Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Different Class” as Want to Read:
Different Class
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Different Class

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  3,958 Ratings  ·  596 Reviews
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. ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published April 21st 2016 by Doubleday
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Different Class, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Joanne Harris There's no series link because the books all stand alone. However, to put it into context, this book follows a year after GENTLEMEN AND PLAYERS, and…moreThere's no series link because the books all stand alone. However, to put it into context, this book follows a year after GENTLEMEN AND PLAYERS, and four years before BLUEEYEDBOY, and features some characters from both.(less)
Joanne Harris April 21st is the release date. You won't be able to buy it before then...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Diane S ☔
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Whether small towns in France as in Chocolat or Five segments of an orange, or a return to St. Oswald, Harris has the enviable talent of taking the reader to the heart of her settings and characters. Of course, I have no first hand knowledge of an all boys school but I did go to Catholic schools most of my school years and they are both somewhat insular institutions or communities.
Straitly, is our narrator, the Latin Master, now in his late sixties , St Oswald's is his life, he is resistant to c
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
How well do we really know our friends? How do we know what they’re hiding?

Different Class is a slow building complex thriller that got under my skin and kept me guessing until the final page. The tightly woven plot is a masterful game of cat and mouse.

Having taught at the prestigious, yet outdated, St. Oswald’s Grammar for 30 years, Latin master Roy Straitley is grounded in tradition. Straitley has given his life to St. Oswald’s. Thus, he reacts as his life has been threatened when he meets t
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Different Class by Joanne Harris is a 2017 Touchstone publication.

“Injustice is the tiny shard of something broken in the soul that can never be mended.”

I had a feeling I was going to like this book, and my intuitions didn’t disappoint me.

Roy Straitley has taught Latin at the prestigious St. Oswald’s Grammar boys school for thirty years. But, the school is standing on rocky ground after a scandal and financial problems. The old ways are being shoved to the side in favor of technology, by a new
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This is, without doubt, one of the best books i've read this year thus far. But it's only mid-March you say, what kind of endorsement is that? Well, i'm laying bets that i'll still feel this way in December. It's that good.

The novel is sharp in a way that leaves you shocked and bleeding. Told by two narrators, the serpentine plot is parcelled out slowly, then all at once. One voice, that of school Master Roy Straitley, is particularly cutting. His observations on other characters, the school, ed
Sharon Bolton
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As Michaelmas term begins at St Oswald’s independent grammar school for boys, Latin master, Roy Straightly, is mourning the loss of a very old friend, former English master Harry Clarke, and at the same time, is dismayed to learn that the new head is a former pupil – one whom he never liked and certainly never trusted. Time hasn’t improved John Harrington, in Roy’s eyes, but everyone else seems to love him. Good-looking, an MBE, armed with formidable charm and flanked by two ‘crisis deputies’, H ...more
Amanda Patterson
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you’ve read 'Gentlemen And Players' and 'blueeyedboy', you will be familiar with the setting in this book, St Oswald’s Grammar School for Boys in the fictional Yorkshire village of Malbry.

As Joanne Harris says, "The books all stand alone. However, to put it into context, this book follows a year after 'Gentlemen And Players', and four years before 'blueeyedboy', and features some characters from both books."

In 'Different Class', our hero, Roy Straightly has been the school’s Latin master for
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Чудесно е, когато любим автор се завърне след дълго отсъствие с ново заглавие, нареждащо се сред най-добрите му постижения.

"Различен клас" на Джоан Харис спада към дарк книгите ѝ, както условно ги наричам и бих казала, че е може би един от най-силните представатели на тази част от творчеството ѝ. Действието се развива в познатата ни от "Джентълмени и играчи" мъжка гимназия "Сейнт Осуалдс", някои от героите са същите, но може съвсем спокойно да се чете самостоятелно.

Историята е мрачна и напрегнат
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"in loco parentis"- yes, it was.

