Reading guide for Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Gentlemen and Players

A Novel

by Joanne Harris

Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris X
Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2006, 432 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2007, 448 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

Discussion Questions:
  1. The favorite book of the young Snyde is The Invisible Man. Poe's law is also quoted: “The object that is hidden in plain sight remains unseen longest.” Through childhood and into adulthood, how does Snyde, in fact, become invisible?

  2. Early in the novel, young Snyde says, "I felt cheated, as I often did when faced with the threat and assurances of the adult world, which promises so much and delivers so little." What does this say about the character? Give some examples of ways in which the adult world has cheated Snyde. Which do you feel has the longest lasting impact on Snyde as an adolescent? As an adult?

  3. Throughout the novel, Snyde remembers days as a student in Sunnybank Park—and the desire then to be a student at St. Oswald's. What do you believe would have happened had Snyde been enrolled at St. Oswald's as a student? Would such a student have thrived academically? Been accepted socially? How might things have played out differently, if at all?

  4. While at Sunnybank Park, Snyde had a young student teacher, Miss Potts, who "liked to be popular-to be important." She goes about this by taking an active interest in her students and especially their problems-things the older teachers do not notice. She realizes something is wrong with Snyde. How might things have been different if there had been more teachers who took notice of the pupils' problems early on?

  5. "Fallow offends me," Snyde says of St. Oswald's current day groundskeeper. It is not the occupation that offends Snyde, but how Fallow executes his tasks: sluggish, ignoring his duties, not taking pride in his work. The exact opposite of the way Snyde's father worked. What does this contempt of Fallow say about young Snyde's filial feelings?

  6. Snyde says of Anderton-Pullitt: "there is one of his kind in every year. Shunned even beyond being bullied." Could Snyde be identifying with Anderton-Pullitt? Which student, if any, at St. Oswald's most resembles the young Snyde? Do any resemble Leon?

  7. Early in his life, Snyde developed a feeling of entitlement for "that childhood. The one I deserved," a life of privilege. Where do you think the roots of these sentiments began?

  8. "I can identify with a boy like Knight," Snyde says. "I was nothing like him-infinitely tougher, more vicious and more streetwise-but with money and better parents I might have turned out just the same." What does this say about Snyde's decision to use Knight-of all boys-in the plan to destroy St. Oswald's? Is it because Knight is weak or because Knight is a reminder of who Snyde could have been?

  9. Straightly comments on how "St. Oswald's has a way of eating those things. The energy; the ambition; the dreams" of its faculty. In light of this, or perhaps in spite of it, Straitley's goal in life is clear: to reach his Century and retire with honor. Why do you suppose this is so important to him?

  10. A continual theme throughout the novel is nature vs. nurture. Do you believe a person is born evil or do the circumstances of that person's upbringing cause these traits? When talking about Leon, Straitley seems to believe some kids are just born bad. How is this different from Snyde's belief?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Harper Perennial. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Vixen
    The Vixen
    by Francine Prose
    Recent Harvard graduate Simon Putnam has been rejected from grad school and has thus returned to his...
  • Book Jacket: How the Word Is Passed
    How the Word Is Passed
    by Clint Smith
    With legislatures around the U.S. rushing to ban the teaching of critical race theory, it's clear ...
  • Book Jacket: Big Vape
    Big Vape
    by Jamie Ducharme
    In Big Vape, TIME reporter Jamie Ducharme studies the short but inflammatory history of Juul. Her ...
  • Book Jacket: Love and Fury
    Love and Fury
    by Samantha Silva
    Mary Wollstonecraft is best known for being an early advocate for women's rights and the mother of ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
All the Little Hopes
by Leah Weiss
A Southern story of friendship forged by books and bees, in the murky shadows of World War II.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Temple House Vanishing
    by Rachel Donohue

    A modern gothic page-turner set in a Victorian mansion in Ireland.

  • Book Jacket

    The Forest of Vanishing Stars
    by Kristin Harmel

    An evocative coming-of-age World War II story from the author of The Book of Lost Names.

Win This Book!
Win Gordo

Gordo by Jaime Cortez

"Dark and hilarious ... singular and soaring ... Hands down, top debut of 2021."—Literary Hub

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

N Say N

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.