©1965 Dick Francis; (P)1997 Chivers Audio Books
I am a Dick Francis fan because his plots have the balance of mystery, suspense and comfortable characters and at a nice pace. This is a typically good story. My one complaint would be that the reader sounded so much older than the characters.
If you like one Dick Francis mystery, you will probably like them all (if you get a good reader - which is usually the case fortunately). He wrote four mysteries featuring ex-jockey Sid Halley: Odds Against (1965); Whip Hand (1979); Come to Grief (1995); and Under Orders (2006). Even though the books span 40 years, the elapsed time within/between all the stories is about 3 or 4 years. Technology advances with the times from book to book and we aren't supposed to notice that as readers. After all, it's really the mysteries and Francis' quality writing that we're here for, isn't it?
My husband and I thoughly enjoyed this audio book. The narrator always plays an important role and this book like all of Dick Francis's books was truly engrossing. Carmen Miller
I hadn't yet met the central character in this story, a former jocky with a maimed hand, and I found him very sympathetic. His courage, lack of self-pity and sensitivity to the feelings of others similarly afflicted gives him an engaging depth. I took further satisfaction Francis's choice of villians: men who destroy beauty to make money on building ugly houses. He shows them as the villians I feel them to be. The narrator does a wonderful job.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.
The genius of Dick Francis lay in his ability to deal with chilling, even grotesque violence and the most visceral of emotions with the kind of sure handed restraint that a great jockey uses to bring a hurtling thoroughbred safely and even stylishly through a madly jostling pack to the finished line and the winner's circle. He created heart stopping action sequences, psychological horror scenes and suspense which is sustained far past what should be the breaking point and did it all in an understated tone which would not be out of place at high tea. The result is an exquisite tension. He also had a habit of constructing action sequences which feature intelligent improvisation from his hero rather than brute force or unerring marksmanship.
Sid Halley is one of the few leading characters who recur in Francis's books, and it is easy to see why he returned to him several times. This outing introduces the injured steeple chase jockey turned investigator, and half way through listening I had already resolved to read all the other books in which he appears. His working class roots, athlete's resilient tenacity and chess player's mind are a fascinating combination. If you have not read anything by Dick Francis, this is as good a place as any to begin.
Listening to books is the best. I love almost all genres, but romance is my favorite, and rom-com is my preference there.
I always enjoy Dick Francis novels. His characters and plots are interesting. I have always loved the character of Sid Halley with his tragic past. He's very well-rounded. The peripheral characters play important roles, not just window dressing. The plot of Odds Against is compelling, and if you don't know a lot about the British racing world, well, you'll learn a bit. The end had an interesting twist, because even though you know what's going on, you don't know the whole of it.
I also enjoy listening to Tony Britton. He keeps the story moving without being overly emotive.
Overall, if you enjoy a nice suspense story, you'll like this one.
Nothing is better than the print version; however, I find I am turning more and more to audio versions due to convenience. I spend so much time in my car that having audio books is wonderful! I also love to listen to books as I do my walking each day.
I have the books downloaded to my Android phone and that is one thing that ALWAYS goes with me!
Although there are some of Dick Francis' books that are a little better than the others, you can't go wrong reading (or listening) to Dick Francis.
Odds Against is one of the best! I love all the books that feature the character Sid Halley!
His reading of the book was expressive and vintage Francis! His tone keeps you interested.
My favorite books are thriller/mystery series...such as John Sandford, Jonathan Kellerman, Patricia Cornwell, etc.. Also like sci-fi.
I have always liked audio books better because of my poor eyesight-but have read this book and couldn't put it down!
I think he is the best British narrator..wish all Dick Francis' books were narrated by him.
no-just enjoyed it.
i would like to see all of Dick francis' books on audible.com-I don't know why just a few are not? For instance Forfeit and Comeback!
Yes. Good story, well narrated. (Could be better, but it's only one person narrating!!) I was glued to it. Maybe I should give it and the narration a 5?
The characters had good values. Well, at least the good characters did. And the main character was practical, driven, and morally ambitious. More horses, though!!!
I rarely write a review but, for this audio book, I'll make an exception. The writing style of Dick Francis is superb. In this novel, the plot unfolds perfectly. The tension builds gradually but with twists that never seem laboured. All the characters have charming, believable idiosyncrasies. The narrator, Tony Britton, gets top marks for capturing the sly subtlety of Dick Francis's writing style. Tony has an amazing ability to shift his voice for each character. The analog-digital conversion was a little sloppy but caused me only minor annoyance. At some points, the pitch of the voice changes; no big deal.
"Another good one"
Dick Francis is brilliant. This (I think) is the first Sid Halley novel; it starts well and then improves; its the first time I've given 5 stars to a book for a while! If you like Dick Francis you will love this.
"The First Outing of the Best Francis Character"
This is the book that first introduces the reader/listener to Sid Halley, the character generally considered to be Francis' finest. The sequal to this book, "Whip Hand" certainly won a whole plethera of awards. It's a great book. The characters are real and frequently flawed and twisted and the storyline is gritty and compulsive. Why didn't I score it 5 stars? The sound quality of the recording isn't great but it's not bad enough to spoil your fun.
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