Gentlemen and Players

by Joanne Harris, Sir Derek Jacobi | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0552153664 Global Overview for this book
Registered by dubly of Luzern, Luzern Switzerland on 3/2/2007
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11 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by dubly from Luzern, Luzern Switzerland on Friday, March 02, 2007
A thrilling and mysterious story about the little rivalries, petty disputes and everyday crises of the St Oswald boys`grammar school. As the plot goes back and forth I had sometimes a bit difficulties to understand the context. But I`m sure I`ll listen to it a second time in due course.

Journal Entry 2 by dubly at on Monday, March 05, 2007

Released 13 yrs ago (3/6/2007 UTC) at



This audiobook is on its way to Schneefee as part of an audioring. Good listening!

Journal Entry 3 by Schneefee from Hagen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Friday, March 16, 2007
Caught it this morning at the custum-office in Dortmund!

Journal Entry 4 by Schneefee from Hagen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Friday, May 11, 2007
first of all, about the plot from
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:
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!

Journal Entry 5 by Jessi626 from Otterberg, Rheinland-Pfalz Germany on Friday, May 25, 2007
EDIT June, 14th: Finished! I liked the book and the speaker, although I didn't understand every detail. I was a bit confused by the different times and views. Thanks dubly for the warning ;-) I think I wouldn't have got that, if it wasn't in your journal entry.
Probably I'll read this as a book some day, so that I (hopefully) understand it completely then...

Journal Entry 6 by Annadlx from Wiesbaden, Hessen Germany on Wednesday, May 30, 2007
sounds like fun. Will give it a try.

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.

Journal Entry 7 by boagat from Briedel, Rheinland-Pfalz Germany on Monday, June 04, 2007
One more from the audiobookbox. I will listen to it later.

Journal Entry 8 by wingsatay-spiesswing from Hamburg - Osdorf, Hamburg Germany on Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Vielen Dank, dass ich am Ring teilnehmen darf. Wenn ich mir die Geschichten angehört habe (sind kopiert), werde ich diesen Eintrag editieren. :-)

Journal Entry 9 by Marianne013 from Bühl (Baden), Baden-Württemberg Germany on Saturday, June 30, 2007
Chosen from Schneefee's anglophone audiobookbox. I have read "Chocolat" by Joanne Harris and found it quite entertaining. So I expect an entertaining audiobook.

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.

Journal Entry 10 by weesisj from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, August 06, 2007
Yet to read one of Joanne Harris'' books for some reason... I watched chocolat and did enjoy it.
Copied the CD to my laptop and will listen to it in due course. Watch this space.

Journal Entry 11 by teff42 from Blomberg, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Saturday, January 12, 2008
found it in a big envelope with many other audio-books (thank you for sending) :-). I try to hear it next time, but I don`t know when I`ll have the time.

Journal Entry 12 by teff42 at bookbox in Bookbox, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases on Monday, February 25, 2008

Released 12 yrs ago (2/25/2008 UTC) at bookbox in Bookbox, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases



Journal Entry 13 by RikkiDD from Dresden, Sachsen Germany on Sunday, March 23, 2008
As the box arrived I started to listen into the CD. It really sounds interesting but I'm lacking of time and so I stopped and saved it for later.

Released 12 yrs ago (3/24/2008 UTC) at mailed to a fellow bookcrosser in N/A, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Together with many others the CD will travel in a box to the next listener

Journal Entry 15 by bluecat07 from Karben, Hessen Germany on Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Got this in the "anglophone Audiobookbox" and will safe it for later. I have just read Chocolat and The Lollipop Shoes and really like Joanne Harris so I am looking forward to listening to this. Thanks dubly and Schneefee!!

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