A lovely young girl steps in front of Travis McGee's headlights. McGee misses the girl but lands in 10 feet of swamp water. As he's limping along the deserted road, someone in an old truck takes a few shots at him. And, when he goes to the local sheriff to complain, the intrepid Travis McGee finds himself arrested and charged with murder. And he can't help but ask himself, "is this what they call southern hospitality?"
©1970 John D. MacDonald (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Special thanks to Sasha, Stacy and Stef for sharing the Audible experience with me and being the best of company during my recovery.
This one contains the normal amount of misogyny generally present in all MacDonald works prior to the 1970's. In this case a rant, a diatribe, and a plot that treats part time hookers as subhuman trash. While giving a break to the semi-pro that he falls into bed with; though McGee still seems to be quite contemptuous of her regardless. As usual he acts as if his own sexual desires aren't only understandable, but inevitable. Also one of the principal baddies in this book is a woman in charge of her own sexuality; which is usually perceived by the author as a disease or disorder of some sort. Although I suppose a taste for Sadism and murder are somewhat off putting I guess.
Meyer has only a small role in this book; pretty much as a victim. There is also the return of a girl from McGee history that again builds up Travis as a superstud.
Despite all this John D. can tell one hell of a story and no matter how often McGee responds in a way that appeals to the lowest common denominator in us all I can't quit him. He became an icon for a reason and the reason was the writing talents of the author. This isn't the best of the McGee novels but even if it were his worst MacDonald's worst is better than most. No hesitation on my part in recommending this one.
Robert Petkoff is a great story teller,and this one is written well. Most of the John D. Macdonald books are top notch. I enjoyed it.
It is a hard task to be "better" than Macdonald's original print, but having a skilled reader (the original McGavin or now performed by Robert Petkoff) accomplishes the objective.
As with many of the Travis McGee series, the opening sequence of events where McGee narrowly misses running over the girl, then is shot at. To say the writing is skillful would be insulting to how good it is.
I recently listened to the entire Travis McGee series as read by Petkoff, and to my mind, he does the occasionally grouch McGee in fine fashion, and captures the caring Meyer perfectly. Great performance.
Nearly all of the McGee novels cause introspective thought on the societal commentary contained in them, even now, 30 or 40-odd years later.
I'm a fan of this series, but I suggest it isn't judged by this particular book. It's just that this particular novel just didn't work for me. I think it was because it was quite fragmented, lots of extraneous conversations and explanations -- too much information about people who weren't particularly interesting. But, as is always the case, Travis McGee is deeply compassionate (fight it though he might he is a bit of a Robin Hood and a soft touch for a tragic lady) and resourceful and has the freedom and danger of working parallel to the law.
Ah well, perhaps there wasn't enough about his houseboat home -- I really enjoy that setting!
As always, Petkoff reads with commitment and understanding.
This one starts off with a bang, and hardly slows down. Poor Miss Agnes suffers horribly, but not as much as the ladies who come into the life of Travis McGee. A woman sleeping with Travis seems to have the same life expectancy as a guy wearing a red shirt in an opening episode of Star Trek! And dear Meyer is fast becoming more of a partner than a friend. A great book!
The Long Lavender Look is my favorite book in the Travis McGee series.
I used to own most of the series on cassette.
I was so excited to see this series come to Audible.com.
I was shocked, then disappointed to hear they had changed the narrator.
The books just are not the same without Darren McGavin.
Why fix what isn't broken? McGavin nailed it.
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