• Odds Against

  • By: Dick Francis
  • Narrated by: Tony Britton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (276 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Amazing what bodily injury could do for a man.

A fall from a racehorse had left brilliant jockey Sid Halley dangerously depressed, with a wrecked hand and the need for a new career. And now a bullet wound was helping him find one. He'd been with a detective agency since his racing accident, but it wasn't until some two-bit hoodlum drilled a slug into his side that he was sent out on a case of his own.

That was where he met Zanna Martin, a woman who just might make life worth living again. But it was an even-money bet that he'd be killed before he had the chance.

©1965 Dick francis (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Odds Against

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Dick Francis

I am a Dick Francis fan because his plots have the balance of mystery, suspense and comfortable characters and at a nice pace. This is a typically good story. My one complaint would be that the reader sounded so much older than the characters.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Read this one First

If you like one Dick Francis mystery, you will probably like them all (if you get a good reader - which is usually the case fortunately). He wrote four mysteries featuring ex-jockey Sid Halley: Odds Against (1965); Whip Hand (1979); Come to Grief (1995); and Under Orders (2006). Even though the books span 40 years, the elapsed time within/between all the stories is about 3 or 4 years. Technology advances with the times from book to book and we aren't supposed to notice that as readers. After all, it's really the mysteries and Francis' quality writing that we're here for, isn't it?

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent read

My husband and I thoughly enjoyed this audio book. The narrator always plays an important role and this book like all of Dick Francis's books was truly engrossing. Carmen Miller

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A great read (listen.)

I hadn't yet met the central character in this story, a former jocky with a maimed hand, and I found him very sympathetic. His courage, lack of self-pity and sensitivity to the feelings of others similarly afflicted gives him an engaging depth. I took further satisfaction Francis's choice of villians: men who destroy beauty to make money on building ugly houses. He shows them as the villians I feel them to be. The narrator does a wonderful job.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Deceptively effortless grace

The genius of Dick Francis lay in his ability to deal with chilling, even grotesque violence and the most visceral of emotions with the kind of sure handed restraint that a great jockey uses to bring a hurtling thoroughbred safely and even stylishly through a madly jostling pack to the finished line and the winner's circle. He created heart stopping action sequences, psychological horror scenes and suspense which is sustained far past what should be the breaking point and did it all in an understated tone which would not be out of place at high tea. The result is an exquisite tension. He also had a habit of constructing action sequences which feature intelligent improvisation from his hero rather than brute force or unerring marksmanship.

Sid Halley is one of the few leading characters who recur in Francis's books, and it is easy to see why he returned to him several times. This outing introduces the injured steeple chase jockey turned investigator, and half way through listening I had already resolved to read all the other books in which he appears. His working class roots, athlete's resilient tenacity and chess player's mind are a fascinating combination. If you have not read anything by Dick Francis, this is as good a place as any to begin.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Classic

I always enjoy Dick Francis novels. His characters and plots are interesting. I have always loved the character of Sid Halley with his tragic past. He's very well-rounded. The peripheral characters play important roles, not just window dressing. The plot of Odds Against is compelling, and if you don't know a lot about the British racing world, well, you'll learn a bit. The end had an interesting twist, because even though you know what's going on, you don't know the whole of it.
I also enjoy listening to Tony Britton. He keeps the story moving without being overly emotive.
Overall, if you enjoy a nice suspense story, you'll like this one.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Listened again on: 31Mar2022

Excellent as usual. Loved the ending. Beautifully Done By narrator - excellent match. Outstanding pace and diction. A pleasure to listen to.

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Worst reading by Tony Britton

I usually enjoy Mr. Britton’s readings of Dick Francis books. However, this performance is dull and lifeless, as though he was very ill or sleep deprived. They have re-recorded many of Mr. Francis’ books. In almost all instances I prefer the earlier recordings. In earlier recordings Mr. Britton seems to try harder to give characters their own voices. In more recent renditions he ‘reads’ more impersonally with far less effort at projecting the characters personalities. A real disappointment as the older, better recordings are replaced by Audible and impossible to access.

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Great Story

I love all the Dick Francis books and this one is no exception. Tony Britton did a great job with the narration.

This is just a great classic British mystery!

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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best, AND narrated by Tony Britton

I have listened to most of the Dick Francis books on Audible and this is my favorite. Tony Britton should have narrated the whole lot of them. Recommend Hot Money too. Someone needs to clean up the recordings a bit -- this one sounds better than Hot Money.

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  • Mark
  • 09-20-17

worst sound quality ever

story ok but the sound quality of the recording is terrible. buy the book instead

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 11-21-07

Another good one

Dick Francis is brilliant. This (I think) is the first Sid Halley novel; it starts well and then improves; its the first time I've given 5 stars to a book for a while! If you like Dick Francis you will love this.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-15-17

poor audio quality

Tony Britton reads brilliantly well. Sadly the technical quality is very poor, the sound levels vary along with the speed of playback which distorts the performance. The story itself is great, a Dick Francis classic.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-01-20

Not great recording, but fantastic thriller story

Love the story (great characterisation, great theme, great writing), narration is fantastic (lovely descriptive voice, multiple different voices; my only complaint would be that Chico isn't how I hear him in my own head when reading - I think he's more like Phillip Glennister in Ashes to Ashes, but that's just personal) but every now and then, the recording itself changes tone/volume - obviously different recordings put together. Can be a bit annoying, having to adjust the volume

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicola
  • 07-24-20

Marred by the old recording

Great story and narration as usual but the recording was dreadful with the sound levels changing randomly - presumably because it was an old recording.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sheila
  • 06-23-20

Poor recording

I am not the first person to mention this problem with old recordings by Tony Britton. Not the narrators fault just technical issues with sound and balance.

I read most of these some years ago and am now returning via audio book. Still as well written and when the technical side works very well read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-20-20

I like this audiobook.

I like the books of Dick Francis anyway and this particular title is ably read by the late Tony Britton. Good to hear his narration again. Enjoyable.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-15-18

Riveting....

Couldn't bring myself to turn it off...
Very easy to listen to. Great story.
10/10

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-03-18

ace book sid what a hero!!!

brilliant again what an opening sid book fantastic story one of his best works looking forward to next one

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda Gunton
  • 12-04-17

Re read

Had this in hard back when it first came out , so much better to sit and listen,

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark Henman
  • 03-28-21

An oldie but wow what a goodie

I read Dick Francis years ago and recalled enjoying them so for a change of pace broiuhht this
It was fabulous. Fun ,exciting nostalgic and very well narrated. I'm thinking I may binge listen to the authors back catalog.

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  • Amber Smeenk
  • 03-28-18

the sound quality is not great at times.

great story, good narrator but sound quality lacking. had to turn volume up very high and big difference between different sittings of the narrator . Sound and volume would suddenly change. Still worthwhile listening though