I’m always interested in authors — like Melina Marchetta and Joanne Harris — who are able to write in multiple genres. Though Chocolat is more famous, Gentlemen & Players was the first book by Joanne Harris that I read, so it’s only on rereading that I was able to draw comparisons to a non-thriller work. Though the plots are very different, there are similarities, especially in the prose, which is lovely and autumnal (even though Chocolat is primarily set in spring).
We hurried on, Marlene and I, through a night that was rich with smoke and shot with sparklers.Gentlemen & Players, Joanne Harris
Gentlemen & Players is definitely thrilling. It took my breath away several times, and as soon as I’d finished I wanted to reread the whole book to really understand how cleverly it had been constructed. It’s difficult to go into specifics without spoiling the plot, so I will keep this review fairly brief.
She can feign anger or hide it when she needs to, knowing that a teacher must be above all a performer, always master of his audience and always in command of the stage.Gentlemen & Players, Joanne Harris
Joanne Harris evoked a number of other books as I was reading Gentlemen & Players — from The Sandcastle and The Go-Between to Summerland and Devices & Desires. If you liked any of those, you’ll find something to like in this novel. I’m excited to carry on and read more of Joanne Harris’s work!