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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale from a bygone age
Sitting back one afternoon with nothing better to do than to watch Newcastle v Chelsea on Sky, I picked up one of the books I'd been sent to review. I normally prefer to pick up a good Grisham, perhaps Harlan Coben, something along those lines with a bit murder and mystery preferably a little bit sex thrown in too. (hey... we all love it... c'mon) Keith Geddes? Never...
Published on 9 May 2008 by KEN SCOTT author

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3.0 out of 5 stars For me not enough of the fun stuff and too much endless descriptions of public school ...
For me not enough of the fun stuff and too much endless descriptions of public school life, sporting events, so I haven't finished it yet although I began to read it way back in the summer. I will probably get around to it one day but for me, How to Walk a Puma was a much more interesting read than this.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. Christine L. Keeling


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale from a bygone age, 9 May 2008
Sitting back one afternoon with nothing better to do than to watch Newcastle v Chelsea on Sky, I picked up one of the books I'd been sent to review. I normally prefer to pick up a good Grisham, perhaps Harlan Coben, something along those lines with a bit murder and mystery preferably a little bit sex thrown in too. (hey... we all love it... c'mon) Keith Geddes? Never heard of him and quite frankly sitting down to read about the exploits of a teacher transferred to a school in Nairobi wasn't the sort of book that was likely to tear me away from the big screen. Anyway I sat down to watch the game and the old black n whites fared quite well in the first half, Michael Owen... c'mon you should have bagged two and sent the Chelski packing. The second half started poorly and the class began to show. Within ten minutes Newcastle were a goal down and I went for the book by Mr Geddes.
Am I glad I did! The book hooked me in almost straight away and my glances over the top of the book became less frequent especially when the toon went 2-0 down. After thirty minutes the box was switched off and I engrossed myself in a quite enthralling read.

The following day I finished it. It was a book from a bygone era, a wonderful 'holiday read' without meaning to undermine the book too much. Not heavy, not a difficult plot, just a good old fashioned yarn to lie on a sun kissed patio with a lazy bottle of rioja. And that's just what I did. Thank you Mr Geddes for a wonderful afternoon. Shame about the footy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please Sir, There's A Snake In The Art Room, 12 May 2008
Having been a teacher for 10 years, and also having lived in Kenya and Uganda for over a year, I could relate entirely to the subject of this book, the way Keith Geddes takes us through the different situations of a Headmaster in two completely different countries allowed me to picture myself in the same scenarios. Witty and informative with a cheeky edge this book will bring a smile to anyone who reads it. I read it from cover to cover in a day; perhaps I will get an 'A' for English Literature? This will appeal to all tastes and will leave you wanting the next book, so come on Mr Geddes ..... Gary Stone
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classroom tale, 1 Sept. 2008
In Please Sir, There's A Snake In The Art Room author Keith Geddes has his principal character, Tom Thorne, address a series of challenges. Thorne, this principal character, is a pre-school principal, or headmaster, depending of the regime in question. His first task is to manage and strengthen a Twickenham prep-school, to bolster its students' performance in common entrance exams.

Along the way he has to deal with unruly parents, some of which are so despicably attractive that they quite put his off his stroke. There are problem teachers, some of whom scheme, wheel and deal, or even take days off sick. There are, inevitably, students. Some of them perform, others under-perform. Some are almost anonymous, while some excel. There are sports fixtures where the school could do better, and there are success stories that outnumber the disappointments. And amid this, Tom Thorne finds himself a new wife, a new family and, believe it or not, a new job.

Tome takes up the challenge of a headship in a Kenyan school, near the Ngong Hills outside Nairobi, right on the boundary of the Game Park. There he institutes a similar mix of curriculum reform, staff management, pupil stewardship and parental relationship that he used in Twickenham and, you've guessed it, things work out well. Tom is certainly kept busy. In addition, Kenya provides him with occasional experiences that Twickenham would not, such as snakes, hippos, lions and even flowering plants.

Please Sir, There's A Snake In The Art Room is not really a novel. In the tradition of Gervase Phinn, it's more like a fictionalised professional diary, a diary containing the things that were too unprofessional to put in the real thing. It remains of interest to a general reader, because we have all been to school and so we can all empathise with the events, many of which are displayed with considerable humour.

Head teacher Tom Thorne, we realise quite early on, bears a strong resemblance to a certain Keith Geddes, whose own life history has witnessed the exact transformations that the author inflicts on his fictional hero. And so Keith Geddes's book begins to read more like an autobiography than fiction.

It is an anecdotal, light and light-hearted depiction of the professional and personal challenges that a head teacher has to address. And throughout it is also an enjoyable and often humorous experience for both pupils and teachers, despite the fact that navigating its waters is rarely plain sailing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rattling good tale., 25 Jun. 2008
By 
A. Jones "Allen Jones" (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I loved this book and could not put it down. It is a hugely entertaining read, humourous and interesting. If you have ever been a school parent, most particularly in Africa, the story rings familiar bells all the way through. All the characters are very believable and Keith Geddes' talent for drawing you into their lives and allowing you to picture them leaves you almost sure that you know them from your own school experiences. I was hooked from the beginning and laughed a lot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, 11 May 2012
This review is from: Please Sir, there's a snake in the art room (Kindle Edition)
Loved the book. An entertaining read and excellent reminder of my upbringing in Kenya and time at school. I hope the school names have been changed to protect the innocent as I went to St.Christophers but don't recall it being far out of town nor it being a boarding school.
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3.0 out of 5 stars For me not enough of the fun stuff and too much endless descriptions of public school ..., 16 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Please Sir, there's a snake in the art room (Kindle Edition)
For me not enough of the fun stuff and too much endless descriptions of public school life, sporting events, so I haven't finished it yet although I began to read it way back in the summer. I will probably get around to it one day but for me, How to Walk a Puma was a much more interesting read than this.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Better books to buy, 7 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Please Sir, there's a snake in the art room (Kindle Edition)
Not much of a story, I suppose the author should have listtened to what his father told him ''if you can't find anything to do become a teacher'' and that sums up the book really, it is mundane. I have tried a number of times to complete the book, but sadly it is now on the shelf.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 8 April 2015
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This review is from: Please Sir, there's a snake in the art room (Kindle Edition)
Thoroughly enjoyable read, from London to kenya, taking on the sometimes harrowing job of the headmaster. Lots of laughs along the way. I probably enjoyed this book as I have travelled to kenya and so much was familiar.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 17 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Please Sir, there's a snake in the art room (Kindle Edition)
Really gripping explains all aspects of different kinds of education am about to start the second book as I presume it follows on
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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 4 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Please Sir, there's a snake in the art room (Kindle Edition)
Would never recommend this book. I expected much more from it and it failed to deliver.
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