I went into this book as a fan of Lee Child and Stephen King, two authors that were influenced by John D. MacDonald. After reading the first book in t..Show More »he Travis McGee series, I can understand what attracted these two modern-day masters of mystery to MacDonald in the first place.
This book is filled with memorable characters, engaging dialogue and captivating action. It also has a good deal of vulgar language, which I'm perfectly fine with; it just surprised me considering when this book was originally published.
Like many great authors, MacDonald takes this story to another level by weaving in thought-provoking analysis and commentary. This introspective awareness helps flesh out who the main characters are, where they've been and where they're going, both in the book and beyond the pages.
Entering this book without any preconceptions, I feel the narrator did a fine job with all of the characters' voices.
I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of the books in this series, and I recommend you give "The Deep Blue Good-By" a shot; it's enjoyable from start to finish.
This is book 2 in series, and it's better than the first. I think the narrator does a great job with voices that convey, not only attitude, but the la..Show More »nguage of the time. How often do you hear some one call another "darling" in 2012. These are period mysteries and as such you have to take that into account. If you're not familiar with the detective genre of the 50's and 60's then this might not be for you. I'm loving it and find so far each book has been better than last. I'm up to the fourth book in series and I am truly enjoying.
These are classic mystery stories written at a time when $10,000.00 was equal to $100,000.00 in today dollars. Also men and women had different rolls...Show More » If you take that into the balance of the story, you can enjoy the mystery, and how Trav solves each problem he encounters. I have started with book one, and have now completed book 7. They all get better I have found. Just have to get used to some of the dated language and interplay between characters. It's not 2012, but late 1960's. I still find the stories really well written and have enough mystery and strange turns of events to make each Travis McGee story a gem.
John D MacDonald presents a combination of James Dickey's prose with Ian Fleming's narrative flourish. With John D. MacDonald, however, you are also l..Show More »ikely to find weird paragraphs sprinkled into the novel that deal with economics, politics, love, lust, the John Birch Society, and the ethics of hunting. Reading MacDonald is like having a surprisingly lucid conversation with a drunk economics professor who you recently discovered just killed a man with his golf club. You can't pull away from the conversation and aren't quite sure if the story is going to continue, or if he is going to explore a tangent more appropriate for an economics class or his therapist. HIs brain is amazing and his stories definitely titillate on several levels at once.
I read these all in print, then listened to them as abridged versions with Darrin McGavin narrating. Robert Petkoff is a fine narrator, but I miss McG..Show More »avin. He caught the ironic quality of Travis McGee perfectly. However, he has passed away .... and Petkoff is good. Very good.
The story is classic MacDonald. There's lots of action, violence, sex, angst, and diatribes consisting of highly astute and unfortunately, very accurate observations of what we were then doing (and have now done!) to the ecology of the area. MacDonald was fanatical about ecology before it was fashionable.
Travis McGee is unique and most interesting: a violent man who abhors violence which sometime means that he hates himself, too. He kills, but he is ashamed of it and it brings him neither joy nor satisfaction. He cannot excuse his own guilt.
Travis McGee is complex and contradictory ... one of the great fictional "detectives" (he's not exactly a detective, by the way ... but it's as close as I can get to a one word descriptor).
You don't have to read them in order. However you read them, they are complete stories.
McGee is a conflicted but essentially moral man and his rage at what happened to his friend is very nearly palpable. It infuses the book with a tensio..Show More »n it wouldn't have if the protagonist had been a disaffected third party investigator. Another thing is the realness of the plot. As someone quite familiar with criminal activity, I am always struck that the action in this book follows the law of unintended consequences that we often see in street crimes. Other authors (Elmore Leonard and John Sandford come immediately to mind) use the technique in contemporary fiction but MacDonald did it first and does it best.
