Come to Grief - Dick Francis

A lot of Dick Francis fans don't like Sid Halley and the Sid Halley stories (four in all include one that Felix Francis wrote with his father Dick Francis after Dick's wife, his original writing partner, died) . I'm trying to figure out why readers don't like Sid and I've been thinking about it hard and long.

 

Here is what I've decided. I've decided that folks don't like Sid Halley because they don't like what happens to Sid. There is no Dick Francis character who gets more badly beaten up and physical abused than Sid. Other DF characters get hurt, attacked, kidnapped, etc but none as brutally as Sid and I think that is why people say they don't like the character. On the other hand, no protagonist appears more often* in the DF canon, so there must be a reason that DF & company have come back to this well so many times. Sales, maybe?

 

Personally, I like the character. He is tenacious, intelligent, etc. And I do like the stories but, I truly dislike the brutality and do my best not to listen to those scenes (and skipping or skimming is close to impossible when you are listening to a title). When I re-read the DF titles, which I do on a yearly basis, I tend to skip the Sid Halley stories because they are so brutal.

 

*the only other protagonist who appears in more than one story is Kit Fielding.