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.
A series like this can get very predictable and tiresome. John MacDonald was a rare author that managed to deliver interesting stories even in such a ..Show More »challenging context. McGee and Meyer are interesting characters and I continue to enjoy watching them evolve from one book to the next. This series is the diametric opposite to Stuart Woods' Stone Barrington books, which are mind-numbingly predictable and formulaic. The Travis McGee series is one of the more compelling options in the genre; strong recommendation to start at the beginning and read them all...
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'm a huge fan of John D. MacDonald. I think he is funny and sharp. He has a certain pulp formula and sticks with it and usually the cake rises, brown..Show More »s, and turns out just fine. But this book was just kinda -- meh. Which is surprising because you would think a book with motorcycle gangs, pornography rings, and people falling out of hot air balloons would be kinda exciting. It just wasn't. It was like he read 'Around the Wold in 80 Days', watched a couple James Bond flicks, and followed that up with an Easy Rider marathon and felt he could combine the three things. He managed to combine these elements, but his novel just didn't have enough tickle and torque.
To me it felt like MacDonald wasn't sailing this novel. He had it tied down and was just letting nature take its course. There was no emotional texture and the narrative was just kinda straight. I knew where he was going and by the end I just didn't really care. AND, I did't even mention one of my MacDonald peeves. Sex. Hey, I think sex is nifty and neato and all the rest. Sure sure. But MacDonald writing about it is like talking dirty with an unmarried uncle. No thanks. I'll pass.
This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang...
I think this is my sixth MacDonald (and fifth Travis McGee) novel. There is something trashy but smooth about all of MacDonald's work. They are probab..Show More »ly mid-tier pulp from a plot sandpoint, but woven through out each is a bunch of philosophy and poltiics that braids the novels with a form of libertarian conservatism that is kinda attractive. This isn't Ayn Rand trash. This is John D. MacDonald. So the politics/economics/philosophy is soft, the writing is good, and the covers are all soft-core.
The math with John D., however, is interesting. His plots can vascillate (meh to great), his political philosophy can also move and vary (meh to great), as does his writing about women and sex (ugh to blah). Generally, I prefer his books when the politics is dialed up, the sex is dialed down, and the plot is hard and fast. Cinnamon Skin came through. It wasn't brilliant, but it made my flight from Phoenix to Dallas easy.
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.