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The Quick Red Fox Audiobook

The Quick Red Fox: A Travis McGee Novel, Book 4

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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

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Average Customer Rating

4.1 (474 )
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4.1 (413 )
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4.4 (414 )
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  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 10-14-15
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 10-14-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A prophet writing in the wilderness of the 1960s"

    "The world is shiny and the surface is a little too frangible. Something can reach out of the black and grab you at any moment. Everybody wears a different set of compulsions. You can be maimed without warning, in body or in spirit, by a very nice guy. It is the luck of your draw. I did not feel like a nice guy."
    - John D. MacDonald, The Quick Red Fox

    A solid, early addition to the Travis McGee series. All the cynical, hard John D. MacDonald prose I could ask for. Part of what I love about MacDonald is his ability to both write like a cheap 10¢ noir novelist and at the same time like an iconic, modern-day Cassandra. 50-years ago, inside these pulp detective novels, he was warning past readers about our sick, slick present. Reading MacDonald is to constantly come across sentences and paragraphs that fill you with unbounded joy. Seriously. Here he is describing San Francisco:

    "San Francisco is the most depressing city in America. The come-latelys might not think so. They may be enchanted by the sea of mystery of the Nob and Russian and Telegraph, by the sea mystery of the Bridge over to redwood country on a foggy night, by the urban compartmentalization of Chinese, Spanish, Greek, Japanese, by the smartness of the women and the city's iron clutch on the culture. It might look just fine to the new ones.

    But there are too many of us who used to love her. She was like a wild classy kook of a gal, one of those rain-walkers, laughing gray eyes, tousle of dark hair -- sea misty, a lithe and lovely lady, who could laugh at you or with you, and at herself when needs be. A sayer of strange and lovely things. A girl to be in love with, with love like a heady magic.

    But she had lost it, boy. She used to give it away, and now she sells it to the tourists. She imitates herself. Her figure has thickened. The things she says now are mechanical and memorized. She overcharges for cynical services."

    But he is best when he is bemoaning the loss of privacy, the loss of liberty, the creep of industry an government interference.

    "I get this crazy feeling. Every once in a while I get it. I get the feeling that this is the last time in history when the offbeats like me will have a chance to live free in the nooks and crannies of the huge and rigid structure of an increasingly codified society. Fifty years from now [this book was originally published in 1964, so 2014] I would be hunted down in the street. They would drill little holes in my skull and make me sensible and reliable and adjusted."

    Not quite Philip K. Dick, but close. Different genre, different prophet writing in the wilderness, but same damn brain-dead apocalypse.

    13 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacey Los Angeles, CA, United States 11-09-17
    Stacey Los Angeles, CA, United States 11-09-17 Member Since 2008
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    "best one yet....most believable"

    as a person being in the mid teens during the time these books were written I really enjoy it me especially so because my family had boats and I certainly new men who were just like McGee so its not just the stories it does give a look back to how life was so much different without cell phones and the internet and all the technology we have now.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BDHumbert Fort Pierce, FL, United States 03-01-17
    BDHumbert Fort Pierce, FL, United States 03-01-17 Member Since 2017
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    "I really"

    Like Travis McGee and Archie McNally a lot - something really compelling about both of them. That being said this is not one of the better stories

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve 01-20-17
    Steve 01-20-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Loved this story!"

    This is my fourth Travis McGee story and is my favorite so far. I loved how this story unfolded with lots of great MacDonald twists and turns throughout. Petkoff is masterful as the narrator, handling the accents beautifully. Highly recommended if you are a MacDonald fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen W Osborne 11-22-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Good entry in the series, fantastic narration"

    Travis McGee is a cynical, philosophic knight in tarnished armor. Here he gets involved in a Hollywood blackmail scheme. MacDonald's views on women, and especially lesbians, are woefully outdated, and there was a scene or two here that made me cringe, but the writing is top-notch and McGee is a great character. I got to see Robert Petkoff in the musical Fun Home just a few weeks ago, so it was nice to have a face to go with the voice! I thought he did a marvelous job with the narration, and I'll get getting the other books in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Bettendorf, IA, United States 10-31-16
    Mark Bettendorf, IA, United States 10-31-16 Member Since 2011
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    "Dated but interesting"

    There are many remarkable things about MacDonald & Im sure he broke some ground in his time. The stories are certainly interesting enough to hold my attention. But the machismo- even tempered by his "love" requirement- gets a bit tough to digest, as does his outlook on women, gays, & a few other things. He seems to think of "Trav" as this Uber-Male who has calculated the exact sum of every circumstance, especially women. Anyway...it isn't so awful I won't listen to the next one, but buyer be warned.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    danny dahl 05-09-16
    danny dahl 05-09-16
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    "mediocre"


    I have finished my 4th or 5th book and I am getting a little tired I'm listening 2 McGees Conquest. I would rate the book right in the middle

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina Nibley, UT, United States 10-19-15
    Tina Nibley, UT, United States 10-19-15 Member Since 2017
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    "I just don't know"

    I have a number of books in this series that were gifted to me. I'm not sure they are my style. I want to like Travis McGee much more but he beds every woman he works with. I understand these were written during the sexual revolution but the stories just grate on me. The narrator is the absolute best part. Sometimes John MacDonald writes some pretty profound paragraphs. I love those wary of government paragraphs. I love some of the things Travis proclaims to believe. I just wish he weren't a womanizer.

    For period writing, for good dialogue between characters, for progression of story I rate these books a 4. If Travis could keep his zipper up I would rate a 5.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim 07-26-15
    Jim 07-26-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Robert Petkoff IS Travis McGee"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I love all of MacDonald's Travis McGee series and thought Darren McGavin was a splendid choice for Trav. But Robert Petkoff is a truly brilliant actor whose protean talent covers so many different voices and characters. I know George Guidell and Scott Brick are supposed to be the "kings of audio" and they're quite good although Brick's interrogative inflections drive me nuts. He phrases questions awkwardly IMO. But Petkoff is masculine as McGee, yet delivers the erudition of Meyer, and portrays females flawlessly without the fey inflection Guidell uses. As wonderful as Mr. Guidell is, he evidently has just one female depiction in his arsenal. In addition, Petkoff covers other male characters with insight and definition. He "paints pictures." I've been an audio book listener for nearly forty years and have never experienced a better reader than Petkoff. Richard Crenna was excellent in The Hunt for Red October but I read where he prepared for months. Ed Asner is also quite good but reads few audio books. Joe Mantegna is great fun as Spenser, but no one IMO has drawn a bead on a series as has Robert Petkoff. Don't know a thing about him, except that he's a big talent.


    What did you like best about this story?

    MacDonald's philosophy and his talent for story structure.


    What does Robert Petkoff bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    See rave review above.


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

    Extreme reaction? Really? Every time I do cartwheels all the change falls out of my pockets. Next question, please.


    Any additional comments?

    Robert Petkoff is an audible book treasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arnold toronto, ON, Canada 06-06-12
    Arnold toronto, ON, Canada 06-06-12
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    "John D hasn't aged well"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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