Do we ever fully know our best friends? When is it necessary to keep your friends close and your enemies closer? When do we achieve "PROGRESS THROUGH TRADITION"? How has tradition in education (or in base morality) become redefined?

This book is superb, it is ingenious, it is a masterpiece. When have you ever heard this reader say those things all together. Never before here.

If this register allowed for 6 stars, Joanne Harris has arrived to claim that scale.

Too man
Bill Kupersmith
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
As I felt this story deserved comment from a schoolmaster, below is a letter to Mr Straitley from Josiah Powel (MA Harvard), Latin master & House Master of Latymer House, Saint Aidan's School, Wensleydale, Connecticut, who will figure in a novel I'm now trying to write.

My dear Straitley, It was most engaging to follow your latest exploits @ S. Oswald's. Here @ S. Aidan’s we too have had more than usual atra cura, as you’ll discover if my chronicler Bill Kupersmith exerts himself to bring us
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My favourite kind of Joanne Harris novel. Brooding, menacing and claustrophobic. We're back at St Oswald's school, setting for the equally fantastic Gentlemen and Players, and back in the company of Latin master Mr Straitley who is having to grapple with more unwelcome ghosts of the past. The book goes back and forth in time, partly through the eyes of Mr Straitley and partly through a sociopathic diarist who's intentions leave the reader uncomfortable from the get go.

Similar in tone to Blueeye
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In short - So dark, so funny, so good

In long
I heard the author talking about this book in a radio interview and thought that it sounded interesting. Intrigued by the prologue I was hooked within the first chapter really and Roy Straitley, who we meet in it and who is one of the best characters I've read in quite some time. In fact the prologue contains the other voice heard in this book - that of one of the boys who was at the Grammar school in the 1980s and was taught by Straitley. The chapters
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, drama, 2017
Книгата ми хареса в пъти повече от "Джентълмени и играчи"! Още по-мрачна, още по-готическа от първата част! Стилът на Джоан Харис (поне в тези две нейни книги, които прочетох) ми допадна изключително много. Пише с лека ирония, с едно много фино чувство за хумор...и всички тези двусмислени и недоизяснени (всъщност изяснени, но не и в пряк текст) неща и обстоятелства от историята, обратите. ... Дори и заглавието на романа придобива съвсем друг смисъл на последните страници. За мен романът е ако не ...more
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Having thoroughly enjoyed "Gentlemen and Players," I couldn't wait to go back to the world of Master Roy Straightly, the classics teacher at an all boys private school. This novel puts you in the place of an aging teacher who truly cares about his students while having everything he believes attacked. His musings and anecdotes amused while the dark underlying story slowly comes to the light. The story unfolds like an onion bouncing between two perspectives where you find a dark hidden spoilage i ...more
It would have been 3, had I not been a teacher. The story, imho, needs some editing (and most importantly, cutting) but the subtle yet profound grievance about newfangled "correctness" and "appropriateness" of classroom material — oh boy, do I relate to this.
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
A very different read that engaged every aspect of me. Incredibly interesting, one of those books you need to really chew over. Full review to follow.
Jo Chambers
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I bought this book after hearing Joanne Harris talk about it (and lots of other things too!) at the Hay Literary Festival a few weeks ago. I also got it signed by her!
Joanne is one of my favourite authors and this book did not disappoint. It is set in a private grammar school St Oswalds in a fictional town in the north of England, as was a previous book 'Gentlemen and Players'. The main character once again is the irrascible Classics Master Roy Straitley, and half of the book is told from his po
Renita D'Silva
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely, tremendously stunning. Loved this SO much. Wow, this author is SO versatile.
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Different Class is set in a private boys grammar school in crisis. A school which is just about to be introduced to its new “Super Head” and accompanying crisis team. However, it is not the first time St Oswalds has seen trouble and the arrival of the new head will plunge Roy Straightley, Latin master, back 20 years in time to when the new head was himself a new boy.

It is a very dark read and one that you have to take special care in reading so that you don’t miss out on some of the subtleties o
Apr 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is the eleventh book I have read by Joanne Harris, and definitely view her as one of my all-time favourite authors. I love how she is able to write so many different genres. As someone who loves to read a variety of genres, this makes her the perfect author for me.

Unfortunately, this particular book didn’t quite grip me in the way many of her other books have. I much preferred Blueeyedboy and Gentlemen and Players. I found Different Class a little slow and it failed to surprise me in the wa
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very clever book about the world of a boys school, and of course, about all the world. Anyone who has worked in a school will know it is a stale place, with secrets and alliances.
In this case, there is child abuse. And there is also a gay teacher ( at least one) , religion, tradition, and I guess we all know where it's going to end up. In a situation like this, there are so few ( if any) real friends and an awful lot of " my best friend is gay...but." type filth. So very well done.
I loved th
Laura ★☮☯
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura ★☮☯ by: Grandma
Although this took me a while to read (I am a studennnnnnt with only a recent newfound freedom), I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was completely hooked. It is a bit of a slow burner, so I encourage you to keep going.

Harris tells the story of a Grammar school, St Oswalds, and the loyalty of a former student (and now teacher). His narration depicts some of the school secrets which the new head, another former student, intends to hide. The narration jumps between the 1980s and the present day as
Joy Stephenson
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book!
This is a psychological suspense / thriller with a plot that twists and turns intriguingly. It’s set in an English independent boys’ grammar school and the story is told by two narrators and from two periods, 1981 and 2005 (which is the present day in this story). One narrator is the Latin master who has spent virtually is whole life at the school, and there is gentle humour in many of his habits and Latin asides. The school setting is so well-drawn and all the characters are con
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Страхотно ми хареса:-) Препоръчвам на всички почитатели на "Джентълмени и играчи"!
May 06, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Oh what an unsettling novel this was! The chronology switched back and forth between the past (1981) and the present (2005); I really liked Harris' use of diary entries for the narrative set in '81 as this set the tone for the whole book. It all felt a bit cold, a bit disturbing - and I loved it!

I really enjoyed the humour throughout the book, Harris weaved it into the story beautifully, it did not disrupt the chilling atmosphere at all, it rather added to it. While I didn't particularly warm to
Margot McGovern
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Times are changing at St Oswald’s school for boys. It’s 2005 and the school is in decline. A crisis team has been recruited to turn things around. They’ve replaced the old honour boards with shiny new banners depicting smiling students, political correctness has been taken to such an extreme that victims are being made to apologise to their bullies, sixth form Mulberry girls have admitted into certain classes, students are now ‘customers’ and all written communications must now be made via email ...more
Karyn Niedert
I’ve never read a Joanne Harris novel before, and wasn’t sure what to expect. I usually don’t like books set in other countries, but the book blurb to “Different Class” was too good to pass up.

Harris hooked me immediately with the history of St. Oswald’s Grammar in North Yorkshire. She sets up main character, schoolmaster Roy Straitley, immediately as a teacher who has roughened around the edges after teaching for over thirty years. During his long tenure, he has seen many boys come through the
Jenny Sparrow
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Gentlemen and Players в свое время мне ну очень понравилась, поэтому, конечно, мимо продолжения я пройти не смогла. Я, признаться, хотя и получила в свое время удовольствие от шоколадных книг про Виан Роше и прочую кулинарию, но особым фанатом не стала, а вот эта вот более темная сторона Харрис мне нравится куда больше.

Снова аристократический Сент-Освальд, снова начало учебного года и снова грядут перемены, но на этот раз более серьезные, поскольку события этой книги наступают сразу после преды
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another literary masterpiece from Ms Harris. A deeply complex story with wonderful drawn characters as always. This is another thriller set in St Oswalds private grammar school for boys, which once again explores the themes of class distinction, troubled childhoods and revenge. A delightfully well paced read, with an ingenious, tightly controlled plot. Would highly recommend, even to those who have not read the first book in the series.
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
So... It had been a while since I had read a Joanne Harris thriller, and ever since I knew 'Different Class' was out there to be purchased I thought I had to read it.

