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Nerve

Narrated by: Tony Britton
Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Despair, suicide, and obsessive hatred, mixed well with humor, love, and horses, brew up into the story of a battle between one man's nerve and another man's cunning. Robert Finn, steeplechase jockey, finds himself the focus of a malicious campaign which is also afflicting his friends. He sets out to discover its source, and remove it.
©1964 Dick Francis

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for A
  • A
  • 05-04-2006

An old read now on audio

I am just so tired of the same old gratuitous sex and violence, 4 letter vocabulary and formulaic plot of the stuff being written today that I'm going back and listening to old favorites now on audio. Not to say that there is no sex, violence or cussing in Dick Francis novels, they are crime stories after all and Francis can be gruesome along with the best of them.

I've been a Francis fan for a long time. I find him a wonderful storyteller who balances description and action such that his stories don't lag. Once I start one, I don't want to put it down. Yes, he has a formula: all of his stories are somehow connected to the world of British steeplechase racing. But every book is different -- different heroes, different crimes. Nerve was written in 1964 and was his second novel. Yes, it reflects Britain in the early 60s--tut tut and cheerio--but the story of jealousy and murder is timeless and you will enjoy riding along with Rob Finn as he tries to figure it out.

As for the reader, Tony Britton is delightful, pleasant to listen to, clear crisp and well paced.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathy
  • 22-04-2010

One of the Master's Best

I read this when it first came out -- 40 years ago? It's incredible still. Francis creates the very best villains, and any novel that can claim arguably the best opening line in mystery can hardly fail. Tony Britton is stellar in the role of Finn, if a bit too mature for the twenty-something hero. The breathing referred to in the negative review is required by the script -- our hero engages in exhausting and stressful efforts to escape a gruesome capture, and another character has asthma. The only drawback is with the uneven recording. The engineers failed to preserve the tone and timbre of prior entries, so the volume is uneven, and one portion sounds as though Britton is reading in a bathroom. Still, well worth the money to get lost in a to a classic, memorable suspense novel.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nina
  • 22-11-2005

Another great one, but the ending is weak.

Even tho it seems that his formula (horses, jockey, British racing world) would get tired, Dick Francis churns out at least one a year and they don't dissapoint. Altho I think the ending is somewhat weaker than other of his, the story itself is well-written and well-narated.

Bottom line -- get it!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bibliopa
  • 14-10-2016

one of my favs

I think this is one of Dick Francis' best books. His descriptions of horse races are masterful and this books has one of the best descriptions of the revenge the protagonist takes against his for.

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  • Monika
  • 13-07-2012

A favourite rediscovered

This was the first Dick Francis I ever read, back in the time still in German and abridged. Nevertheless, the story hooked me and I got a fan. I read nearly all his books but I always came back to this. The storyline keeps close to the characters and uses racing as a colourful background. It starts with a bang and keeps your nerves taut till the gripping finish.

Tony Britton does a wonderful job reading it, giving each character its own voice.

If you are wondering, what the hype about Dick Francis is all about - try this one for starters.

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  • M Kaner
  • 20-12-2011

Another great story from Dick Francis

Great story and narration! I wish Audible USA had all the books by Dick Francis and also narrated by this narrator. Great fun!

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  • Phil
  • 29-11-2011

A little farfetched, but very entertaining

I really enjoyed the book. I have read a couple of Francis' books previously, but this was my first via audible. The audio was a little scratchy at times, but overall a very entertaining listen.

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  • A
  • 29-09-2011

Another great novel...well read

I was enjoying this audio book so much that I was sorry it ended. Brilliantly performed with Tony Britton creating numerous voices for so many characters. A good story with just the right mix of psychological and physical drama. I did notice a few themes in this book that I had encountered in other Francis novels. This was probably the prototype.

Enjoy.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sally
  • 08-07-2011

Another great Dick Francis

I always enjoy Dick Francis. I also like having a different "hero" and characters each time.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Finn
  • 12-01-2009

nerve

the book is great, the guy reading is horrible and doesnt know how to read without breathing in really loudly, it was almost a deal breaker to be honest i did in the end get over it but that was becouse i like the auther

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon Evers
  • 25-01-2009

Superb description of racing

As an English teacher, I always used to recommend students to look at Dick Francis' style: never a word wasted, the story always driven on, the description clear, the characters engaging, the tension always maintained.

Some people think you have to be interested in horses and racing to enjoy his books: this is simply a misconception for, while they often have racing and racing people as part of the background, they are not always part of the main plot. As it happens, however, "Nerve" IS about jockeys and horse racing - but (as always with Francis) it is a riveting story which anybody will enjoy. It is full of characters with whom it is easy to empathise, a dash of real nastiness in the chief 'baddie' - and it also contains one of the best descriptions of a horse race that one could ever wish to hear.

It is also superbly read by Tony Britton. If you haven't experienced a Dick Francis novel before there is no better place to start - and (having read and listened to most of them now) I envy you the pleasure you will have in the future in the company of a truly masterful story teller.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Alexander
  • 05-04-2013

Good narrator, technically poor

The narrator takes his time but is a joy to listen to. The recording is a bit poor (volume and acoustic changes constantly). The story makes up for it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • vasco444
  • 16-01-2020

A cracking good read from end to end.

Most enjoyable, as most of Dick Francis' books are. I was so keen to carry on listening that I actually forced myself to go to the gym far more often than usual, as that's where I like to listen. A terrific plot, well read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • D. And R. Goodwin
  • 09-04-2019

The best

Tony Britton reads this super Dick Francis story. He is just sublime, he can create superb characters by just a slight alteration of the voice. Well worth a listen. The comeuppance for the criminal the end is worth it alone!

1 person found this helpful

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  • "geordiemoozy"
  • 22-08-2018

Gentle thriller

The second of Dick Francis' novel set in the world of racing. I thought it was an enjoyable listen even though there weren't loads of twists and turns in the plot...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andrew Lyndon-Skeggs
  • 26-05-2017

Classic Dick Francis

Classic Dick Francis and one of the best. The story may be formulaic, structured as all of the Dick Francis tales, but what an excellent and compelling story it is. I couldn't wait to find an opportunity to listen to each new episode. Recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-11-2015

Absolutely brilliant

One of his earlier books and in my opinion one of the best. An eye for detail and a likeable hero draw you in very quickly. Can't think why other listeners didn't enjoy it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Grandma H
  • 27-09-2020

Great story

This was a great story and very well narrated by Tony Britton. I would certainly listen to more of this combination

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  • Sarah
  • 17-05-2020

A gripping yarn!

Great narrator employing a range of accents to bring the characters to life. The story keeps moving along neatly and kept me yearning to find out what happens next!

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  • Steven A
  • 24-02-2020

A great listen.

I remember reading Dick Francis novels many years ago. I recall enjoying them very much. This is my first encounter with a Dick Francis audiobook. I was not disappointed. Those enjoyable memories came flooding back. I thought Tony Britton an ideal narrator.