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The Long Lavender Look

A Travis McGee Novel, Book 12
Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
Series: Travis McGee, Book 12
Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Summary

A lovely young girl steps in front of Travis McGee's headlights. McGee misses the girl but lands in 10 feet of swamp water. As he's limping along the deserted road, someone in an old truck takes a few shots at him. And, when he goes to the local sheriff to complain, the intrepid Travis McGee finds himself arrested and charged with murder. And he can't help but ask himself, "is this what they call southern hospitality?"

©1970 John D. MacDonald (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

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A satisfying, solid entry into the series. Top 5

A satisfying story with all the fat trimmed. Never boring, the plot bounces along. After 12 novels it would be easy to see this as the same old nonsense but if you like McGee novels then this is a great example of how it should be done.
Full of tense and seedy prose, MacDonald has come out with a well plotted (by pulp standards) detective noir

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  • Darwin8u
  • 21-05-18

And it gets cold in there.

"The delusion of total freedom of will is the worst cage of all. And it gets cold in there."
- John D. MacDonald, The Long Lavender Look

description

It is always nice to return to a solid McGee novel. None are Shakespeare and the worst are like bad James Bond novels, but when MacDonald is on his game, he writes great narrative with interesting sidebars on economics, relationships, and people. This is the 12th of his Travis McGee novels and probably the 16th McGee I've read (I've got about 5 left). I've also read other MacDonald novels that I've liked about equally well. I return to them because they are fast, entertaining, and don't require much. They are desert.

This one centers on a small Florida town with a complicated Sheriff, several sub-optimal deputies, and many many troubled ladies. Probably, the least welcome part of this book is MacDonald's exposition on hookers. It is a bit too cyncial, even for John D. MacDonald fans.

4 people found this helpful

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  • John Powell III
  • 09-06-13

A swampy problem for McGee

Would you consider the audio edition of The Long Lavender Look to be better than the print version?

It is a hard task to be "better" than Macdonald's original print, but having a skilled reader (the original McGavin or now performed by Robert Petkoff) accomplishes the objective.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Long Lavender Look?

As with many of the Travis McGee series, the opening sequence of events where McGee narrowly misses running over the girl, then is shot at. To say the writing is skillful would be insulting to how good it is.

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

I recently listened to the entire Travis McGee series as read by Petkoff, and to my mind, he does the occasionally grouch McGee in fine fashion, and captures the caring Meyer perfectly. Great performance.

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

Nearly all of the McGee novels cause introspective thought on the societal commentary contained in them, even now, 30 or 40-odd years later.

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  • K.
  • 24-10-13

Good story and Narration

Robert Petkoff is a great story teller,and this one is written well. Most of the John D. Macdonald books are top notch. I enjoyed it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-09-12

I thought Miss Agnes was a goner for sure!

This one starts off with a bang, and hardly slows down. Poor Miss Agnes suffers horribly, but not as much as the ladies who come into the life of Travis McGee. A woman sleeping with Travis seems to have the same life expectancy as a guy wearing a red shirt in an opening episode of Star Trek! And dear Meyer is fast becoming more of a partner than a friend. A great book!

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  • THoward
  • 14-10-16

Robert Petkoff is Travis McGee

This story had many twists and some were really a surprise for me, but I really kept coming back because Trav is a sarcastic joker. He's funny but he does bed most women in these books. Aside from the dollar values given in the book, I was amazed by how similar his 'time' compares to current day.

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  • Jane
  • 02-05-13

Not my favorite

I'm a fan of this series, but I suggest it isn't judged by this particular book. It's just that this particular novel just didn't work for me. I think it was because it was quite fragmented, lots of extraneous conversations and explanations -- too much information about people who weren't particularly interesting. But, as is always the case, Travis McGee is deeply compassionate (fight it though he might he is a bit of a Robin Hood and a soft touch for a tragic lady) and resourceful and has the freedom and danger of working parallel to the law.
Ah well, perhaps there wasn't enough about his houseboat home -- I really enjoy that setting!
As always, Petkoff reads with commitment and understanding.

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  • Me & My Girls
  • 13-03-15

Better Than I'd First Thought

This one contains the normal amount of misogyny generally present in all MacDonald works prior to the 1970's. In this case a rant, a diatribe, and a plot that treats part time hookers as subhuman trash. While giving a break to the semi-pro that he falls into bed with; though McGee still seems to be quite contemptuous of her regardless. As usual he acts as if his own sexual desires aren't only understandable, but inevitable. Also one of the principal baddies in this book is a woman in charge of her own sexuality; which is usually perceived by the author as a disease or disorder of some sort. Although I suppose a taste for Sadism and murder are somewhat off putting I guess.
Meyer has only a small role in this book; pretty much as a victim. There is also the return of a girl from McGee history that again builds up Travis as a superstud.
Despite all this John D. can tell one hell of a story and no matter how often McGee responds in a way that appeals to the lowest common denominator in us all I can't quit him. He became an icon for a reason and the reason was the writing talents of the author. This isn't the best of the McGee novels but even if it were his worst MacDonald's worst is better than most. No hesitation on my part in recommending this one.

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  • Traci
  • 24-04-12

Where is Darren McGavin??

The Long Lavender Look is my favorite book in the Travis McGee series.
I used to own most of the series on cassette.
I was so excited to see this series come to Audible.com.
I was shocked, then disappointed to hear they had changed the narrator.
The books just are not the same without Darren McGavin.
Why fix what isn't broken? McGavin nailed it.

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  • Eddie38
  • 27-09-19

This was a good one!

I think that this may be my favorite Travis McGee novel so far. And that might be because it was not traditional in the sense of his typical missions. He and Meyer were thrown into a situation not of their own choosing and the plot twists along the way were well-thought-out and very fun. Without being a spoiler I think this was a very good addition to the McGee lexicon. The narration, as always, spot on. Highly recommended.

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  • eclectic reader
  • 21-09-19

Crime solving back in Florida.

Coincidence often seems to trigger Travs adventures. In this case miss Agnes is nearly wrecked and Trav and Meyer are as accused of murder and armed robbery. After the body count gets high enough Trav solves everything and sails off into areturn engagement.