Travis is given the assignment of saving a dying lover's child. I swear being a lover of McGee's has a higher fatality rate than smoking three packs a..Show More » day in an Asbestos factory full of hazardous waste. Perhaps I'll do a study of the percentage of his paramour's that died early; it must be about the same level as that of a wartime infantry platoon. When McGee gets to the daughter's home in Fort Courtney Florida he finds a beautiful married woman with a childlike demeanor and a history of suicide. He checks into a motel; is picked up by a woman trying to set him up with a barbiturate loaded bottle of gin; he has a fight with her married boyfriend and then spends the night with the woman after the two of them argue; hey what a day. McGee gets involved with a couple of the motel's black maids when one grabs a few drinks out of the bottle of doctored gin and passes out in his room. Another of the maids at the motel agrees to help McGee find information; for a price. An assignment that she fulfills by presenting him with information that helps him greatly in solving the case. It was a long time coming for a man living in south Florida but in the tenth book in the series McGee interacts with a person of African descent. As always all the women in the book are eager to share McGee's bed but he only racks up two notches on the bedpost in the present. His attitudes gradually became more enlightened as the series continued and this time there are no misogynistic comments on the sexuality of any of the women in the book. Though when it came to the mother, Helena some of his opinions smack of turn of the century Freudianism. As always the writing is top notch and if you can ride with the implausibility's of the plot and the outdated attitudes this is a great listening experience.
In the early 70s I thought I was a hippie, but not like these folks. Perhaps there had to be some like these to supply the drugs that seemed to be ev..Show More »erywhere at the time, but thank God I never met any. (That I know of!) I really enjoyed the vision of Mexico at the time though. It seems so strange to hear now that the "Mexican peso was rock-solid" and that American investors were lining up to invest in Mexico. This has to be one of my favorte Travis McGee adventures.
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 Tra..Show More »vis 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!
John D. MacDonald's pulp novels are a perfect beach read. They are unassuming, consistently over-deliver, produce better one-liners than a George Carl..Show More »in set AND seem to have captured perfectly a very American, libertarian ethos of the mid-60s to late 70s. Travis McGee is consistently drawn into scrapes that he would rather avoid, beds girls he would prefer to ignore, and kills men he without relish. He perfectly fits Morrell's reluctant hero archetype:
"a tarnished or ordinary man with several faults or a troubled past, and he is pulled reluctantly into the story, or into heroic acts. During the story, he rises to the occasion, sometimes even vanquishing a mighty foe, sometimes avenging a wrong. But he questions whether he's cut out for the hero business. His doubts, misgivings, and mistakes add a satisfying layer of tension to a story"
MacDonald has perfected using the reluctant hero's questions, doubts, misgivings, and mistakes to add heft to his novels. McGee isn't a dime-store hero. He doesn't want the job, but doesn't mind the money, and it seems no one else is qualified to fix the huge mess that has fallen into his lap and seems destined to take him away from the bikinis, boats and beaches for a season.
JDM's McGee books are all essentially cookie-cutter versions of one another. But thay are all tremendously entertaining and as readable as books come..Show More ». The difference, what makes MacDonald great, is that each one is as interesting as the last, on and on and on. Unlike the Child/Reacher series that has gone blasé and predictable to a fault, the McGee adventures never fail to entertain and enlighten. These books are not as politically correct as most are today (so as not to offend our tender sensibilities) but frankly I don't give a damn. It is intelligent testosterone with a big spash of philosophy. I love them all.
And Robert Petkoff IS Travis and Meyer and the rest. Possibly the premier match between pen and voice to date!
At least he didn't get shot this time! This one was tough on our hero. Very personal involvments and a lot of back-story. As usual the characters a..Show More »re all fullly fleshed out and the overall story was great. But I never thought I'd hear Travis singing the praises of a Pulsar LED digital watche!!! Perhaps the next one will mention what a stupid idea they were.....
