Thursday, May 27, 2010

running away

     I started this blog because I remembered a coworker telling me that Rex Stout (Nero Wolfe) had gotten her through a nasty divorce.  The past two weeks have been one of those bleak periods of waiting for the phone to ring (it didn't) or an email (nope) so I reverted to an OLD favorite-Dick Francis.
     People have some strong opinions about rereading both pro and con-I have always succumbed but tend to not allow myself this guilty pleasure too often.  However, there are some Dick Francis books that ALWAYS deliver.  In brief, it's two series-Kit Fielding and Sid Halley.
     Mr Francis wrote two books about Kit-Break In and Bolt-and they are addictive.  Kit is a champion jockey with an identical twin sister and an owner for which he rides who is fascinating and, of course, a lover who is the owner's niece.
     There are three Sid Halley books-Odds Against, Whip Hand and Under Orders.  Sid is another champion jockey who is so badly injured in a fall during a race that he has to put the pieces of his life back together quite differently.  There is also an ex-wife, a wonderful ex-father-in-law and a crazy judo-practicing sidekick.
     The magic of these books is the Francis gift of creating ordinary characters, throwing them into grim situations and then getting them out without special effects.  They make it impossible to believe that you can't figure your way out of whatever hole you've gotten into.  Life instantly becomes tolerable.
     I can unreservedly recommend any Dick Francis book but these five are "the best".  Go for it... 

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