I fell in love with the Travis McGee series when I was a kid, reading them as they came out. Lost my early copies as I moved around. Later in life I replaced and reread them, kept moving and left them behind again at another place. As an old man a few years ago I decided to buy the series on my Kindle as a Christmas treat for myself. Starting at the beginning with #1(1964), The Deep Blue Goodbye I was underwhelmed and by the time I was part way through #6(1965), Bright Orange for the Shroud I found myself put off by how harshly MacDonald treated his minor characters,and by the way he criticized everything from vegetarians to yoga(disclaimer-I'm partial to both). I stopped reading the series in the middle of the book. Bored one day a few years later I tried the last McGee book MacDonald wrote #21(1985), The Lonely Silver Rain and found MacDonald was just as satisfying but less critical or maybe it was just me who had grown up. Then I tried #18(1979), The Green Ripper and it too showed a less judgmental MacDonald. Deciding that he had changed somewhere along the way I decided working my way backwards would be the safest bet and tried # 16(1975), The Dreadful Lemon Sky,and again I found it to be an excellent read. John D. MacDonald has always been a consummate writer and in his later years before he died in 1986 he seemed to have worked through enough of his demons that he treated the world and his characters with more compassion. May we all do the same.
This is my fourth Travis McGee book, and I enjoyed it thoroughly In this episode, Travis is recruited to help a Hollywood star find and stop a blackmailer who threatens her career with explicit photos of an orgy in which she participated. Travis takes the case on his usual contingency basis and sets off with the star's female assistant for New York, California, Nevada and Arizona to resolve the peoblem. The trail takes all the usual twists and turns with eventual resolution.
I really liked this book and could hardly put it down. My only complaint was that near the end, the story got a bit hard to follow. Overall though, it was an excellent quick read. No Pulitzers for this one, but a very good story.
I am occasionally rereading McDonald's works and they never disappoint. If you are a new reader of this series, you will be somewhat surprised at the accuracy of his criticisms of Florida politics and what should have been done. Smart ecologist as well as very good writer...he knows plot.
MacDonald put in too many characters with too little information on each to let you know them. Plus he allowed McGee too much distraction to the point where he loses everything in the end. This is totally unlike his other books that it feels like he had a ghostwriter and no one ever edited it. Only good thing was it was so BORING it gave you a good nap!
The John D I read ýears ago doesn't sound the same. He was and is a great writer . McGhee is not the hero I thought he was. He is more arrogant and chauvinistic than I was aware of back in the day. I guess I am different and our society is different. I feel sad that my favorite writer isn't/ wasn't quite what I thought.
This is the third Travis McGee book in a row that I have read. I am hooked.
Travis lives in Florida on a boat that he won in a poker game. He leads a beach bum/playboy life but every now and then he needs to replenish his funds. He specialises in helping for a fee, to return things - usually money - that people have lost. In this story he is hired to regain embarrassing career threatening photographs of a film star.
Travis is tall, broad shouldered with a rugged face. He is insightful and sensitive to other people's feelings. You can imagine the effect he has on women. However, Travis seems to be only attracted to deep quiet types, in this case the film star's personal assistant, an ice maiden.
He is the perfect gentleman and his tactics are impeccable. Let her stew for a while. Before long the ice begins to melt. "Dammit, we've never even really kissed. My knees are all wobbly and strange. Please lead me to a drink".
All things come to an end. The mystery as to who killed the people associated with the photographs is solved and the photographs recovered. Travis' romance with Miss ex-ice maiden falters and Travis returns to his boat, until the next adventure.
One of the least satisfying of the Travis McGee series. MacDonald oftens wrote about the "right" way to be a man and how men should relate to women. Many of his observations are reminders that times have changed and some of his conclusions and stereotypes (especially of LGBTQ people) are no longer acceptable.
...then this is the book for you! I read the entire Travis series, back in the mid-80's, and I am absolutely baffled that I didn't see, back then, how awful McGee's/MacDonald's homophobia and misogyny are. I don't know how a straight man can be so obsessed with the evil of lesbianism, but MacDonald sure is.