McGee and Meyer head north to find out who killed a woman who came to Travis for help. Trav and Carrie Milligan once had a one night stand and it ceme..Show More »nted an aura of trust. Carrie tells him if she can't get back for the money to give it to her sister Susan and not to worry about finding out the reason she didn't get back. Well we both know that McGee and Meyer can't do that so they unhook the lines and head north to Bayside. On the way up someone takes a shot at them in McGee's boat The Busted Flush. Upon arriving at the marina before they've even had the chance to check in; the behemoth who owns and runs the marina assaults both his wife and McGee. As the dynamic duo endeavor to locate Carrie's killer more people die; her sister Susan is sorta, kinda, maybe raped; at least that's MacDonald's 1974 definition of sexual assault. I won't go into specifics about anymore of the books main events in order to avoid spoilage. This is a good solid Travis McGee mystery; I rate it in the top half if not the third of the series.
I thought I had it all figured out. I knew who the bad guy was. Then it all changed! This one was a very good read (listen?) and well worth the tim..Show More »e. You do need to know that some of the characters and plotlines from this one will be continued in the next one - The Green Ripper. So, if you are not reading them in order, make sure you read this one before the next one. An excellent book, with a great ending!
Gretchen is dead; so the love of McGee's life has just been killed, again. The only lead he has as to who the killers might be is a story Gretchen tol..Show More »d him the night before her death. She related the story of how she and her ex-husband had gone to search for his sister. Outside the town of Ukiah, in rural Northern California they found her in a cult. So with this information McGee steps out of his life and goes hunting; he 's determined that someone will pay. As it turns out he accidentally stumbles upon the violent side of a left-wing revolutionary group. The cult is planning on an incipient beginning of the revolution and are in training to fire the first shot; so to speak. McGee takes on a new identity as he plots his revenge. I'll stop there so as not to spoil the ending. This is one of my least favorite Travis McGee novels; it is quite different from the other books in the series. Still though the worst of the McGee books is excellent. As always when it comes to the writings of John D. MacDonald, I recommend it.
I began reading MacDonald as a young man in the eighties. In those days the gender role and sexual attitudes expressed by the author weren't unusual. ..Show More »The majority of the authors I'd read possessed those same attitudes. Now those attitudes that just seemed quaint and outdated now read as judgmental, hypocritical and misogynistic when expressed by McGee. Indeed at times they're jarring now. Likewise the attitudes,slang, musical tastes and speech patterns are similarly outdated. As so often occurs in the McGee series there is someone identified as a close friend who suddenly appears for the first time. Finally the semi adulation accredited to Meyer by McGee's over the top quoting of him as the source of all wisdom grows tedious. That being said; the author is an excellent writer of mystery fiction. the story flows and the transitions are seamless; there's plenty of action and unlike current mystery writers there is no catch phrase being repeated constantly like the hook in a song. The complexity of Travis McGee is presented by the author in long thoughtful unspoken monologues give us an inner view of a questioning mind. If I were a young reader; unfamiliar with the attitudes expressed by the author these works might be a complete miss. But just like a man in his fifties looks back at his twenties I can't quit McGee.
This is; in my opinion; the best of the McGee series. The relationship between Travis and Anne is well crafted. The recovery of Meyer from the events ..Show More »from "Free Fall in Crimson is both plaintive and redemptive." The road trip that McGee and Meyer take to Texas is especially well done. The ultimate climatic scene is more understated than the usual McGee finale. A great read all the way through.
If you are reading this, there's a good chance you've listened to the other twenty titles in the McGee series . . . experienced 20 years of John D Mac..Show More »Donald's McGee magic in just a few, short months and know what an incredible cultural treasure these recordings represent.
Here, now, is the last McGee novel ever, maybe the best McGee novel ever and assuredly the most heartfelt McGee novel ever. Savor this one, because there ain't gonna be any more.
Savor also Robert Petkoff's brilliant characterizations. I had my doubts, at first, but Petkoff has proven himself to be one of the best audiobook narrators ever, taking the listener on a trip back in time . . . to a world peopled by all the wonderfully quirky characters of MacDonald's imagination, bringing them from the written page to life with skill and style.