And read it I did. I didn't start my reading with a lot of expectations, but I wanted to like it. I dind't even remember that much about St. Oswald's from 'Gentlemen and Players' because, as Goodreads has so kindly let me know, I read this book in 2006, more than eleven years ago. How could I remember much now? The only things I do
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Separate Editions 3 188 Jan 04, 2018 05:53AM  
  • Helvetesilden (Inspector Konrad Sejer #12)
  • In Perfect Light
  • Frank Derrick's Holiday of A Lifetime
  • Fan Mail
  • The Wrong Girl (Pieter Vos #2)
  • The Living and the Dead in Winsford
  • Nobody's Girl
  • Game 7: Dead Ball
  • The Grey Raider
  • Wonders of the Invisible World
  • Go to work and do your job. Care for your children. Pay your bills. Obey the law. Buy products.
  • Aberration of Starlight
  • Bortom sanningen (Hanne Wilhelmsen, #7)
  • Wire to Wire
  • The Stolen Child
  • The Long Trial of Nolan Dugatti
  • Fatal Pursuit (Bruno, Chief of Police, #9)
  • The Silent Hours
Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French author, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. She has also written a DR WHO novella for the BBC, has scripted guest episodes for the game ZOMBIES, RUN!, and is currently engaged in a number of musical theatre pr ...more

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • American Street
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Stillwater Rising
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Lark Song
    $4.99 $1.99
  • In Twenty Years
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Winter Men
    $3.49 $0.99
  • The Daughters of Palatine Hill
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A House for Happy Mothers
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Love Poems (New Directions Paperbook)
    $11.95 $2.99
  • The Drowning Guard
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Anathema
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Neverhome
    $12.99 $2.99
  • Sinner: A Paradise Novel (The Books of History Chronicles)
    $11.49 $3.99
  • A Promise of Hope (Kauffman Amish Bakery, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • 'Round Midnight: A Novel
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Ulterior Motives (Sun Coast Chronicles, #3)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Prisoner B-3087
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Midwife's Revolt (The Midwife Series, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Place of Peace (Kauffman Amish Bakery, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Beekeeper's Promise
    $4.99 $2.49
  • The Two-Family House
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Where Do I Go? (Yada Yada House of Hope, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Bloodletter's Daughter
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Gift of Grace (Kauffman Amish Bakery, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Luxe (Luxe, #1)
    $3.74 $0.99
  • A Dream of Home (Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Thing About Jellyfish
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Broken Angels
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lioness of Morocco
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Wish
    $5.67 $2.99
  • Treason: A Novel
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Wednesday Wars
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Red Mountain
    $4.99 $1.49
  • She Who Remembers
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Hearts of Resistance
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Nantucket Nights
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Life and Other Near-Death Experiences
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Where Hope Begins
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Skin
    $1.99 $0.99
  • Endangered (Ape Quartet, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Inamorata
    $3.99 $0.99
  • A Life of Joy (Kauffman Amish Bakery, #4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Cometh the Hour (The Clifton Chronicles #6)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Question of Red
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A.D. 30 (A.D., #1)
    $7.99 $3.99
  • Karolina's Twins: A Novel
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Illuminati: Roundtable of the Bosses (The Cartel #7)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The 158-Pound Marriage
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Chasing Rainbows: A Novel
    $3.99 $0.99
  • A Season of Love
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Small Rain: A Novel
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Great Santini
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Homeland (Crown Family Saga, #1)
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Echoes of Family
    $4.99 $1.99
“I don't believe God really cares what you eat, or what you wear, or whom you love. I think that if God made the stars, He must have a greater perspective.” 4 likes
“All schools have their skeletons. St Oswald’s is no exception. Most of the time, we try our best to keep them in the closet. But this time, the only recourse we have is to throw open all the closets, light as many bulbs as we can and catch the vermin as it comes out.” 2 likes
More quotes…