Posts Tagged ‘Joanne Harris’

I have recently read “Jigs and Reels”, a collection of short stories by Joanne Harris.

“Jig and Reels” by Joanne Harris (via Goodreads)

The blurb reads:

“Suburban witches, defiant old ladies, ageing monsters, suicidal Lottery winners, wolf men, dolphin women and middle-aged manufacturers of erotic leatherwear: in Joanne Harris’s first collection of short stories the miraculous goes hand-in-hand with the mundane, the sour with the sweet, and the beautiful, the grotesque, the seductive and the disturbing are never more than one step away.”

It has a great range of random stories, with some being better than others. They cover many different topics, from old age and suicide, to violence and magic, to marriage and societal pressures.

One of my favourites was “Class of ’81”, which is about suburban witches having a school reunion where old issues and underlying feelings come out. I also enjoyed “A Place in the Sun”, which highlights the need and desire to stay young in our society, or risk losing everything. It is quite scary how obsessive people can get!

One disturbing one is “Waiting for Gandalf”, which seems innocent and geeky at first, but then descends into something much more sinister!

It is quite an eclectic selection of short stories, but there’s something for everyone, and if you love Joanne Harris’ books, you’ll definitely love these! I give it 9/10 for originality!

You’ve been transported to the setting of the last book you read. Where are you? (via Novelicious)

England! At a boy’s grammar school called St Oswald’s!

I recently read “Gentlemen and Players” by Joanne Harris.

Image found via Novelicious on Facebook

I have just finished reading “Gentlemen and Players” by Joanne Harris.

“Gentlemen and Players” by Joanne Harris (via Goodreads)

The blurb reads:

“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.”

It’s a great book with many twists and it keeps you guessing for ages!

It follows a young lad who becomes obsessed with St Oswald’s Grammar School for Boys and enters this world so different to what lies outside. The reader also get to see the school from the viewpoint of the teacher, Roy Straitley, who knows the workings of the school better than anyone, and who prides himself on knowing the things that make the staff and boys tick.

As the novel progresses, it is clear that what started as a innocent desire for something different has turned into something dangerous and more disturbing than anything else that has happened in the school. It jumps back and forth through time, which makes it a little bit confusing at times but simply adds to the mystery and the tension!

You feel an empathy with the youngster who wants a life that is beyond his reach, and who wants to break the rules. You also feel sorry for Straitley, who just wants to reach his century of teaching at the school but faces so much opposition when unfortunate events start to occur.

I love how this book keeps you wondering who is the person causing all the incidents and scandals to happen, and questioning who could have such a strong motive for wanting to harm the school, its reputation, and the staff and pupils inside. You have to keep reading because there are so many little hints and little details which are important to keep track of. The ending is pure brilliance! I’m not going to spoil it, but there’s a great plot twist!

I love this book, and give it 8/10 because it’s so¬†gripping and the characters are so fascinatingly ordinary! You might think a book about a boy’s school would be boring but it’s the everyday normality which makes this novel so interesting, especially when things start going wrong! It’s worth a read, especially if you like suspense and mystery, and love Joanne Harris!