I have read and/or heard all of Dick Francis' books and have enjoyed all of them. That?s my story and I?m sticking to it.
Francis' books are thematic, although each book (save one) has a different -- always male -- protagonist. Like most good 'thematic' writers, one can pick up any Francis book and thoroughly enjoy it. However, if one reads his books more-or-less in sequence, you see an interesting progression of writing style, broadening horizons, and more diversity of plot lines.
Francis' first career was as a championship English jockey. His first books were steeped in the English racing scene as intimately experienced by jockeys, trainers, owners, and other insiders. An integral element in each book is an episode where the bad guy(s) do something horrid to the hero - frequently involving his being confined in some manner (e.g., tied to a remotely located tree while naked, rendered unconscious in the stall of a high-spirited racing stallion), being assaulted, or put in peril of experiencing a ghastly incident rife with danger of serious injury or death.
During the incident or afterwards, his protagonists all have the ability to ?think through? a situation, eventually coming up with the identity of the bad guy(s), their motive, and - most deliciously - a way to structure a revenge scenario that often turns the tables on the villains, and - if needed - achieves restitution (or rehabilitation) for those who were harmed during the preceding chapters.
Francis? later books concentrate less on the inner-sanctum of racing - though there is always a touchstone to the sport - with his protagonists having a wide variety of careers; sometimes at the top, sometimes not. In ?High Stakes,? our hero is a successful children?s toy inventor, other hero?s careers include: photographer, movie (strike that . . . cinema) actor, expeditor, glass blowing artist, spirits store owner, travel book author, and so on.
Having said the above, know this: ?High Stakes? is a good one!
Terry Pratchett's Discworld is custom-made for audio. Even though I own and have read (and re-read) every one of his Discworld novels, listening to them lets me experience them with the fullness of leisurely thought and imagination.
With my purchase of The Fifth Elephant, we now own all 22 of Terry Pratchett's titles that have been released by Audible.com, and would be extremely grateful if Audible would add the missing titles as soon as possible
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