I think I’m a bit disorderly in an OC way, a condition my wife and a good many of my friends would agree with. I’m especially obsessive about books. I’ve often told people that I need to own books, not borrow them. I need to have them ready when I need them. And when I get an author I enjoy, I tend to read his/her books all in a rapid and continuous swoop, from earliest to latest, as fast as I can go. This involves finding them and buying them, then reading them, then saving them to dole out to friends who are looking for a good read. And now that I’m aging, like fine wine, when I re-read a series, it’s like reading them as though I’ve never before read them. That’s not entirely true since the most recent of the series will stick with me, but the earliest are like brand-new acquaintances. I just finished a second reading of the Prey series by Sandford, and enjoyed it immensely.
Then I dug out some old Dick Francis novels that I’d had tucked away in the garage. Wow, was he ever good. I say “was” because he’s now really old and the writing has been taken up by his son, who can’t come close to the old man’s standards. Everyone who’s ever read any Dick Francis books will agree with me, that the main characters all seem to be the same person, with only their professions varying. All the books are written in the first person, thus assuring the reader that the main character does not get snuffed somewhere along the way. All the males, varying from mid-twenties to late thirties, are engaged in a profession somehow related to British horse racing, all are ethically good to an abnormal degree, all are stoic to an abnormal degree, all are uber efficient at what they do, all invariably get caught in situations that cause them great physical pain which they all endure admirably (stiff upper British lip, you know), all foil the bad guys by sheer determination and mental ingenuity. Because of all this sameness, are his novels boring and repetitious? Not on your bloody life. In every one, the reader gains detailed knowledge of the profession, from photography to winemaking to aviation to banking to architecture, etc. In every one, the reader can hardly wait to gallop to the feel-good ending. There, I hope I’ve encouraged any of you not yet acquainted with Dick Francis to find him and read him. You’ll bloody love him.