Travis McGee never shies away from damsels in distress. But this Eurasian beauty was different. When Travis and Meyer rescued her from the water, she had a block of cement wired to her feet, and she wasn't so much grateful as ready to snare them in a murder racket to end all murders.
©1966 John D. MacDonald Publishing, Inc. Renewal © 1994 Maynard MacDonald (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"[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)
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"At last, but hoping for a better Meyer"
Meyer too gentile
Lots of Meyer love.
I liked Petkoff's voice and reading style for McGee, somewhat understated which was nice. He didn't try and tough guy it up thank god.
However, I was a bit disappointed with Petkoff's take on Meyer. I love Meyer and I've had his voice in my head for a long time. MacDonald clearly wrote Meyer as a mensch. He's a retiree in Ft. Lauderdale for pete's sake. Petkoff doesn't capture that, way too gentile.
If you haven't read or listened to McGee, you're in for a treat. I've been waiting a long time for a good commercial production of the McGee novels.
I'm a hardcore McGee fan. My monitor background is a 1964 view of Bahia Mar where I can point out, to anyone who cares (i.e. no one) where slip F-18 is.
"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.
"Not a Dud in the bunch"
I love this series. I listen to longer books as a rule, but these make great breaks between the longer stretches. I can count on them for pure entertainment with just a touch of philosophy thrown in for grazing contact with reality. Great narration helps too.
"Travise McGee does it again, and again, and again."
I first read most of John D McDonald's novels at first printing. This book was a fun read then. Today, I listened to the audio version and enjoyed it for some of the same reasons, but I found any references to cost, technology, and the relative values of the time most interesting. To say I was impressed with the plot/story line, writing today as much as I did in the 60's would be misleading. JOHN D. just doesn't match up to current mystery writers like Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, or even Clive Cussler. However, this is still a fun read.
"Anti Prostitute Diatribe; Pretty Good Mystery"
Travis and Meyer are fishing underneath a bridge when a woman is tossed off said bridge. Travis dives into the deep blue sea and saves her life. Unfortunately the woman is a whore; so not only is it a wasted effort the woman isn't actually a human being. Okay so that is a bit harsh in conveying MacDonald's attitude towards prostitutes, or any woman who gets around anywhere near as much as his protagonist Travis McGee; or is it?
As in previous books by this author, any woman who gets around too much is killed off by a champion of the sexual double standard. This being said this is still a very enjoyable mystery with clear villains and a somewhat satisfactory ending. It takes a look; albeit one with one viewing it from 1967 at the cruise ship industry. McGee's extended conversation with a black woman from CORE working as a maid is the initial foray of the series into race relations and a forerunner for a more extended excursion into the race situation he made in The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper.
The attitudes towards female sexuality probably reflects the values of the times as do the author's take on race. This is a middle of the pack McGee story; neither the best or worst.
Great John D story
Travis is the King
I have been waiting so long for these to come to Audible. The original cassettes with Darrin McGavin will be hard to replace but the narrator does a great job and THANK YOU for getting these available!
"Novel doesn't drown, but doesn't quite swim."
“We were about to give up and call it a night when somebody threw the girl off the bridge.”
― John D. MacDonald, Darker Than Amber
A straight forward John D. MacDonald. If you can surrender to him calling one of the characters a "b!tch" with the same indulgent tenderness you give to a racist uncle or to Dire Straits when they use "f@ggot" in their song 'Money for Nothing', you will certainly survive a certain 60s to early 80s machismo/sexism thing that MacDonald carries throughout his McGee books (like a mild, itchy STD). This objectification and mild hostility, however, sometimes does distract from his clear prose, his fantastic dialogue, and intriguing plot.
This book starts with a woman thrown off a bridge and rescued by McGee and Meyer, his economist friend and drinking buddy. The rescue of a drowning damsel charts the direction of this book as McGee and Meyer engage their unique skill sets to revenge, salvage, and make the world safe again for all the bachelors of Florida.
The redeeming thing about these novels is McGee is an imperfect character similar to other great noir heroes (Spade, Marlowe, etc), but he also seems aware of his many faults and tends to take a fairly cynical view of the world he operates in. These novels explore and expose (intentionally and often unintentionally) many of the tropes and traps of the late 20th-century that made a generation grow up without a sense of honor, obligation, or outrage. Sometimes the world needs to be set straight by an angry, yet romantic bachelor on a boat fighting for nobel causes in between stints of drinking on his boat.
"The Summer of Travis McGee"
I have been waiting for a long time to dive into these books. I didn’t expect Audible to do this but I am so glad they did. With work and college, my recreational reading is pretty much nonexistent these days. I listen to audiobooks at work and this has been the summer of Travis McGee for me. Every one of the stories does exactly what they are supposed to do.
The Narrator was also a very good choice. He doesn’t actually talk Florida to well but he handles characters very distinctly.
"MacDonald hits his stride"
One of the best Travis McGee novels and the first where McGee's friend Meyer takes a prominent role in solving the mystery.
Without giving away any of the plot the action takes off immediately with a beautiful girl falling almost into McGee's lap.And of course, she's in need of his help.
With plenty of plot turns and craftiness, McGee uses his charm, bulk and libido to come to solve the situation he's uncovered and to right the wrongs, but not before he's damaged, emotionally and physically.
Although written in 1966, the story has aged well, and is well worth the price of admission.
Petkoff's reading is masterful, as we've come to expect.
What can I say?! I really enjoyed this one, and it was really odd to see old McGee going through an entire adventure without winding up in bed with ANY of the female characters! He didn't even get shot or stabbed this time around either! But it was still a great story!
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