Monday, February 15, 2010

Jockey / Author Dick Francis dead

Dick Francis, the jockey who took up writing after hanging up his saddle, has died of "old age." He was 89 years old. His novels were easy, entertaining, escapist reads. I have never been into horse-racing or even ridden a horse for that matter, but his books were so much fun to read that I learned a lot about the racing world through his stories. These were formulaic mysteries typically set against some form of horse-racing backdrop. Considering he began writing later in life he was quite prolific. All in all, he produced 42 novels and I have read each and every one. So much so, that since I don't read hardbacks sometimes I would be waiting for months for his next novel to come out in paperback. I'll miss his output.


Anonymous said...

Interesting...I'm a big fan of horse racing but never read anything by Dick Francis...
But, after reading this post, I plan to change that! Do you happen to recall any titles that you could recommend? (Didn't know he wrote 42 novels.)
As an aside...2009 was a great year for horse racing fans although hardly anyone I know follows the 'sport of kings' any more. Kentucky Derby winner - longshot Mine That Bird - was an amazing story! And that was just one of many in 2009. My personal favorites - Zenyatta's victory in the Breeder's Cup and the re-opening of Hialeah Park closed out 2009 'drawing away'!


T. T. Douglas said...

Hi Jerry,

I had no idea you were a horse racing fan. Too cool! The man wrote so many that it's hard to pick one, but try his 33rd novel Wild Horses. It's good and has the added bonus of having film-making as a backdrop as well as horse racing.

Francis was English and rode for the Queen Mum, so be aware that all the race horsing events take place mostly on the other side of the pond. Thanks for stopping by. If you do read it let me know how you liked it.