Dick Francis

I just finished the new Dick Francis, Dead Heat, and am such a huge fan. I’ve been reading his books for the past million years … or at least the last 25 since I was old enough to appreciate them. He is one author I re-read all the time. Like all writers, some of his books are better than others, but as a whole, I can pick one up anywhere, anytime and get lost in the pages. I can even be in the middle of another book which will then be tossed to the curb.

One of the memes I see mentioned on many of the blogs I read is one that involves picking 10 literary characters you wouldn’t mind kissing (or sleeping with for the more adventurous) if you weren’t involved with someone. It’s something that’s been rattling around in my head (and one I’m still not quite ready to answer – another blog, another time), and since I’ve usually got my nose in a book, I have a large pool to pick from. One would have to be all the protagonists from Dick Francis’ books. They are all similar in their moral make-up – basically decent guys with some flaws, who try to do the right thing in a non-self-aggrandizing way. I figure they are all the author in one guise or another.

Since he has been doing this writing thing (books that is) for about 45 years, and he had quite a career as a jockey before that, it should come as no shock that he is getting on in years. But still, the picture on the back of his last books absolutely floored me. He looks so frail. It was bad enough when we had to go through a drought after his wife died and he didn’t write for several years, but for the last few, he’s come through again. It will be such a blow when he stops for good. But until then, he brings out a new book usually once a year, right around my birthday (lucky me because I am always assured of getting a copy as a present). There have been years when I just reread all his books to get ready for the new arrival. This year, I only read a few (4) but they were so good! There are some that will always stand out as favorites but others I rediscover the 2nd & 3rd time I read them. I think this may be because I get so excited about a new one, that I read it very quickly to see how it turns out, and parts that I wind up loving later on don’t register the first time. Shattered is one such example. I remember thinking it was okay when I first read it – nothing earth-shattering (pun intended) just okay. Then, when I just read it again, I found that I liked it very much and would move it much farther up the list (of favorites) than originally placed. That being said, I am going to withhold judgement of his newest book until I can read it again a little more slowly. I enjoyed it but again, not a favorite … yet. Besides, my sisters are two of the most faithful readers of this blog and I’m pretty sure one hasn’t read it yet and I know the other hasn’t cause I haven’t passed it to her yet, and I know for sure they will KILL me if I give anything away before they do.

So I will end this with a huge thank you to Dick Francis for giving me memorable birthday presents, made more so because I can revisit them again and again. And I will look forward to next year, with baited breath, to see what he comes up with then.

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One Response to “Dick Francis”

  1. Hey Teach! Says:

    I read this with great trepidation afraid you were going to give something away, thank for not spoiling it.

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