g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Autism Spectrum Disorders
Mental Health
Blogs / Social Networking
Kidney Disease
Today in History

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g English Culture Site

BellaOnline's English Culture Editor


Gamble - Book Review

Guest Author - Asha Sahni

Gamble, by Felix Francis, is the first novel the author has written completely under his own steam. Prior to Gamble he co-wrote four books with his father, Dick Francis – one time Champion Jockey. Gamble is billed as a Dick Francis novel, although Felix Francis’s name is given a larger font than his father’s on the cover, spine and title page of the book. Whilst this ensures that readers realise that Gamble is of the same genre and family as the renowned Dick Francis, prolific author of horseracing crime novels, it does feel as if Felix Francis is hanging on to his father’s coattails.

The book starts in classic Francis style – with a murder mentioned in the first sentence. Nick Foxton - once a jockey but unable to ride following injury - has turned his talents to other areas and now works as a financial adviser. It is his colleague who dies – at the races – and the book unravels the reasons for and reveals the perpetrator of the murder. In divergence from the classic Francis form, a strong thread of the story involves Foxton’s relationship with the girlfriend he has lived with for several years.

I admit to struggling with the book in the early stages. It felt somewhat disjointed, the plot and characters jarring me at times rather that carrying me along with their story. Factual information seemed at times clumsily inserted, and I questioned whether it was always necessary to the plot. On the other hand I learned a lot from the factual nuggets – often not to do with horseracing – that littered the text. Gamble was published in 2011 and contains references to contemporary people in the public eye including Usain Bolt and David Cameron. I wonder whether the plethora of current references may date the book, giving it a short shelf life.

I found Gamble a challenge initially, but I am glad I stayed the course. The plot thickened, characters fleshed out and I found myself wanting to finish the book rather than checking how many of the four hundred plus pages I yet had to read. A lot of the action did not take place in the racing world, and I think this weakened the book. Felix Francis was a physics teacher before he immersed himself in writing, yet having collaborated with his father and growing up in a racing and writing household one would assume his knowledge of the racing world was far above average.

I would not put this book in the master class, found the writing lacking some of the emotional intelligence/flair that was evident in Dick Francis’s books. The seams between and within scenes were not always as smoothly sewn as I would have liked. I borrowed Gamble from the library – a large, hardback edition that was a pleasure to hold and easy to read. I would recommend Gamble as a book from an author who I hope will grow in stature and experience with future writing.

This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add Gamble+%2D+Book+Review to Twitter Add Gamble+%2D+Book+Review to Facebook Add Gamble+%2D+Book+Review to MySpace Add Gamble+%2D+Book+Review to Del.icio.us Digg Gamble+%2D+Book+Review Add Gamble+%2D+Book+Review to Yahoo My Web Add Gamble+%2D+Book+Review to Google Bookmarks Add Gamble+%2D+Book+Review to Stumbleupon Add Gamble+%2D+Book+Review to Reddit

Agatha Christie
Barbara Erskine
Enid Blyton Books
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the English Culture Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2015 by Asha Sahni. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Asha Sahni. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


g features
Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Less than Monthly

BellaOnline on Facebook

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2015 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor