Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Why I Love Dick Francis

Page 137. The lead character in Smokescreen (Francis almost always writes in the first-person) meets up with a hipster in 1972 South Africa.
His flat was small but predictably full of impact. A black sack chair flopped on a pale olive carpet: khaki-coloured walls sprouted huge brass lamp brackets between large canvasses of ultra simple abstracts in brash challenging colours: a low glass-topped table stood before an imitation tiger skin sofa of a stark square construction; and an Andy Warholish imitation can of beer stood waist high in a corner. Desperately trendy, the whole thing; giving, like its incumbent, the impression that way out was where it was all at, man, and if you weren't out there as far as you could go you might as well be dead. It seemed a foregone conclusion that he smoked pot.
Naturally, he had an expensive stereo. The music he chose was less underground than could be got in London, but the mix of anarchy and self-pity came across strongly in the nasal voices. I wondered whether it was just part of the image, or whether he sincerely enjoyed it.
Apparently Francis wrote his books very closely with his wife. So who knows, maybe she's the one who put together these brilliant sentences. 


Kangas said...

I think you should have titled this blog post Why I Love Dick.

Would have gotten more hits. Just saying.

Andrew Bellware said...

Your commercial instincts are vastly better than mine. ;-)