How to you extort $600,000 from a dying man? Someone had done it very quietly and skilfully to the husband of Travis McGee's ex-girlfriend. McGee flies to Chicago to help untangle the mess and discovers that, although Dr. Fortner Geis had led an exemplary life, there were those who'd take advantage of one "indiscretion" and bring down the whole family. McGee also discovers he likes a few members of the family far too much to let that happen....
©1966 John D. MacDonald Publishing, Inc. Renewal © 1994 Maynard MacDonald (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Yes! It's flawlessly constructed.
Travis McGee is brutish and intuitive.
Well, this series is all about Travis McGee--a very interesting fellow.
Cant tell you--it would spoil it. :-)
This is a very good listen while driving.
Travis extricating himself from the grasp of a lonely, hot housewife.
I am on my 20th book from this series, which I started reading just a few weeks ago. They all seem to blend together but they're all very good. Start at #1 and work your way through.
Baby boomers would enjoy visiting the 60's with all the simplicity of life on a basic level. We find the personal struggles haven't changed much in the past 50 years.
Petkoff is mesmerizing. Sometimes I find myself stopped in the midst of what I'm doing to listen to his story.
Love Travis McGee.
I'm a crippeled old warrior with difficulty typing/writing etc. I used to love reading books, and have read many. I now love audio books.
I first read most of John D McDonald's novels at first printing. This book was a fun read then. Today, I listened to the audio version and enjoyed it for some of the same reasons, but I found any references to cost, technology, and the relative values of the time most interesting. To say I was impressed with the plot/story line, writing today as much as I did in the 60's would be misleading. JOHN D. just doesn't match up to current mystery writers like Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, or even Clive Cussler. However, this is still a fun read.
Great story with an excellent reader. John D. is an awesome writer with deep insights into human nature.
Petkoff makes the characters real. His reading can make your breath stop and your heart pound. Pacing. Characterization. Tone. Awesome!
MacDonald's stories are complex yet rather easy to follow and very entertaining. The author has that rare talent for lulling the reader into thinking the story is over but then springs a real shocker at the end.
Aside from a terrific and entertaining plot, MacDonald inserts his own philosophy about people that brings life and vitality to the story. And even though the books were written in the 1960s, his world views seem very contemporary.
Robert Petkoff could read the dictionary and make it sound exciting. When he changes voices to reflect the many and varied characters you think that there must be more than just Petkoff speaking. And, unlike some narrators, Robert doesn't sound like he's reading. Travis McGee becomes real, the characters become real, and the story becomes real. And all the while someone is telling this crasy story.
I'll be honest, I haven't finished this yet. I can only listen for about 30 minutes at a time once or twice a week. I don't know if the story was actually written in the dark ages or if it is a plot device, but this is absolutely written in man's-man tone. It oozes flinty stares and cigar smoke and tough guys and gum-shoe detecting and dames. There is quite a bit of ethnic profiling and subtext. The characters are fairly stereotypical and the women are mostly delivered in the same tone. They are either "gosh golly, Trav..." kinda gals, cynical ice-maiden harridens or trusty side-kick dames.
I am not saying there is anything wrong with this type of writing, I am just finding it hard going and a distraction from the storyline. i might try something more current by this author.
I didn't realize that this book was almost 40 years old when I got it, and I'm glad I didn't spend a full credit for it. In spite of coming from John D. MacDonald's area of Florida, sharing an alma mater, and agreeing that he is well-written; when read now, this book verges on being offensive. The attitudes and vocabulary seem to be rooted well before 1966, and the misogynistic and politically incorrect descriptions would seem worthy of the 50s or earlier. Women are "broads", he refers to "limeys", "spics" and "Japs", the dialogue is filled with phrasing such as "lordy me, oh my", "holy maloney", "honest to Betsy", "golly", "doll", "negro", calls dislikable men "silly as girls", speaks about a woman as "40" across her secretarial butt", and makes arguments for how it is understandable for a chronic philanderer with the ladies to bed someone whenever he is stressed or sad. He calls women "fine merchandise" and compares them to sports cars that are "responsive when mastered". He credits himself with entitlement to bed a woman, likening her to "cherries jubilee" because he passed up the "cream pie" of the farm wife. He tells one woman to "go back to your cotton patch, cornpone".
It would be more understandable if he was really channelling Sam Spade; but the misogyny of Spade's era was legendary, and considerably before the 60s. Consequently, Travis appeared an egotistic, self-agrandizing buffoon who considered himself to be God's gift to women everywhere. The plot was predictable, and he was lame. The novel came off as as he would describe as "dime store". Forgivable if placed in the 40s, but unevolved and thereby distractingly trite even for the 60s.
I know there is a huge contingent of Travis McGee fans, which is why I finally read this. For the life of me, I can't figure out why. It is like watching a movie when "talkies" were first made, with similar dialogue and depth of character.
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