Sunday, April 29, 2012
Rec. #231: Gentlemen and Players
What: Who doesn't love a good cat-and-mouse suspense novel set at a British boys grammar school? With an allegorical chess framework, no less.
Comparable to: Impossible not to imagine the cast of The History Boys running around St. Oswald's, with Richard Griffiths fitting into the role of Roy Straitley, the eccentric and hunted Classics teacher, quite nicely. Or is that just me?
Opening lines: "If there's one thing I've learned in the past fifteen years, it's this: that murder is really no big deal. It's just a boundary, meaningless and arbitrary as all others --- a line drawn in the dirt."
Representative quote: "Since the first day back I've had the feeling that someone was watching me, closely and without kindness. I imagine Caesar must have felt the same when the Ides of March came around."
You might not like it if: Author Joanne Harris clearly had so much fun coming up with the character names. (Using the Dickens method of nomenclature, we've got Bob Strange, Dianne Dare, John Snyde, Chris Keane, Mr. Meek, Dr. Tidy, etc.) But the overt chess references (I'm looking at you, Pat Bishop and Colin Knight) might make you feel a bit bludgeoned.
How to get it: In print, Kindle-able, and surely available from your library system.
Connection to previous Wreckage: I first mentioned Gentlemen and Players during Personal Wreck Week (List #1). The History Boys was Rec. #115.