It was the standard blackmail scheme. For years, sultry Lysa Dean's name on a movie had meant a bonanza at the box office. Now a set of pictures could mean the end of her career.
When first approached for help by lovely Dana Holtzer, Lysa's personal secretary, Travis McGee is thoroughly turned off by the tacky details. But being low on cash, and tenderly attracted by the star's intriguingly remote secretary, McGee sets out to locate his suspects -- only to find that they start turning up dead!
©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)
Back in the mid 60s, John D. McDonald introduced me to the mystery genre and to my then hero, Travis McGee...and as McGee calls himself, the "Authentic American Male." It's now 2012, I'm 60 years old and the philosophies of McGee that seemed so cutting edge and liberating to my 14 year old mind, now seem so 1964. Travis, who talks about treating women as 'equals,' calls the "better specimens"..."a fine girl." His equality is based on the fact that he is...an authentic male and they are after all, women. Travis is all for an open life style, not tied down by the establishment and the chains of job, mindless security and the suburbs, but he also has no problem preaching against the depravity of the 'butch' life style...again aimed at women. For a guy who loves the "female species," he seems to have a problem with them...that is until he 'cures' them with his unbelievably compassionate and thoughtful lovemaking. As an "authentic male" myself, I find this just a bit over the top. I could go on, but I don't want to discourage anyone from reading this series. The beauty is that they are extremely well written and they truly reflect the era. Travis is an idealized 1964, free thinking individualist. Travis is what men in 1964 wanted to be, a Playboy magazine ideal, authentic male...not a man in a grey suit carrying a briefcase. I imagine as I revisit this series I'll find Travis disliking the hippie movement, but his philosophies in this book are a true precursor to the spirit that spawned the late 60s anti-establishment 'rebellion.' Free thinkers in a movement that remained a 'man's world.'
This is my fourth Travis McGee story and is my favorite so far. I loved how this story unfolded with lots of great MacDonald twists and turns throughout. Petkoff is masterful as the narrator, handling the accents beautifully. Highly recommended if you are a MacDonald fan.
Travis McGee is a cynical, philosophic knight in tarnished armor. Here he gets involved in a Hollywood blackmail scheme. MacDonald's views on women, and especially lesbians, are woefully outdated, and there was a scene or two here that made me cringe, but the writing is top-notch and McGee is a great character. I got to see Robert Petkoff in the musical Fun Home just a few weeks ago, so it was nice to have a face to go with the voice! I thought he did a marvelous job with the narration, and I'll get getting the other books in the series.
Photographer, nature & water geek, music lover, book fiend.
There are many remarkable things about MacDonald & Im sure he broke some ground in his time. The stories are certainly interesting enough to hold my attention. But the machismo- even tempered by his "love" requirement- gets a bit tough to digest, as does his outlook on women, gays, & a few other things. He seems to think of "Trav" as this Uber-Male who has calculated the exact sum of every circumstance, especially women. Anyway...it isn't so awful I won't listen to the next one, but buyer be warned.
I'm a mom. I have drama in my life. I don't want books with the F-bomb, nor graphic violence. I read for fun and to bring my family together. I read for reducing stress levels. We have never had a television in our home and our children are now mid twenties to 19. We listen together and look for belly-wrenching laughter. So what is it like to live without a TV? Awesomely educational and inspirational. Each new book is a marvel.
I have a number of books in this series that were gifted to me. I'm not sure they are my style. I want to like Travis McGee much more but he beds every woman he works with. I understand these were written during the sexual revolution but the stories just grate on me. The narrator is the absolute best part. Sometimes John MacDonald writes some pretty profound paragraphs. I love those wary of government paragraphs. I love some of the things Travis proclaims to believe. I just wish he weren't a womanizer.
For period writing, for good dialogue between characters, for progression of story I rate these books a 4. If Travis could keep his zipper up I would rate a 5.
I love all of MacDonald's Travis McGee series and thought Darren McGavin was a splendid choice for Trav. But Robert Petkoff is a truly brilliant actor whose protean talent covers so many different voices and characters. I know George Guidell and Scott Brick are supposed to be the "kings of audio" and they're quite good although Brick's interrogative inflections drive me nuts. He phrases questions awkwardly IMO. But Petkoff is masculine as McGee, yet delivers the erudition of Meyer, and portrays females flawlessly without the fey inflection Guidell uses. As wonderful as Mr. Guidell is, he evidently has just one female depiction in his arsenal. In addition, Petkoff covers other male characters with insight and definition. He "paints pictures." I've been an audio book listener for nearly forty years and have never experienced a better reader than Petkoff. Richard Crenna was excellent in The Hunt for Red October but I read where he prepared for months. Ed Asner is also quite good but reads few audio books. Joe Mantegna is great fun as Spenser, but no one IMO has drawn a bead on a series as has Robert Petkoff. Don't know a thing about him, except that he's a big talent.
MacDonald's philosophy and his talent for story structure.
See rave review above.
Extreme reaction? Really? Every time I do cartwheels all the change falls out of my pockets. Next question, please.
Robert Petkoff is an audible book treasure.
This book would be a good thesis starter on John D's attitude to women. At one point the plot leads to a woman being held/comforted by radical butch lesbians so he beats them up and then decides to spank them!
I found John D in this novel sometimes really good but sometimes taking too many short cuts in the plot, an example being constructing the twisted and complicated motivations of a dead character, a photographer, out of whole cloth. He did this too many times, as well he tends to moralize and comes across as pretty old fashioned in his attitudes. The plot was pretty tight though and was under 7 hours.
The narrator was good although a bit boyish in voice for my tastes. Not sure if I'll buy another, think I might try another mystery writer I grew up with, Ross MacDonald, and see how he aged.
We used to enjoy Travis McGee stories.
Very dated and sophomoric story.
Disappointed that the pretentious moralizing has become so apparent.
We miss the sense of place of the earlier stories.
A person who doesn't mind endless droning, I found myself wondering what the story was about or where I was or where they were or who was actually talking about nothing now.
A BIG Shout Out to the reader. He made the half I listened to bearable but I simply could not finish the story, I kept falling asleep......and I was driving ! Seriously over the course of 3 days I could only listen for short periods while behind the wheel.
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