10 lb Penalty

10 lb Penalty

4.1 13
by Dick Francis
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A wanna-be jockey accepts a job in his father's campaign for Parliament--and realizes that politics can be the most perilous horse race of all.See more details below

Overview

A wanna-be jockey accepts a job in his father's campaign for Parliament--and realizes that politics can be the most perilous horse race of all.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
He may be turning 77 this year, but Francis narrates his new thriller through the eyes of a 17-year-old without missing a stepand, as usual, offers a mini-course in a slightly arcane profession along the way. The profession is British politics. The youth is Ben Juliard, who plans to spend his 'gap year' (between school and university) as an amateur steeplechase jockey. His benevolent but disapproving millionaire father, George, arranges for Ben to be fired, however, and to help him win a by-election to replace a deceased member of Parliament. Having conquered London's financial City, George has designs on Disraeli's greasy pole and wants Ben to be 'a sort of substitute wife. To come with me in public. To be terribly nice to people.' Despite determined enemies (the ambitious widow of the dead legislator, her adviser and a sleazy reporter out for dirt on anyone), and three possible attacks on the Juliards (shooting, car sabotage, arson), George prevails in the vote. Five years later, he's a popular cabinet minister (for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food), while Ben has found happiness working in racing insurance and as a successful steeplechaser. A cabinet crisis makes George a leading contender for prime minister, and Ben worries that the unknown previous assailants will try again. They do but, despite some dicey moments, Ben prevails, although not without suffering a major loss. As usual in a Francis novel, the sweetest parts are about family; here, especially the growing love and understanding between father and son. The villains aren't particularly scary, but this smooth, nimbly paced charmer isn't really about bad people anyway, but about how the rest of us cope and live, sometimes in their shadow.
Library Journal
More murderous horseplay from the prolific Francis.
Kirkus Reviews
Pleasing lesser Francis (To the Hilt) that takes its young hero from horse racing to the far rougher world of British politics. Benedict Juliard may be just a boy—he's only 18 when his father arranges for him to be fired from his job as an amateur jockey so Ben can campaign at his side in a Parliamentary by- election—but his talent for listening to people and drawing them out is such a complement to George Juliard's mastery of big-picture rhetoric that he's an unexpected asset on the campaign trail. Unexpected and unwelcome, not only to Paul Bethune, the opposition candidate, and his hapless wife Isobel, but to Orinda Nagle, vitriolic widow of the late MP for Hoopwestern, who can't understand how the nominating committee for her own party could have made the ghastly mistake, darling, of passing her over for Dennis Nagle's vacant seat—and to Alderney Wyvern, once Dennis's close friend, now Orinda's constant, and rather sinister, companion. As George's campaign gathers steam, and Ben basks in the glow of his father's approval—best here is Francis's sharp portrait of instinctive sympathy between the very different father and son—predictable obstacles emerge. Usher Rudd, a muckraker who's been slinging mud against Paul Bethune, turns his attention to George; somebody tries to kill George; and you find yourself settling in happily to a treat of customary Francis thrills and spills. But the campaign turns out to be only Act One; George's victory and Ben's return to racing merely set the stage for anticlimactic Act Two, five years later, when Wyvern and Rudd come blustering back in search of the revenge they're sure they're owed. Though the toothless villainsdeprive the story of any strong sense of direction—a surprising disappointment from reliable Francis—the tale is fleetly and unassumingly told, without any of the excess baggage that has often given the distinguished ex-jockey trouble making weight.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101007204
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/03/2004
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
107,253
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >