moving. The ending is so shocking that I have to admit I absolutely didn't see it coming.
All in all, I really recommend that audiobook highly!
“Vale, magister”, and delight the other listeners, too!
Probably I'll read this as a book some day, so that I (hopefully) understand it completely then...
comment Dec. 17th 2007:
I kind of enjoyed it which was more due to the narrator than to the story. The mystery that is solved at the end seems like a surpise but really isn't once you go through it again.
This book should never have been made into an audio book. For that there are too many changes in time and storyline. And the already mentioned high amount of characters is confusing at the beginning.
Somehow I believe that I wouldn't have finished it, but for the long trip that was before me. This way I'm kinda glad I did due to the ending. On the other hand... the story is boring. Have had better.
Update: Just finished it. I also had problems at the beginning to get into the story, I didn't understand everything, and there were so many names I couldn't remember. However, the story gripped me, and the turn of the story in the end also took me by surprise. Now I have the feeling from what I know now about the story that I should listen to it all over again... Well, perhaps some day. I really enjoyed this audiobook.
Copied the CD to my laptop and will listen to it in due course. Watch this space.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Together with many others the CD will travel in a box to the next listener