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Publisher's Summary

Amazing what bodily injury could do for a man.

A fall from a racehorse had left brilliant jockey Sid Halley dangerously depressed, with a wrecked hand and the need for a new career. And now a bullet wound was helping him find one. He'd been with a detective agency since his racing accident, but it wasn't until some two-bit hoodlum drilled a slug into his side that he was sent out on a case of his own.

That was where he met Zanna Martin, a woman who just might make life worth living again. But it was an even-money bet that he'd be killed before he had the chance.

©1965 Dick francis (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    124
  • 4 Stars
    94
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    82
  • 4 Stars
    34
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    10
  • 2 Stars
    3
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    3

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    76
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Alex
  • Laguna Beach, CA, USA
  • 05-29-08

Dick Francis

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ken
  • Boiling Springs, PA, United States
  • 10-06-11

Read this one First

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?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent read

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A great read (listen.)

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 06-24-12

Deceptively effortless grace

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kimberly
  • Indianapolis, IN, United States
  • 05-31-12

Classic

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story

I love all the Dick Francis books and this one is no exception. Tony Britton did a great job with the narration.

This is just a great classic British mystery!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best, AND narrated by Tony Britton

I have listened to most of the Dick Francis books on Audible and this is my favorite. Tony Britton should have narrated the whole lot of them. Recommend Hot Money too. Someone needs to clean up the recordings a bit -- this one sounds better than Hot Money.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tracey
  • craigmore, Australia
  • 09-29-14

sid halley classic

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

yes dick francis writes a good story plenty going on to keep you interrested

What other book might you compare Odds Against to and why?

crossfire and whiphand

What does Tony Britton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

yes having listened to several dick francis books read by him

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

halleys crippled hand being smashed up again by the crooks need the series in sequence

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hard to Go Wrong with Dick Francis!

Would you consider the audio edition of Odds Against to be better than the print version?

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!

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

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!

What about Tony Britton’s performance did you like?

His reading of the book was expressive and vintage Francis! His tone keeps you interested.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 11-21-07

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 09-20-17

worst sound quality ever

story ok but the sound quality of the recording is terrible. buy the book instead

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Linda G
  • 12-04-17

Re read

Had this in hard back when it first came out , so much better to sit and listen,

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-15-17

poor audio quality

Tony Britton reads brilliantly well. Sadly the technical quality is very poor, the sound levels vary along with the speed of playback which distorts the performance. The story itself is great, a Dick Francis classic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • bran
  • 08-28-17

a pleaure

great novelist , great narrator,.great series. have all the novels and intend obtaining then in audio

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • I R PURSGLOVE
  • 08-14-17

Good story, poor in telling

The story was of the standard you would expect from Dick Francis; but spoilt by the awful recording-sound levels variable, random background hiss, etc.

Sounds like it has been put together from multiple recordings and not well for all that.

That said, once I mentally adjusted to the lack of quality in the recording, I did enjoy the book and it helps on long drives.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • andy furkins
  • 04-14-17

Typical early Dick Francis .. good story

Sadly to audio quality of this book somewhat spoils a good listen. Perhaps a new recording is needed as lots of patchy sections that spoil the enjoyment.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Angela
  • 03-05-17

Non-stop action

Gripping story, very well performed. Some adult content so beware if listening with kids - references to sado-masochism and one torture scene.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MoBotRio
  • 02-02-17

Superb

My favourite novel in the Halley series, well drawn character, pacey narrative, truly enjoyable listen.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David C
  • 11-21-16

Great story and performance by TB, appalling sound

Would you try another book written by Dick Francis or narrated by Tony Britton?

Yes, great tales read by an excellent actor

What did you like best about this story?

The performance, TB always delivers Dick Francis with style

Any additional comments?

Please get it remastered, since it appears like laziness and incompetence on the part of the producers. However since these comments have been made already and apparently ignored....

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amber Smeenk
  • 03-28-18

the sound quality is not great at times.

great story, good narrator but sound quality lacking. had to turn volume up very high and big difference between different sittings of the narrator . Sound and volume would suddenly change. Still worthwhile listening though