Saturday, October 8, 2011

Gamble and Dick and Felix Francis

I fell in love with Dick Francis' books while attending college and worked my way through the series expeditiously.  I waited impatiently every year for his new gift to the Queen and Queen Mother so that he could continue to educate me about occurrences behind-the-scenes in British racing even as he tantalized with his sometimes uncomfortably graphic torture scenes.  I admired his phlegmatic heroes who faced hard decisions and continued to do the "right" thing without agonizing over their actions even as I was enlightened about the grit and determination required to be a successful jockey in a very competitive sport.  I have always wanted to learn to ride a horse but unfortunately am very afraid of the fall that I could experience from such a height since I have the stature, if not the personality, of a jockey.  My mind boggles at the idea of trying to saddle a being who can knock me over with its head, let alone control where we are going!  Maybe one of these days I will muster up the courage to get on a small pony...

Gamble is an intriguing look at the world of finance (with a few pithy comments about the state of America's self-regulation or lack thereof) with the author's trademark flavoring of the British racing world.  The gradual buildup of tension even as the main character fears his personal life is about to crash and burn is mesmerizing even as one feels the loss of his chosen vocation and how it flavors his life since he continues to visit his beloved racetracks even though he can no longer experience them up close and personal the way he used to.  Another enjoyable tale.
Goodreads review:  Gamble


  1. Sounds very interesting.

    although I like horses I don't think I would ever get on one. I have the same 'falling off' issues you do. lol

  2. Yes, I still vividly remember visiting a friend's family and having the guy pick up the horse's hoof to look at, handing it to me, and the horse leaning on me...briefly...once I started falling over...they realized it was not going to work!