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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McGee's Voyage Is Worth the Cruise!
Ever since John D. MacDonald introduced his hero, Travis McGee in "The Deep Blue Good-by" in 1964, readers have looked forward to the next episode of this hero of hue--each McGee title contains a color--and the man Time magazine calls "a knight in tarnished armor." In "The Empty Copper Sea," we find Travis once again setting sail to right the wrongs of the oppressed,...
Published on 20 Mar 1999

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars My 17th read
Could not get to grips with the storyline. I do like the Travis McGee books, but I could put this one down for days.
Published 3 months ago by Jantje


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McGee's Voyage Is Worth the Cruise!, 20 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Ever since John D. MacDonald introduced his hero, Travis McGee in "The Deep Blue Good-by" in 1964, readers have looked forward to the next episode of this hero of hue--each McGee title contains a color--and the man Time magazine calls "a knight in tarnished armor." In "The Empty Copper Sea," we find Travis once again setting sail to right the wrongs of the oppressed, the downtrodden, the underdog in this, the 17th of the series. In this installment, we find the usual assortment of suspects, friends and other unique characters and it is up to Travis and friend Meyer to sort everything out. Hub Lawless is reported to have drowned after falling overboard at sea, but no one seems to believe this, especially the insurance company responsible for a $2 million policy payment and certainly not Travis McGee, whose good friend Van Harder is held responsible for Lawless' death. And Trav is not one to see his friends wronged. And wronged Harder is, especially when we discover an anonymously sent photograph of Lawless sipping beer somewhere in Mexico. Something is rotten in that state, as well! The plot and characters enter a convoluted trail, nevertheless, but MacDonald is a master at keeping everything in order and as the plot is revealed sense is made of all the comings and goings. The New Yorker has called MacDonald's books a "satisfying mixture of gentle sex and bloody violence" and "Empty Copper Sea" is no exception. MacDonald does not hold back on his violence (remember, he also wrote "Cape Fear"!) and the book cruises on course to its violent--and surprising--climax. It is the interplay between Travis and Meyer that makes the book more than just an action novel: Meyer, the renown economist, intellectual, and Travis's alter ego, and McGee, the Don Quixote of Ft. Lauderdamndale, working out of Slip F-18 in Bahia Mar aboard his houseboat "The Busted Flush." The McGee books have sold millions and continue to hold their own in bookshelves today, a fitting tribute to MacDonald's ability to capture themes, characters, and plots for all time. A number of attempts has been made to film McGee (the last was a dreadful version of "Empty Copper Sea" with an equally dreadful Sam Elliott as Travis, who just couldn't capture the essence of MacDonald's McGee, no matter how hard he tried!) but so far, these attempts have fallen short. MacDonald's prose, perhaps, is not to be transported to the screen. No matter. He's still worth the voyage!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Empty Copper Sea delivers, 23 Aug 1998
By A Customer
Empty Copper Sea is one of MacDonald's best in the Travis McGee series. This novel, and the ensuing The Green Ripper, show Travis at his best, and his worst.
It is best to read the Travis McGee books in sequence. MacDonald wrote 21 books in the T. McGee series and there are pertinent details and chronological events as the series progresses. It's also a nice way to see the evolution of the character; the early McGee novels had no Meyer as a key figure in the books, and McGee grows physically and mentally in the later novels.
Travis obviously gets involved with women throughout the 21 novels, but Empty Copper Sea is pertinent because it depicts the true love of his life, Gretel Howard. A great read to see the development of this relationship and resolution in the following novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first taste of McDonald is delicious, 8 July 1997
By A Customer
After hearing John D. McDonald's name mentioned often when people spoke of fine 20th century authors, I decided to give him a try. I didn't regret it.
Travis McGee has to be one of the most memorable characters that I have ever read about. His witty banter with his close companion Meyer is always entertaining, and often enlightening.
McDonald somehow manages to sneak in his own personal concerns over the destruction of the Florida that he loves so much, without disturbing the plot at all. Brilliant.
The other characters in the book are also very well developed. You get a true feeling for everyone of them, and McDonald can make a character that you either love or hate, with surprising ease.
The best thing about this book are the unforgettable characters and the intricate and detailed plot. Don't miss this book, or any other by McDonald. In fact, I just ordered 2 more Travis McGee books :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McGee Is In Deep Water!, 18 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Ever since John D. MacDonald introduced his hero, Travis McGee in "The Deep Blue Good-by" in 1964, readers have looked forward to the next installment of this hero of hue--each McGee title contains a color--and the man Time magazine calls "a knight in tarnished armor." In "The Empty Copper Sea," we find Travis once again setting sail to right the wrongs of the oppressed, the downtrodden, the underdog in this, the 17th of the series. In this installment, we find the usual assortment of suspects, friends and other unique characters and it is up to Travis and friend Meyer to sort everything out. Hub Lawless is reported to have drowned after falling overboard at sea, but no one seems to believe this, especially the insurance company responsible for a $2 million policy payment and certainly not Travis McGee, whose good friend Van Harder is held responsible for Lawless' death. And Trav is not one to see his friends wronged. And wronged Harder is, especially when we discover an anonymously sent photograph of Lawless sipping beer somewhere in Mexico. Something is rotten in that state, as well! The plot and characters enter a convoluted trail, nevertheless, but MacDonald is a master at keeping everything in order and as the plot is revealed sense is made of all the comings and goings. The New Yorker has called MacDonald's books a "satisfying mixture of gentle sex and bloody violence" and "Empty Copper Sea" is no exception. MacDonald does not hold back on his violence (remember, he also wrote "Cape Fear"!) and the book cruises on course to its violent--and surprising--climax. It is the interplay between Travis and Meyer that makes the book more than just an action novel: Meyer, the renown economist, intellectual, and Travis's alter ego, and McGee, the Don Quixote of Ft. Lauderdamndale, working out of Slip F-18 in Bahia Mar aboard his houseboat "The Busted Flush." The McGee books have sold millions and continue to hold their own in bookshelves today, a fitting tribute to MacDonald's ability to capture themes, characters, and plots for all time. A number of attempts has been made to film McGee (the last was a dreadful version of "Empty Copper Sea" with an equally dreadful Sam Elliott as Travis, who just couldn't capture the essence of MacDonald's McGee, no matter how hard he tried!) but so far, these attempts have fallen short. MacDonald's prose, perhaps, is not to be transported to the screen. No matter. He's still worth the read!
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3.0 out of 5 stars My 17th read, 12 April 2014
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Could not get to grips with the storyline. I do like the Travis McGee books, but I could put this one down for days.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just love Travis McGee, 7 Oct 2013
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I now have the entire Travis McGee collection. These are such terrific stories. I first read them in the 70s and fancied rereading them in sequence. The way MacDonald cares for Florida is amazing. Shame nobody listened. Try Carl Hiaasen novels too, the latter day MacDonald
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4.0 out of 5 stars Seventies classic, 29 Jun 2011
By 
Chris Pearson - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Empty Copper Sea (Paperback)
Just as the end of the cold war and glasnost rendered many of those old spy thrillers redundant, so new technologies and forensics have pushed these kinds of mysteries off publisher's lists and out of the bestseller charts.

