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Summary

John Kendall knows how to survive. He's written six handbooks on the subject. Now he wants to become a novelist, preferably without starving to death. But when cold and hunger set in, Kendall impulsively accepts an unlikely job.

He is to research and write a biography of Tremayne Vickers, a famous racehorse trainer. Staying at Vickers' home in rural Berkshire, Kendall soon learns to like his host and friends, learns to ride racehorses, learns about murderers ... and how his own survival tips can become deadly traps.

©1990 Dick Francis

Critic reviews

"Intelligent, fast-paced." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"An exuberant, irresistible collision between writing and racing ... Few match Francis for dangerous flights of fancy and pure, inventive menace." ( The Boston Herald)
"Fast-paced, meticulously plotted ... Nobody sets up a mystery better than Dick Francis." ( San Francisco Chronicle)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    135
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    30
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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Expect the unexpected

Written with humour and.irony, this book keeps you on your toes throughout. Thoroughly enjoyable, delightfully narrated with plenty of twists and turns. Dick Francis is a master of descriptive narrative and you are there in the unfolding events with nerves stretched to the limit! The skill in writing such involving books is an immense talent and this one will twist your mind in knots!!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Predictably enjoyable.

I know I can rely on Dick Francis to provide an interesting mystery read with an aroma of hay and horsey folk. Not a bad thing by any means. He does create protagonists who are not necessarily of an equestrian bent, and those occupations are clearly well researched, though they predictably end up in the saddle, racecourse or stables by one route or another. I feel I've absorbed quite a lot of the racing world through Dick's stories! In this tale the story canters around with an author who is intelligent, perhaps almost too insightful for his age and thoroughly likable who trips over murders, clues and baddies, ends up in a mess and solves the mystery very satisfyingly. The narrator sounds a good many years older than the hero of the plot but that doesn't seem to matter. Any of Dick Francis's books will entertain you, this one is no exception.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book by Dick Frances

Great book, good story line and of course a horse in the plot. Unbridged story is again worth the extra money of a unbridged story.



This story was one which I loved. It was one 'book' I just didn't want to stop playing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping - Bear Grylls in racing!

Teens and I all loved this - the bushcraft stuff particularly. Great plot twists. John Kendall is a useful person to have around!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

great narrative

having been a fan of Dick Francis for almost 20 years now, I whave read and re read all of his books. The narrative form has ticked every box, when reading we enter our own imagination. The narrator has his voices down to a tee. I throughly recomennd to any one. five stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping story: I couldn’t stop listening.

I keep on giving Tony Britton’s readings of Dick Francis novels 5 stars across the board, even though I wrestle with it every time. I try to evaluate the experience fairly and critique it thoroughly but end up thinking:’Oh hell. I loved every minute of the journey.” Britton’s rendition of the story and characters is beyond reproach, so empathetic of the nuances of the story.
Yes, it was a hero typical of the Francis stable... they always are. Unassuming about his general brilliance at all he does, valued by all except the baddies who are hell bent on taking him down, but at least in this take we were spared the toe-curling romantic element which is the one part of a Francis story that I ever skip over: too pre-enlightenment strong silent type .

The characters are well drawn, fleshed out and likeable and the Climactic scene is utterly gripping. Given the theme of the book, it’s survival at its rawest. A very good listen.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not one of his best but still good

Dick Francis is always great but this isn't one of his best, a little over explained and unsatisfying. Great audio performance though, as always. Worth a listen but if your after a introduction to Dick Francis go for Nerve or Odds Against, so you fall in love first.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect

Read this many years ago . Audio made it so much better . have all the rest of his books to listen to. perfect.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Long shot

As usual Dick Francis at his best, beautifully read by Tony Britton. Once you start listening it becomes addictive, love being read to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

mixed feelings

I have had to give this 4 stars overall because although the story is very good, I did feel that the narrator, Tony Britton, was a bit breathless at times - he is getting on in years and so perhaps it is time for another narrator (but not Martin Jarvis please)! and there were a few places where there was a little distortion to the sound, but this was far better quality than the first Dick Francis audiobook I listened to which I have just had to return sadly because of the amount of distortion - this seems to be a recurring comment in reviews of Dick Francis's books I see.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ant the Limey
  • 04-12-05

slower pace than some of his others

not a good introduction to Dick Francis - slower (initially) than most of his others, even more rooted in the characters than usual. However - if you are already familiar with Dick Francis, then this one will knock your socks off. The protagonist is a writer, so you actually see some of Dick Francis' own feelings leak into the character about the process of writing. The languid pace lulls you into a false rhythm, so it absolutely galvanises you when the going gets wild. The characters are exceptional, and its a true classic murder mystery.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nina
  • 13-03-07

My

Even tho all his books have something to do w horse racing, I have never, ever been bored by a Dick Francis book. I wish I could say the same about some of my other favorite mystery authors! Francis always comes thru w a great story and a human one.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 28-01-08

Off to a slow start but a GREAT race nonetheless.

I have listened to most of the Dick Francis books offered by Audible and most if not all are read by Tony Britton. For some reason my download of the book made Tony sound slower or maybe pedantic is the better description. But once the story took off as usual with Dick Francis' books I hated to turn the book off.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Bradley
  • 23-12-05

Sounds Horrible

This might be a great book. I don't know. The sound quality is so bad it has distracted me since I started listening. It's too bad because I have liked what I can hear.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mary A.
  • 06-08-18

This has become one of my favorites!

I love this book—Dick Francis gets into the whodunnit territory here when a skeleton is found. I like the main character a lot who is trying to write a sequel to a novel. Previously he had been writing “How to Survive” in various travel destinations. I love the interactions and dynamics going on between the circle of friends. Will the untoward happenings cause irreparable damage to the close knit circle of friends? You’ll need to listen to find out! 😁
Ha

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-01-18

Love Dick Francis! He is one of my favorites!

I love Dick Francis! His books are very entertaining! Also, Tony Britton is quite fabulous!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tracey
  • 25-04-14

got a longshot

Where does Longshot rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

good it was an interesting story as with most of dick francis books

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

it was well read with several twists

Which character – as performed by Tony Britton – was your favorite?

gareth

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes it was but i listened over a couple of days while driving it makes the trip more interresting on nightshift

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lindalovesbooks
  • 01-10-13

Fabulous, Informative, Wow

If you could sum up Longshot in three words, what would they be?

Exciting, entertaining, intelligent

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Plot is fantastic, it draws you in within the 1st few pages and you begin to really like the main character. then the action starts and it never really lets up.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Tony Britton?

Not a Dick Francis Book. I know Tony Britton is very talented and has a lovely voice but it was wrong for this character. He just sounded too posh and too old. Because I've read this book many times, it was quite offputting. It just somehow seemed wrong.