He's a self-described beach bum who won his houseboat in a card game. He's also a knight errant who's wary of credit cards, retirement benefits, political parties, mortgages, and television. He only works when his cash runs out, and his rule is simple: he'll help you find whatever was taken from you, as long as he can keep half.
Nothing that John D. MacDonald wrote is better loved and more enduring than the 21 books in his series about Travis McGee, the Florida-based “salvage consultant” who recovers property for a fee so he can take his retirement “a piece at a time”. Narrator Robert Petkoff, hand-chosen to narrate with the approval of MacDonald’s estate, brings McGee’s world of the Busted Flush (his houseboat, which he won in a poker game) and “Miss Agnes” (his custom Rolls-Royce pickup truck) to vivid life.
©1964 John D. MacDonald Publishing, Inc. Renewal © 1992 Maynard MacDonald (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"[T]he great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller." (Stephen King)
"[M]y favorite novelist of all time." (Dean Koontz)
"[W]hat a joy that these timeless and treasured novels are available again." (Ed McBain)
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
I picked this title up on the recommendation of one of the reviewers that I follow (Darwin8u). I was looking for a new series (having now substantially read/listened to the Harry Hole books), so I wasn't turned off by the suggestion that this was not just a beach-side read. As is usual with this particular reviewer, the observations were spot on, albeit that they were of two other MacDonald titles and I had to interpolate a bit, but I wanted to start at the beginning. That's the OCD in me.
MacDonald is a strange dude. He appears to be cast somewhere between Raymond Chandler and Hemingway (bizarre as that sounds); a fatalistic observer of life. Sometimes he goes close to almost profound observations, but at other times he seems happy to dispense the heavy hand of his lore.
Overall, I think I like the style, even if I am not yet a fan of McGee, the protagonist. I think he's one of those you need to grow into, a bit like Harry.
I thought Petkoff's narration was fine. I'm not sure why it has attracted such criticism in some reviews. I didn't find it monotone. Perhaps that was an observation made of McGee's fatalism.
This is not an easy read but, in it's own way, it is not a hard one. Given a bit of time to recover from McGee's opening gambit, I suspect I will go back for another round.
EASY , FUN READ
TRAVIS IS A REAL STAR!
OUTSTANDING VOICE INTERPRETATION AND INFLECTION AT A GREAT PACE
NOT EXTREME, JUST ENTERTAINING
Different....very different but also the same. It catches Macdonald at his best
This is my third visit with Travis McGee; first as an adolesent; again at 40 and now 20 years later. I did not realize what I had forgotten. With the first chapter it all came back though. The complex Travis an alter ego for the author.
There is a reason why John D. Macdonald seems to make the top 5 list of many good writers. Many characters are developed to be believable but a very small group seem really to live. Sherlock Holmes is one that comes to mind, Travis McGee is another. The details in his stories rest with his character. Travis reminds me a bit of the cowboys that live at the end of the wild west. They knew their
Tell us about yourself!
american detective novel
the writing was so descriptive
the lead - travis
the way back for mrs. atkinson
only thing didn't like was the narrator's women's voices - his men was right on though
Old Broad with Keyboard
I read the whole series - hell, I owed the whole series back in time. I loved McGee's lust for lost causes even back then when I was a teen. Hearing the first book in the old series with the perfect narrator was so much fun that I worked till 4:28AM to hear the ending. Good thing I was doing data entry in my home office.
McGee has always been my favorite. I always thought he was MacDonald's alter ego. Knuckley, tanned, confident, old enough but still young enough to rescue the girl. Worldly wise but still grounded in common sense & fairness.
Robert Petkoff makes the book come to life.
Yup. It was. And I did.
I liked this murder mystery. The author, John MacDonald, did a great job of characterization in letting me get to know the main character, Travis McGee. I liked how he lives on a houseboat in Florida - great setting. Even though Travis is willing to help others who cannot help themselves, he is still a James Bond type of character who will intimidate and torture if need be. This helped to keep my interest throughout the plot and made it a great mystery. It is hard to believe that this modern day suspense was written 47 years ago!
A very entertaining book and I already plan on getting the second book in the series, "Nightmare in Pink."
Excellent narration by Robert Petkoff.
It has been more than 25 years since I listened to the original Travis McGee recordings with Darren McGavin narrating. First, I had forgotten how much I really enjoyed them. I also didn't think that anyone but McGavin could do them justice, but Robert Petkoff was superb. And I also learned why I like Lee Child's Jack Reacher series so much. He and Travis McGee have a great deal in common. Even though the Deep Blue Good-Bye was written in 1965 - before cell phones and technology - it is a wonderfully suspenseful read. Travis a salvage specialist and beachbum, living in the Florida Keys. He only works when he runs out of money. He is a brute and a romantic. He has soft spot for the underdog and an absolute sense of right and wrong. He is wonderful. A truly good author and book will last forever. Travis McGee lives on.
In order to enjoy this book you need to understand the date it was written. All the big sexual revolution started that decade, the attitude and behaves of man and women must be understood based on the time of the history and not the way we expect or assume modern man and woman behaves.
This is my first encounter with John McDonald and Travis McGee. Although I am not young but my native language is Spanish and I have not seen any translation of this author’s novels. I really enjoyed the psychological aspects. I'm sure the reaction of a woman who has been abused in these times is not very different from that described in the novel.
I am looking forward to listen and read (thanks to Whispersync) the rest of the series as i as sure that both McDonald and McGee will change as time pass by, 20 years is a lot of time and lots of changes.
The narration was very good and perfect for a person like me that speaks English as a second language. I liked the pace, the intonation and the cadence of the narrator’s voice.
Electrical Engineer, 51 years old father of 3.
Travis McGee is a character I want to learn more about. The books have been around for a long time yet the story holds up well.
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