As always, go into these novels with the understanding that you need to sit back, relax, and calm down. These are not thrillers; the action is slow. I read thrillers as well and they have their rewards, but the rewards of this series are completely different. Most books in the series don't even hint at a plot in the first few chapters. The draws here are the characters and setting, which are both wonderfully drawn and suprisingly compelling. The rewards are scattered throughout the novels (most of which come from the insights of the main character), with the biggest of these coming near the end as all the loose ends are tied up and all the events come to their conclusions, nearly always in satisfying - if unexpected - ways.
One other comment: I've read one book in the series and listened to the other 9. Lisette Lecat is one of the best narrators I've ever heard. I found myself hearing her voice in my head when I read the print book. After that I went back to audio... her voice and presentation are definitely and enhancement, a rare quality.
I didn't know what to expect with this since I always listen to fiction. But this was a fantastic collection. I found myself wishing it was longer.
How can you not love Travis McGee - a character whose motivations and lifestyle are so vivid he is a plot in and of himself. Add to that crisp and insightful writing (the insights are as fresh and relevant today as they were back in the 60's), and it's no wonder everyone from King to Pelecanos count John D MacDonald as influences. You couldn't go wrong with these books back when they came out, and you can't go wrong with the audio decades later. I've read this book at least twice, and still found myself so mesmerized by the audio that I almost forgot where I was each time I turned into my driveway after my commute home. Here is solid proof that newer isn't necessarily better.
Consistenly solid story, characters, and location. And one of the greatest narrators in audio. Impossible not to have fun with this series unless you're impatient, in which case you're missing all the fun. Reminds us all that the breakneck pace at which we all live does not necessarily mean a better life. Relax... and enjoy it.
The sudden appearance of a certain well-known off-screen character.
Mma Makutse. Many foibles but a great heart. You find yourself rooting for her despite her shortcomings.
Hope Mr. Smith never quits this series.
For the first half of this book I was in old-school Stephen King heaven. But way too much time spent on the love story. This book could have been shortened by 40% and been great.
The unique thing about this book is the approach to the nuances and blurry lines between good and evil. That kept the book above average when it could have fallen into the same category as dozens of other novels in this vein.
But the problem is the book goes on way too long on this theme. There are pages of dialogue about this topic, especially during Book 3, when that had already been establshed. That should be the time for climax to the action, but it spends more time on the same theme.
That said, the book does succeed in creating a believable dual-world that really works.
What a great gift this series is. Love, wit, compassion... it's all here. Truly in a class all its own. And Lisette Lecat is one of the best narrators ever.
If I ever meet Mr. McCall Smith I'll ask him to write a sequel to The Lord of the Rings; he's the only author I've ever read who writes with enough heart to do that. Lovers of the books will understand what I mean.
Pick up this audio book and... welcome home.
Definitely pleasantly surprised because I wasn't sure where they would take this after the climax of the first book. But it's excellent (Chuck Hogan's writing is worth the price of admission alone).
Careful what you read about narrators... this guy is perfect. I forgot about the original narrator very quickly, even though his different pronunciation of the main character's name is a little disorienting at first.
Love Gerard Doyle as a narrator so I picked this one up. Extremely and pleasanlty surprised at how good this book was. Excellent listen.
Loved this book, loved the readers. Definitely among my top 2 or 3 selections I've gotten from Audible in the year that I've been a member.
This series is consistently great. Hard to believe after so many books there is still so much to say, but somehow they get better and better. John D. MacDonald made it to 21 Travis McGee novels; let's hope Mr. Smith surpasses that.
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