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.
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Joanne Harris is the author of seven previous novels—Chocolat, Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange, Coastliners, Holy Fools, Sleep, Pale Sister, and Gentlemen & Players; a short story collection, Jigs & Reels; and two cookbook/memoirs, My French Kitchen and The French Market. Half French and half British, she lives in England.From AudioFile:
Joanne Harris has left her very successful franchise of tales about magical French food for the austere world of a British "public" grammar school for boys, and she's made a stunning success of it. Her plot here consists of a cat-and-mouse game between a new teacher at upper-crust St. Oswald's, who for ancient reasons wants to destroy the school, and a very senior--some would say superannuated--Latin master who alone understands that there is a plot, not a series of unrelated catastrophes. Steven Pacey creates different, yet wholly believable, voices for the two narrators, who are 35 years apart in age and so deeply different psychologically that it's hard to believe it's one actor. A dazzling performance and wickedly good entertainment. B.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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