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Publisher's Summary

Steven Scott is relatively new to horses. A successful, wealthy inventor, he takes up horse racing as a hobby - a hobby that soon brings him winner after winner under the inspired guidance of his trainer, Jody Leeds. Currently both their reputations are wrapped up in a beautiful black hurdler named Energise. But just when Steven is winning at both women and horses, he discovers deceit in his own stables. Termination of the troublemaker marks Steven for his own termination - and much sooner than he can imagine...
©1975 by Dick Frances; (P)1995 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"[Francis] has the uncanny ability to turn out simply plotted yet charmingly addictive mysteries." (The Wall Street Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    174
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Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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    41
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    8
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Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • James
  • Statesboro, GA, USA
  • 01-05-03

Never a bad book

I am convinced Dick Francis cannot write a poor book. Each of his tomes are works of art-somehow getting your blood boiling in the first chapter until the pain is exquisite as the ending slowly , teasingly begins to unfold. The real mystery is how he does this without repeating characters or plots or points of view- it seems each book has a freshness to it-an emphasised emotion, a clever paradox, a turn of events that make it unexpected yet somehow believable. High Stakes keeps you rooting for the hero all the way and nervous as a fresh colt looking at his first gate.

35 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Wanaque, NJ, USA
  • 04-15-05

NO BAD DOGS

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!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

this is Dick Francis at his best!

The excellent narration added to a thoroughly enjoyable story. I suspect that I will be listening to this one again!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

The Meek Shall Fight Back

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

High Stakes is an excellent book. Though the context of every Dick Francis book involves horses and horse racing, this story can be found anywhere in the world in any field. A naive man trusts his employee to do right. Instead the employee uses that naivete to rob the owner blind. When the owner discovers the extensive theft, instead of being contrite, the discovered employee goes on the warpath trying to destroy the owner.<br/><br/>Think Lance Armstrong and his sordid tale.

What about Geoffrey Howard’s performance did you like?

Howard does an excellent job narrating this book. An excellent British voice with an enjoyable accent. Portrays the stereotypical British "stiff upper lip" that the main character exhibits. Very much enjoyed it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

One of his best!

Loved it. Good characters. Interesting plot. Strong narrative. I only have a few more to listen to

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Judy
  • Coral Springs, Florida, United States
  • 04-01-13

thumbs up for dick francis

What made the experience of listening to High Stakes the most enjoyable?

Makes no difference which book it is, I love every one. Just wish they were<br/>all on Audible and/or video.

Any additional comments?

I've read them over and over. I love the fact there's always a secondary story<br/>line besides horse racing which has been well researched.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Great story - Dick Frances a great story Teller

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, Great story keeps you interested through out the plot and it is an attention grabber

What about Geoffrey Howard’s performance did you like?

Good narator speaks clearly and easy to follow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good Reader, okay book

I love books on horses. However, this one was a bit slow, with not enough different or interesting characters. The voice reader was good.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Another wonderful read

High Stakes is another wonderful story from Dick Francis that shouldn't be missed. Geoffrey Howard does a very good job with the narration and makes the audible experience an enjoyable 5+ hours of storytelling.

  • Overall
  • Performance
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Story Good, Performance less so

Would you listen to High Stakes again? Why?

I might listen to High Stakes again, but some parts of the performance are less than ideal.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Geoffrey Howard?

No. The narrator seems unable to pair an American accent with a feminine voice. Every time the story turned to the romance his performance ruined the mood.