Different Class by Joanne Harris
Published by Doubleday
Published 21 April 2016
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
After thirty years at St Oswald’s Grammar in North Yorkshire, Latin master Roy Straitley has seen all kinds of boys come and go. Each class has its clowns, its rebels, its underdogs, its ‘Brodie’ boys who, whilst of course he doesn’t have favourites, hold a special place in an old teacher’s heart. But every so often there’s a boy who doesn’t fit the mould. A troublemaker. A boy with hidden shadows inside.
With insolvency and academic failure looming, a new broom has arrived at the venerable school, bringing Powerpoint, sharp suits and even sixth form girls to the dusty corridors. But while Straitley does his sardonic best to resist this march to the future, a shadow from his past is stirring. A boy who even twenty years on haunts his teacher’s dreams. A boy capable of bad things.
Dear Mousey, fun facts about murder: use Coca-Cola to clean up blood spills.
WHAT I THOUGHT
Boy, oh boy, I never saw that coming. Regular readers on my blog know I’m an uber-Joanne Harris fan. One of the reasons I love her so much is she can right brilliant novels like Different Class that confuse me, blow my mind, lead me up the garden path and break my heart. This book is set in the same place as the excellent Gentlemen & Players and blueeyedboy (owned, not read) but is a stand-alone book. I loved Roy Straitley. He was my favourite character in Gentlemen & Players. He’s brilliantly written and really comes to life. Different Class is a brilliant book of misdirection, for about 400 pages Harris makes you think one thing is going on, only to yank the rug from under your feet and point out you’ve had no bloody idea all along what the hell the book is about. Absolutely brilliant. The ending blew me away. Different Class is excellent and highly recommended.