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)
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.
Fourth book in the Travis McGee series, this one about a movie superstar who wants some embarrassing sex photos recovered. The look at sexual values as portrayed in 1964 is weird and kind of interesting, but ultimately sinks the book when read 50 years later. It’s just a little too sex-negative and the “butch” lesbian scene is not good. Still, MacDonald has a nice easy writing style that’s occasionally poetic.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
I totally agree with other reviewers that this series has not aged particularly well. MacDonald is good with language, and the narrator is excellent, but it's impossible to get beyond the judgmental and early-60's prejudiced tone. Cringe-worthy. The world has indeed changed, baby!
Listening to MacDonald's Quick Red Fox required some adjustment of sensibilities for this American woman listener. Having loved the "beautiful woman walks into the office" openings of Hammett's and Ross MacDonald's mysteries, I started out enjoying Travis Magee as ably read by Robert Petkoff. The mystery of a salacious-photo blackmail of a celebrity fit the expected genre subtype. I even appreciated the gentler language and the quick descriptions of violence in an older hardboiled mystery.
My discomfort came with Travis's "my woman" attitude toward a love interest, his stereotypical flippant comparison of two lesbians to "authentic males," and the constant attention to female physical appearance without the equivalent descriptions of males.
Even trying to set these aside, I can't say I find this novel meets the quality of other writers of about the same time in language, character or story. This was my first John D. MacDonald and I'm comparing to all of Ross M and Dashiel H, so I may be being a bit unfair!
It's not John MacDonald's fault that he wrote the sexual stereotypes of his time, it's just that a writer of his caliber could (and so often did) so much better. I love most of this guy's books, but he missed the mark here. His homophobia clouds his characterizations and curdles his story into diatribe. Butches and brides...really?????
People who hate gays, women.
The story wasn't so bad, and since this was written in 1974 it is possible the author is not a complete jerk, but when he starts in on lesbians and the snide comments he makes about minorities and women I started screaming. The love interest was completely unbelievable. I didn't buy it at all. The plot starts off with him being judgmental about sex (a guy? really? about a threesome?) then he hops in bed with . . . (won't spoil the plot if you can't help yourself) and tells us how great older women are. Completely unconvincing. Is he a prude or does he just hate women? All the hype over the release of these books on audio was a huge disappointment.
How would I know, I was screaming over the author referring to professional women as girls. (It did no distract.)
Start over, really.
Disappointing. Thought I had a bunch of new mysteries to read. Maybe I shouldn't have started with this one. Are the others better?
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