Dick Francis Reading Group discussion

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message 1: by Ndholz (new)

Ndholz I thought it was a boring story... :)

message 2: by AZbookgal (new)

AZbookgal (AZbookgal2) | 2 comments Welcome to the Dick Francis reading group at Goodreads! All Dick Francis fans are invited to join! Also, check out our website at:
DickFrancisBooks.com to join our email discussion group. We are a group of Dick Francis fans who have been active online since 1997.

message 3: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (laurenkimbffs4ever) I disagree. It talks about segregation and how the kids learn lessons throughout their life and whether you are white or black you still have hard times.

message 4: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (monongahela) I couldn't believe what a low average rating this book has. Yes, it is written for aboutthe middle aged school kid, but the message is so clear and such a part of our history not as black or white people, but as americans.

The writing is rich with metaphor, symbolism and detail. This book truly deserved the Newbery Award!

message 5: by Luann (last edited Oct 04, 2008 05:32PM) (new)

Luann (AZbookgal) | 171 comments Mod
Feel free to introduce yourselves here. How long have you been reading Dick Francis? Which hero or book is your favorite - if you can choose just one! If not, give us a short list of your top favorites. :)

I started reading Dick Francis just over 20 years ago. I read the Reader's Digest condensed version of Break In and immediately started looking for other Dick Francis books to read. My favorites are Break In (of course!), Bolt, The Danger, Proof, Bonecrack, and whichever one I've most recently reread.

Edit: I see that I didn't have Bonecrack as one of my favorites on our list at Listopia! I've now added it. :) Two other favorites are: Smokescreen and Wild Horses. Is it fair to have seven favorites? :)

message 6: by Liz (new)

Liz (Lizmond) | 2 comments Hi, I'm just wondering if anyone has an address to write to DF. I used to have one for his publisher in NY but the hard drive on my computer broke and it's gone. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks, Liz.

message 7: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie | 18 comments I would try the publisher of his latest, Silks.

anyone read john francome's Under Cover?

message 8: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie | 18 comments sorry its, Cover Up?

message 9: by Luann (new)

Luann (AZbookgal) | 171 comments Mod
This is the address I use. It can take a long time, but he does almost always send an answer:

Dick Francis
Putnam Penguin, Inc.
375 Hudson Street
New York City, NY 10014

message 10: by Liz (new)

Liz (Lizmond) | 2 comments Thanks Luann,and everyone else. You are all stars.

message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan Randall | 3 comments Hello everyone, I'm a newbie. I've loved Dick Francis novels since I was about 13 (believe me, that's a long time ago) and I've read and re-read them all. My Mum always buys me the latest novel as a Christmas present - it's been a tradition for about 20years, the only problem with that is that I have to wait until Christmas!
My favourite is probably For Kicks but I love them all. I've just re-read In The Frame - I'm so dim that I forget what happens so it's a bit like reading the book for the first time!
I'm looking forward to joining in your discussions here.

message 12: by Luann (new)

Luann (AZbookgal) | 171 comments Mod
Hi, Susan! Welcome to the group. Feel free to participate in our "Guess Mysteries by Plot" game - or any of the other threads here!

message 13: by Donna (new)

Donna | 2 comments Hi! I'm new and would like to know the title of the Dick Francis book where the lead character is held in the bottom of a boat and barely has room to move...or am I confusing it with another author?

message 14: by Luann (new)

Luann (AZbookgal) | 171 comments Mod
Hi, Donna! Welcome! The book you are asking about is Risk: Roland Britten, accountant and champion steeplechase jockey, wakes in darkness with his hands tied. He has no idea where he is or what is happening, and still he manages an escape -- until he is recaptured, and the deadly cat and mouse game proceeds.

message 15: by Donna (new)

Donna | 2 comments Thanks, Luann. Risk was one of the first Dick Francis books I read(and I've read them all), so I could not remember the title. I want to read this one again.

message 16: by Luann (new)

Luann (AZbookgal) | 171 comments Mod
Happy I could help!

message 17: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Boehm | 1 comments I have recently found Dick Francis and love his works. My favorite so far is Long Shot. Loved Comeback.

message 18: by Luann (new)

Luann (AZbookgal) | 171 comments Mod
Welcome to the group, Margaret!

message 19: by Jean (new)

Jean (jeanr) | 1 comments I started reading Dick Francis so long ago that I really can't remember why I first picked one up. I wish I could remember because I am NOT a mystery reader and I can't imagine why I decided to try Dick Francis. I'm a librarian who seldom re-reads and seldom buys books (because I seldom re-read) but I now own all his books and reread them often. I'm sure that the mystery elements of the book are excellent, but I wouldn't be a good judge because I read for Francis' characters and their personal stories. That they are thrown into peril simply makes their personalities shine all the brighter.

message 20: by Luann (new)

Luann (AZbookgal) | 171 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "That they are thrown into peril simply makes their personalities shine all the brighter."

Welcome, Jean! Well put!!

message 21: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine (SaanichLori) | 30 comments Hello - I am excited to see a Dick Francis group. I first read Hot Money which I purchased from the Columbia House book club. I have read all but about 4-5 of his novels, and my favourite is Longshot but my 2nd favourite is Dead Heat. His older books, while a bit dated, are also very good - I'm thinking of For Kicks. I look forward to seeing what's here!

message 22: by Luann (new)

Luann (AZbookgal) | 171 comments Mod
Welcome, Lorraine!!

message 23: by Sue (new)

Sue (Suerreal) | 13 comments Hi & a shoutout to my old friends from the AOL group. I used to post there as MajorMD.

Luann, my forst DF was also a Reader's Digest condensed version, only it was Nerve. I read it in 1969, when I was 11, and I've looked forward to each year's new book for many years since.

Favorites include Break-In, Bolt, Straight, The Edge, and Banker.

message 24: by Luann (new)

Luann (AZbookgal) | 171 comments Mod
Welcome, Sue!! Glad that you could join us here at GR.

message 25: by Sue (new)

Sue (Suerreal) | 13 comments Thanks for the welcome! Now if someone could arrange for days to be 30 hours long, I might be able to get some serious reading done!

message 26: by Luann (new)

Luann (AZbookgal) | 171 comments Mod
I need the days during the week to be normal length, but the weekends to have days that are AT LEAST 30 hours long. :)

message 27: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 5 comments Hooray for audio books! They won't give you 30 hour days, but they are great company while doing the boring stuff like dishes and laundry, or commuting. I'm listening to Proof right now. (Probably at least for the 3rd time - I love Tony Britton as a reader!)

message 28: by MizziQ (new)

MizziQ I loved it. :)

message 29: by Marteen (new)

Marteen (MarteenF) I LOVED this book!!

message 30: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie | 18 comments Hello group, I just finished reading one of our members new book, Racing from Death, by Sasscer Hill.

I have enjoyed both her books and hope she continues to write more.

Her knowledge of the horse racing industry is very authentic, I really get miffed if someone in a book about horses does something that grates on my sensitive horsemanship.

Sort of things that a real horse person would not do.

She certainly keeps you turning the pages.

And this time she has an amusing Rooster in the equation.

It is so hard to find truly knowledgeable people writing books!

Bonnie in Altoona

message 31: by Sasscer (new)

Sasscer Hill (Hillerroo) | 21 comments Thank you, Bonnie! I love Dick Francis, and know that his wonderful writing inspired me to produce my first two novels. I believe my two favorite Francis books are "For Kicks" and "Dead Cert." The latter, because it is such a great horse story about "Admiral," the steeplechaser.

If anyone wishes to test the first chapters of either Sasscer Hill novel, you can find either Racing from Death or Full Mortality on Amazon, click the "look inside," on the cover picture and read for free!

I wish I could be as prolific as Francis. The man was totally amazing! Sasscer Hill

message 32: by Pandora (last edited Apr 25, 2012 07:28AM) (new)

Pandora I enjoyed reding this book and was very impressed with it. I gave it four stars though because I could see why it might not be liked. The lanugae is high so one would have to be a good reader. After reading the book I also came to the realization that it doesn't follow the typical hero journey that most people come to expect from a story. This is not a criticism of the book. I was amazed how caught I was with the story even though it wasn't following the map that most stories ususally do-See the book the Writer's Joruney. I could see that element might throw people expecting a more tradtional story.

Ndholz could you explain what you found boring? I don't mind people disagreeing with my view of the story but, I do what to know why. As I tell the kids it is all right not to like a story as long as you can tell me why. It is helpful so I can make a better book recommendation.

message 33: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Meyer This book is one of my favorites.
My favorite part of the book is when
Cassie beats up Lillia Jean. I love
how Cassie doesn't touch her face though...

message 34: by Algernon (new)

Algernon | 9 comments Hello, everybody.
Longtime fan of the author, looking forward to discussing his books. He is one of my safe bet authors who picks me up from occassional reading slumps. I'm always in a good mood after one of his rides.

message 35: by Sasscer (new)

Sasscer Hill (Hillerroo) | 21 comments Nice to meet you here. Francis is one of my all time favorites, too. Especially his early books like "For Kicks."

message 36: by ashleymarie (new)

ashleymarie hey guys I'm looking for more people to join this group please come its fun

message 37: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 4 comments Hello everyone! I am new to goodreads, but not to DF! I heard about him in college from a suitemate who was a big fan, and started reading his books more seriously a couple of years later, around 1988. I consider his best years to have been the late 1970s to the late 1990s, although I'll happily re-read pretty much any of them. As someone else here noted, he's a good writer to turn to when you don't have the energy to tackle something new, but you want a good read.
My favorites include Proof, The Edge (the first one I bought in hardback!), Straight, and Flying Finish (I'm learning to fly).
My least favorite is probably Driving Force, and I couldn't even finish the one he and Felix co-authored -- the one with the chef. I was sorry about that, because, being an avid cook and student of chef memoirs, I had great hopes for that one. It finally annoyed me so much I closed it and donated it to the library!
I look forward to getting to know the group!