A column by Jonathan Raban first introduced me to J D MacDonald's Travis McGee novels. MacDonald was a reclusive pulp fiction writer of some pedigree living in isolation in Florida, and his creation, the swashbuckling hero McGee, a `salvage consultant' always solved the crime, fingered the villain and got the girl. They were well written thumping good yarns that consistently made the US best seller lists and influenced great storytellers such as Stephen King and Lee Child. And every book had a trademark reference to a colour in its title.

But through each novel McDonald showcased Florida's decay, and The Empty Copper Sea is no different. The villain Hub Lawless is a businessman and eco-villain, selling land for condos and encouraging strip mall development on the Gulf Coast. By today's standards it's a gentle mystery with well drawn characters and some romance (McGee meets the `love of his life' Gretel Howard whose legacy forms the basis of MacDonald's final novel ` The Lonely Silver Rain) set in an era when you could check in luggage on a flight and not board it, didn't use GPS or telephone records, and the Internet and integrated banking networks didn't exist.

MacDonald, who died in `86, would be horrified by the Florida of today. And whilst many other contemporary writers such as Carl Hiaasen, and musicians like Jimmy Buffett, have taken up his mantle the `sunshine state' has a distinctly less appealing countenance than the one you can read about in these easy to read McGee classics of the sixties and seventies.

An enjoyable read, but of its time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very good, 1 Mar 1997
By A Customer
the book was great, the tv movie lacked just a little...
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The Empty Copper Sea
The Empty Copper Sea by John D. MacDonald (Hardcover - Sep 1978)
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