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The Sport of Queens: The Autobiography of Dick Francis Paperback – September 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books (September 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330339028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330339025
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #876,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dick Francis has written forty-one international bestsellers and is widely acclaimed as one of the world's finest thriller writers. His awards include the Crime Writer's Association's Cartier Diamond Dagger for his outstanding contribution to the crime genre, and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Tufts University of Boston. In 1996 Dick Francis was made a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master for a lifetime's achievement and in 2000 he recieved a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

More About the Author

Dick Francis was the author of more than forty acclaimed books. Among his numerous awards were three Edgar Awards, the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger, and the Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award. He died in February 2010.

Felix Francis has assisted with the research of many of the Dick Francis novels and is the coauthor of Dead Heat, Silks, and Even Money. He lives in England.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By CPHenly on May 22, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was originally written shortly after Francis' retirement from racing. It chronicles his life in detail up to that point (1957), and all fans of his mystery novels will enjoy seeing the germs of his books in the events of his life. I won't give the really surprising ones away here, but an example is the story in the autobiography of Francis' experience flying during WWII. Readers will understand where he got the knowledge to create several heroes who are pilots. The only reason I don't give this book a 10 is that it is very early Francis--his first book, as near as I can tell, and the quality of the writing as a bit uneven. The edition I read (1982) had no photos--a terrific disappointment, but there were apparently photos in other editions, as Francis refers to them once or twice in the text of the book. Try for a different year! The end of the book is an addendum bringing fans up to date on his life between 1957 and 1981; I've ordered the 1995 edition hoping for a little more added material. If you love horseracing or Dick Francis' books, read this!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
My passion for horses and horse racing was apparent even when I was a child. Dick Francis' books allowed me the experiences I dreamed of through his words. I learned more through his books than I could have anywhere else in the United States. It is said that truth is stranger than fiction, and Mr. Francis' autobiography is testimony to that! I now own a 5 year old (retired) Thoroughbred, and Mr. Francis' adventures are in my thoughts!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
Found this book in our library and was excited about learning more of Dick Francis. I did get lost at times when he wrote about the race courses, but it was a thrill to get to know him. It is not a mystery, but there are some questions he still does not know the answer to. He writes a book a year, and I could read 4 or 5 of his books a year if he could write them that fast! Nice read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is a must have for any Dick Francis or horse racing fan. This was the first book of his that i have read and now i have all of his so far. What i was looking for was a book to tell me about this little known sport. Now i know a great deal about it. I'm hoping for a newer version to tell about what has happened since the book waas written. I read the older 1950's or 1960's print with the pictures of Devon Loch in the Grand National. That was what most intrigued me about the story and what made him fall like that. Like i said this is an excellent book and very informative!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patto TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I heard about the death of Dick Francis, I had to read his autobiography. It's rather obscure now, and I ordered it used. I found the book thoroughly delightful, and it consoled me somewhat for the loss of the author.

In these pages we see the source of the great passion for racing, the lively intelligence, the workmanlike habits, the wry humor and the basic goodness that infuse all the books of Dick Francis. Although he and his wife Mary did meticulous research for many of his mysteries, his own life and character were the foundation for the freshness and authenticity of his fiction.

The Sport of Queens was first published in 1957, soon after Dick Francis retired from racing. He was at the top of his career - a Champion Jockey who rode the best horses in England and in many races wore the colors of Her Majesty the Queen Mother.

The book covers a lot of ground succinctly: the author's childhood on horseback, his stint in the R.A.F. during World War II flying everything from Spitfires to bombers, his love-at-first-sight, lifetime romance with his wife - and of course his most memorable races, losses as well as wins.

The Sport of Queens is also a treasure trove of information about the daily lives of steeplechase jockeys and the exotic world of racing.

In real life, I never go near a horse if I can help it. But Dick Francis carries me into a fantasy world where I thrill to the speed, power and beauty of a finely bred racehorse. His tremendous skill as a storyteller is amazing, given his equally impressive skill as a jockey.

Few people live two brilliantly successful lives in succession, as Dick Francis did. His ability to chronicle his achievements so modestly is yet another feat.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is based on true experiences not just researched subjects. Mr. Francis is a been there done that author. All of his novels have been excellent and learning about the man himself was very interesting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was written is such a way as to be part of his life as it changes. A wonderful insight into the world of racing, jockey's and those involved in such an interesting industry or lifestyle
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By Coco the Koi on December 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This all happens before he starts writing all those great books. It's interesting if you're a Dick Francis fan, otherwise it's a pass.
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