message 38: by Roland (new)

Roland Stallings (Rolands59) | 10 comments Hello Vanessa, The Edge is also one of my favorites! I liked Driving Force, my least favorite after Field of Thirteen would be Risk and or Forfeit. Reading a book on book collecting recently, learned that Forfeit won an Edgar Award and my Risk is worth quite a bit more than what I paid for it. Can't lose with Dick Francis:-)!

message 39: by Aileen (new)

Aileen Hi

I've just started reading my first Dick Francis books. Have never been into crime before, but have set a goal to read more different genres. So browsing my library shelfs. I came across Dead Heat by Dick Francis

message 40: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 4 comments Welcome, Aileen! Lucky you -- you have plenty of great books to discover!

message 41: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine (SaanichLori) | 30 comments I really liked Dead Heat - hope you do, Aileen. I just finished The Danger - that means I've read them all - took a long time. Now I'm re-reading them.

message 42: by Sara (new)

Sara Bartlett | 2 comments I just joined the group, discovered Goodreads recently and loved going back to list the books I've read in the last few years, and some classics long ago. Dick Francis and Tony Hillerman are my favorite mystery writers. We raise horses so I identify with much of Francis' descriptions and the action, although we don't have thoroughbreds or race. Some I've read twice and still enjoy them thoroughly. Like many I enjoy the early books, but that seems to be true of all the classic mystery writers. I'll enjoy reading comments of the group, newly 'semi-retired' I now have more time to read for pleasure, so tell me your favorite mystery and I'll make sure I read it!

message 43: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine (SaanichLori) | 30 comments Hi Sara: My favourite Dick Francis is Longshot and I also am very fond of Hot Money (it was the first DF I read. I recommend both of them.

message 44: by Kit (new)

Kit Ehrman | 9 comments Hi Sara and Lorraine,
I love Longshot. Just finished rereading it. I cried the first time I read it. My husband and I used to drive back and forth between Maryland and Indiana and I would read a Francis out loud to keep the ride fun. I've just started rereading my favorites after a long break. Love FOR KICKS, ENQUIRY, FLYING FINISH, BONECRACK. Must say, my favorites are the ones when the character is a jockey because I love that close connection with the horse. (I ended up working in the horse industry, then later writing mysteries because of Dick Francis) I wish I had 30 new Dick Francis mysteries to look forward to. Sigh.
Kit Ehrman www.kitehrman.com

message 45: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Michael Just discovered this group and am fairly new to GR as well, but have been a Dick Francis fan since the mid-60s when I read his first few mysteries.

A lifetime horse person, I loved the horse element naturally ... plus the fact that he never, ever got the horse details wrong like too many authors do. I own a copy of most of his books and have re-read all of them at least once or twice, my favorites many times.

I think most of my favorites are those he wrote in the 80s ... many of the main characters were jockeys, though some were involved in other ways ... but the plots and details seemed to expand outside of just the racing/track venues. Hot Money, The Danger, Proof, Reflex, The Edge, Twice Shy, Straight ... all those are on my 'first shelf' for re-reads.

message 46: by Kit (new)

Kit Ehrman | 9 comments Hi Sharon,
Your DF favorites are similar to mine. I love the ones where the main character is a jockey or at least works around horses, such as a trainer or son of a trainer. The more horsey the better. And you're right, he always got the details right. Love the differences, too, in horse care and language in the UK vs. USA. Because of him, I got into horses. I loved the world he portrays and his description of the inbtimate connection between horse and rider.
Happy reading,
Kit Ehrman

message 47: by Kit (new)

Kit Ehrman | 9 comments Sharon,
If you have a Kindle, the first book in my mystery series which is set in the horse world, AT RISK, is free.

message 48: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Michael Kit wrote: "Sharon,
If you have a Kindle, the first book in my mystery series which is set in the horse world, AT RISK, is free."

Thanks! It's on my Kindle and getting close to the top of my to-read list. Looking forward to it.

message 49: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Doyle (MLDoyle) | 2 comments I can't believe I haven't joined this group yet! My mother introduced me to Francis when I was a kid. We'd read the books and discuss them together. Now, the mysteries I write, I sort of model after Francis's style. Strong central character -- mine is female, -- expose readers to a world they may not know -- mine is the military instead of horse racing, and get the main character in a horrible position they have to get out of. The Master Sergeant Harper books all do that...I hope. My favorite Francis is To The Hilt, but I've read all of them multiple times. Looking forward to talking about all of them.

message 50: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Doyle (MLDoyle) | 2 comments Sharon wrote: "Just discovered this group and am fairly new to GR as well, but have been a Dick Francis fan since the mid-60s when I read his first few mysteries.

A lifetime horse person, I loved the horse eleme..."

I find I go to re-reading Francis when I'm a bit down. He's like comfort food!

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