Saturday, April 08, 2006

I have a complete obsession

with the novels of Dick Francis, I love that guy's stuff, and I was thrilled to see the other day at Sarah Weinman's site that he has a new book coming out this summer. There's a very nice interview with him today at the Guardian (the interviewer is Stuart Jeffries).

I feel that I have been learning over the course of the last few years what kind of a writer I am, and have regretfully had to give up the idea that I will ever be able to write novels like these ones. I would really, really love to, but the fact is that any novel I write is going to be slightly awkwardly bristling with ideas and strangeness and not going to be the universally delightful start-to-finish read with appealing narrator/protagonist and cool but not excessive research (subtly and unobtrusively masculine though actually it was his wife who did a lot of the research--perhaps it's masculine in the way many women are interested in men's worlds) that is the prototypical Dick Francis novel. But I want there to be lots of reincarnations of Dick Francis in the popular fiction genre--more, more, more....

Previous Light Reading posts on Dick Francis (highlights): my extended thoughts on the life and works of Dick Francis; why Peter Temple should be the new Dick Francis; what Lee Child's Jack Reacher books have in common with the novels of Dick Francis. (Actually when I searched the blog for references there are as many as 25, though a few of those are redundant; it would make a funny entry in the index entry of the notional autobiography I will never write. "Francis, Dick. Obsession with-- XX. JMD takes day off school in seventh grade to go to book-signing of XXX. JMD likens to Ken Bruen. JMD speculates on nature of appeal of." etc.)


  1. I agree that Dick Francis novels are very readable -- I read the whole lot in about 4 weeks once. But you can't remember anything about them once you've read them, nor can you distinguish any from the others.

    I think you mentioned before, and I agree, that one nice thing about DF's novels is that you don't have to be the least bit interested in horses to enjoy them.

  2. 'Come to Grief' by Dick Francis is different, it is in a different gender to the others. To find out why please go to my site, and believe me that is just for starters! http;//

    Good luck, Linda

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