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Publisher's Summary

A Purple Place for Dying finds Travis McGee witness to a murder he can't prove and a kidnapping nobody wants to believe. McGee becomes a pawn between a wealthy Southwestern patriarch, the law, and a mysterious gang bent on insurance fraud. Just the kind of thing McGee revels in!

©1964 John D. MacDonald Publishing, Inc. Renewal © 1992 Maynard MacDonald (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"[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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Bonnie
  • Bellmore, NY, United States
  • 05-09-12

A man from the first half of the 20th century

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. 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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Elad
  • D.N. Hevel Eilot, Israel
  • 05-01-12

Can't go far wrong

between John D. MacDonald and Robert Petkoff ! I read all the Travis McGee books back in the eighties, and now am rereading, er listening to, them, one by one. No question but that popular attitudes (towards women, for example) have changed immensely since these were written back in the fifties and sixties, but some things never change, and it is these things that interested MacDonald. Now they're period pieces, but the crisp prose and keen insight bestow extra value and style. Recommended.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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My favorite so far

This one has our "Beach Bum" hero in a western city surrounded by desert. The action starts off fast and every time I thought I had figured out who the bad guy was, they got killed! This story really keeps you thinking!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Well written and narrated detective series

What a series this is turning out to be. I am enjoying every aspect of the Travis McGee books. Beautifully written -- no mere narration here -- but phrases replete with layers of meaning and images.
Thoughtful life philosophies are thrown into the mix and offer depth to McGee's motives. The characters are fully engaging -- ok, questionable stereotyping at time, but hey, these books were written between 1964 and 1986 and reflect the times. And what times: private investigators in all sorts of trouble and without mobile phones, the internet -- and roaming throughout society unimpeded by privacy policies and call centres.
Furthermore, Life is interpreted by Travis Mcgee with practical philosophies based on really living.
The plots are intriguing and plausibler. The author gently concludes each novel -- lets the main theme ebb away, and the characters have time to themselves to assimilate the invariably tempestuous events into their lives.

And finally to the narrator. Well, he has had mixed reviews on Audible, but and I think he is excellent. Firstly he manages the voices very well. Secondly he has an easy, relaxed pace that reflects the text. And most importantly, he sounds as if he understands and respects the writer and what he is setting out to shares.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Terry
  • Blairsville, Ga. United States
  • 10-06-12

John MacDonald at his best

Would you listen to A Purple Place for Dying again? Why?

I did listen to it again. It was worth a second listen.

What did you like best about this story?

Actually, Travis McGee story keeps my attention.

Have you listened to any of Robert Petkoff’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I do not believe I have listened to Petkoff's performance but I never pay that much attention to the performer unless he is bad. <br/>Then I make a note not to get other books by him.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It surprised me. It was very well written. Lots of twists.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • Bartonville, TX
  • 07-16-13

Fun who done its!

My first of this series but definitely not my last. Great who done its, with a fantastic lead man. None of them are very long and will be nice brain cleansers in between some heavier longer listens. The narrator does an outstanding job with all the characters voices and is a definite asset to bringing the story to life. Good reviews from Stephen king and Dean Koontz. 

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Travis McGee in Nevada

McGee leaves the boats and beaches of Florida for the great Southwest. This book; written in the mid sixties. Thus it contains some jarringly outdated ideas and opinions. McGee's Freudian analysis of Isobel is one such example. the sheriff openly admitting that he will be coming down on McGee if he bothers the rich husband of Travis' client.
However the writing style and abilities of John D. MacDonald are good enough to overcome fifty years of change. In fact I have books of his from the early fifties. In these he displays the "red menace" paranoia common to the era. Combined with the misogynistic belief that smacking the wife around to maintain is something that must be done. Despite these shortcomings I have yet to read a bad MacDonald book. A Purple Place For Dying is one of better offerings among the early Travis McGee series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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GREAT book, the narrator is growing on me.

If you could sum up A Purple Place for Dying in three words, what would they be?

philosophical, entertaining, fun

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

the range of the narrator was impressive

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

as Travis tossed a stack of cash towards the fire

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Worthy McGee

MacDonald created a character in McGee that speaks through the ages. I like the philosophical bits as much as the derring-do of the stories. Once past the arrogance of McGee as Ultimate Sexual Healer, which is a hoot, these novels still shine with wit and sadness. This one is worth the listen just to hear him talk about how corporate America and the educational system creates the robots that too many of us have become and how death alone can bring rest to those harried souls. Fair to good story, great observations about the modern man and woman's search for identity.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A blast from the past.

Would you listen to A Purple Place for Dying again? Why?

Yes. Except for The Hardy Boys, Travis McGee was my first serial character. His villains are bad, his damsels are vulnerable and this man knows what his values are. Who else would hit a bad guy with a sapphire? Plus he has his own brand of sex therapy. What's not to like? I still love to hear Travis' thoughts on the condition of our changing culture. Was it really so obvious then? In the 70's a reviewer described John D MacDonald as perhaps not even the best MacDonald currently writing in the genre. Now I can't remember the reviewer or the other MacDonald.

What did you like best about this story?

Revisiting an old friend.

Have you listened to any of Robert Petkoff???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. I'll be looking for more.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Just a wonderful nostalgia.

Any additional comments?

Thank you. Now could you please do Mac Donadls' Condominium?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • John L.
  • 09-06-17

One of those books you can't put down

100% Travis Magee at his best. Jack Reacher in shorts. He just gets better and better.