Summary

At St Oswald’s, a 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, the eccentric veteran Latin master, 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.
©2005 Joanne Harris (P)2010 Random House AUDIO GO
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Laurie-an on 01-05-11

Stunning Narration

This is arguably Joanne Harris' best novel, combining
stunning characterization with her remarkable talent
for weaving nail-biting tension and eerie mystery into
the minute of life a la normality. But it is the
narrator, Steven Pacey, who gets the brownie points
for this book. His interpretation of the characters is
nothing short of perfect, as is his pacing, tenor and
clarity of voice. Overall this is one of the best
audio books of the genre.

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22 of 22 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Elizabeth on 30-10-11

Excellent book

This was my introduction to Joanne Harris's longer fiction, and I am very impressed. It's a great, twisting story with a deliciously alluring villain, whose frank narration alternates with that of jaded elderly romantic Roy Straitley, physical emblem of St Oswald's school for boys, which the other narrator is out to destroy.

Harris recreates the otherworldly feel of the staffroom beautifully, and the reading by Steven Pacey is excellent. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed listening to a book this much; Pacey's timing is perfect as he reveals the layers upon layers of Harris's story.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Paddington on 15-08-12

a good mystery

Quite unlike previous Joanne Harris novels this story set in an established private boy’s school and warms up after the first few chapters into an intriguing mystery. It takes some interesting twists and turns and kept me spellbound until the end. Having been a teacher in a private boy’s school, I did think that Harris depicted the range of characters and attitudes very well. It made me smile to recognise some! This added to the charm of the story but also reflects how the demands are so great that some teachers sadly make it their whole life and they are easily discarded when their “used by” date occurs! Highly recommended.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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