Longshot ~ Dick Francis

► door: A.IJ. van den Berg

Yes, I reread another one of Dick Francis’s thrillers again. Just to relax, nothing more. As his books always have a main character my age, as wooden as I am. It is easy to identify with them. Apart from that, those wooden men often find their true love is the stories, while overcoming many terrible difficulties. Francis’s thrillers are not much more than fairy tales for grownups, but at least they are cleverly made fairy tales.

Meanwhile, it is a bit strange that I need to read about crimes and other misdemeanours to relax. Even if everything is thought up by Francis, it’s still suffering I take enjoyment in.

But, as Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin have expressed — in the letters they exchanged — in the end there is not much else left to read than Francis. More literary prose often disappoints; and I reckon it does so even more for professional writers. Therefore, it is a blessing there are good written thrillers available, just to be able to do some reading.

Oh, this one is about a survival specialist. Who nearly dies in the course of the story, of course.

Dick Francis, Longshot
304 pages
Pan Books 1991, 1990 originally

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