Travis things he's in for a quiet summer until a walking zombie of a man, Arthur Wilkinson, stumbles aboard The Busted Flush. He's the latest victim of a fragile-looking blond sexpot who uses the blackest arts of love to lure unsuspecting suckers into a web of sordid schemes. Gone, suddenly, are the lazy, hazy days of summer as Travis becomes embroiled in one of the most dangerous, dirtiest cases of his career.
©1965 John D. MacDonald Publishing, Inc. Renewal © 1993 Maynard MacDonald (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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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 McGavin. 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.
"Perfect Authentic 1960's Period Noir"
John D MacDonald was an extremely prolific writer of mysteries and thrillers during the 50's through the mid 1980's. His popular Travis McGee series always placed a color in the title. Hence the Orange reference here. This story was copyrighted in 1965.
The value of this series is that it is written in its time with spot-on dialog, technology, prices, values, contemporary culture and morals. It was a wild and reckless time that this novel is set in. So essentially you have a master writer creating a novel in his time with a perfect pitch. Contrast this with contemporary writers trying to set crime novels in WWII, the 50's etc. and you get a story told through the prism of a 21st century writer, a big difference. People in the 1960's thought and acted quite differently.
The story is interesting, the characters developed and real. You care about all of them. John MacDonald takes the time to let you get to know the characters are real functioning people with strengths and weaknesses. He sets you down the pathway of the plot and you become an observer. The story reveals itself through logical, clever detection by Travis McGee, a stalwart knight that seeks to redress financial wrongs for a 50% cut of the recovery.
The story is set in the seedy Florida of the 1960's where land scams abounded and the innocent like the alligators were both skinned. This novel is crisply written, the run time on this Audible book is a little over 8 hours, just enough to tell a full story and not too much. The story unfolds fast. A feature of Travis McGee novels is that things work out in the end for the right people. So you find yourself cheering for the mistreated victim and share the redemption at the end. We have a first class villain and a cast of con-men that ring true. I place this series in the pantheon of historic crime masters like Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald (no relation) where perfect characters and plots are immortal.
It would be unfair to give up too much of the plot, but the search of the villain's property was a classic. McGee has a gift for the theatrical.
Excellent rendition of male and female characters. Good accents and a nice energy level to the reading. A very pleasant voice to have a story read to you.
Scams don't pay and beware of your spouse!
"Grateful to audible and you will be too!!"
John D. MacDonald was one of our best crime story writers. Bright Orange for the Shroud is one of the best in the McGee series. It has it all-a classic revenge story, a villain that is worth the listen alone, a carefully told and skillfully developed novel with good old-fashioned edge of the seat suspense plus a series hero who's worth his weight in gold.. One of the better additions to Audible.
"It is fun to spot the clues that this was written"
a long time ago. No cell phones, a dime for a phone call, $40,000 buys a luxury home, being able to store items in the locker of a bus station for a week, $75 is an expensive hotel room, and so on.That said, Travis is a great character and each book just makes me a bigger fan.
The narrator is perfect. I hope he did all 21 books.
"Another winner by John D. MacDonald and Robert Pet"
I'd like to re-listen to all of these Travis McGee books. I'm on my fifth and will listen to them all, just like I read and re-read them years ago. ;o)
Well, of course, the other Travis McGee books in the series. This recording was delightful.
I loved all the scenes with Chookie and Arthur, and her sweet ways of helping him heal. She is a wonderful character.
Boo Waxwell was a wonderful, horrible villain. I loved the nastiness MacDonald created in this bad guy!
"Just Started the Series; Almost Finished"
It feels like I just started reading this series. I read this one in late July and I am now on number 20. I'll be disappointed to finish but happy that I happened upon the series and will look to read other titles from the same author.
"Like Etta James sang: "At last...""
HOLY SH*T....I haven't even listened to this or read the novel yet, but I have been waiting for this day for two years! I discovered McGee 12 years ago during my teen years and never finished the series. When I became an Audible member I checked every two months to see if McDonald and McGee had docked the Flush on Audible.
Just got an email on my lunch break and downloaded Book 5 sitting in class. Can't wait to listen to it....I'm hoping Petkoff if awesome, but even if he isn't, MacDonald and McGee will make up for it.
Now just waiting for DiCaprio (or whoever) to find enough cojones to bring the big guy to the big screen.
"Fun to listen to"
Fun to listen to since I remember reading the books in the original books like going back to 1968 all over again.
"He did it!"
Trav was finally the man he has claimed to be!
I'm finally more happy with John MacDonald's character. It was a tough haul to cover this many books to finally get to the chivalrous man he claimed to be in book one.
Would I recommend the series? With reservations. The sex, drugs and violence are core to the stories. These are my typical type of book but I have enjoyed the snapshot of the 1960s. If the reader is mature and can focus on the story apart from the in depth physical descriptions of EVERY female in the story, then ok. Otherwise, there are better books that don't encourage womanizing behavior.
A villain, you can hate without reserve, a girl you can admire who lives, and a schlub who gets the girl away from the jerk boyfriend. What's not to like?
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