Updating the voice of a Racing Thriller : A Plea to the Estate of Dick Francis

Mr. E. WilliamsJohnson & Alcock Ltd.Bloomsbury House74-77 Great Russell StreetLondon, WC1B 3DA Dear Sir: As the literary agent for the estate of Dick Francis, you probably receive too many letters concerning his novels and I apologize for adding one more.  However, this letter is not to ask for licensing, reprinting, film or merchandising rights; nor does it demand Felix Francis be locked away until he creates six new books.  It is a request that some of Dick Francis’s thrillers be re-recorded and released as audiobooks in order to protect the stories as well as their prospective audience. I realize book recordings were probably something of a publication afterthought when these books were originally released, and the process involved little more than recorded speech.  I know, I just spent an excruciating weekend listening to Odds Against being read like it was a shopping list.  All of the tension, terror, irony and humanity was drained from the narrative and although each character had an individual accent, they all spoke at the same rate and pitch. As a suspense novel, this recording it could have been marketed as an effective sleep-aid medication. I’m female, American, and an amateur performer but I could have done a better job reading than that!…

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