The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything Mass Market Paperback – 1 Oct 1982
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|Mass Market Paperback, 1 Oct 1982||
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Praise for John D. MacDonald
""The "great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller."--Stephen King
"My favorite novelist of all time . . . All I ever wanted was to touch readers as powerfully as John D. MacDonald touched me. No price could be placed on the enormous pleasure that his books have given me. He captured the mood and the spirit of his times more accurately, more hauntingly, than any 'literature' writer--yet managed always to tell a thunderingly good, intensely suspenseful tale."--Dean Koontz
"To diggers a thousand years from now, the works of John D. MacDonald would be a treasure on the order of the tomb of Tutankhamen."--Kurt Vonnegut
"A master storyteller, a masterful suspense writer . . . John D. MacDonald is a shining example for all of us in the field. Talk about "the""best"."--Mary Higgins Clark
"The "consummate" pro, a master storyteller and witty observer . . . John D. MacDonald created a staggering quantity of wonderful books, each rich with characterization, suspense, and an almost intoxicating sense of place."--Jonathan Kellerman
"There's only one thing as good as reading a John D. MacDonald novel: reading it again. A writer way ahead of his time, he is the all-time master of the American mystery novel."--John Saul
Praise for John D. MacDonald
"The "great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller. Stephen King
My favorite novelist of all time . . . All I ever wanted was to touch readers as powerfully as John D. MacDonald touched me. No price could be placed on the enormous pleasure that his books have given me. He captured the mood and the spirit of his times more accurately, more hauntingly, than any literature writer yet managed always to tell a thunderingly good, intensely suspenseful tale. Dean Koontz
To diggers a thousand years from now, the works of John D. MacDonald would be a treasure on the order of the tomb of Tutankhamen. Kurt Vonnegut
A master storyteller, a masterful suspense writer . . . John D. MacDonald is a shining example for all of us in the field. Talk about "the" "best." Mary Higgins Clark
The "consummate" pro, a master storyteller and witty observer . . . John D. MacDonald created a staggering quantity of wonderful books, each rich with characterization, suspense, and an almost intoxicating sense of place. Jonathan Kellerman
There s only one thing as good as reading a John D. MacDonald novel: reading it again. A writer way ahead of his time, he is the all-time master of the American mystery novel. John Saul" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
John D. MacDonald was an American novelist and short-story writer. His works include the Travis McGee series and the novel "The Executioners, " which was adapted into the film "Cape Fear." In 1962 MacDonald was named a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America; in 1980, he won a National Book Award. In print he delighted in smashing the bad guys, deflating the pompous, and exposing the venal. In life, he was a truly empathetic man; his friends, family, and colleagues found him to be loyal, generous, and practical. In business, he was fastidiously ethical. About being a writer, he once expressed with gleeful astonishment, They pay me to do this! They don t realize, I would pay them. He spent the later part of his life in Florida with his wife and son. He died in 1986." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Kirby's got a lot of book-learning, and can give a very sophisticated impression, but he's actually an inexperienced klutz when it comes to women, as we learn right away when he literally trips over a table after drinking with Charla, a long-time (but not old) opponent of Kirby's formidable uncle Omar who has been working up to seducing Kirby as a ploy to learning Omar's secrets.
Kirby's phenomenal bad luck has struck with a vengeance as the story opens.
Superficially, Kirby seems to have been groomed as the heir apparent of his uncle Omar Krepps, self-made multimillionaire founder of Krepps Enterprises. Omar organized Kirby's college education, hired him upon graduation, and has directed him personally as part of OK Devices, a very small, clandestine program within the company ever since. Now the mysterious little man who has directed Kirby's life for so long is dead.
Over the years Kirby has worked for OK Devices, 27 million dollars have been funnelled into it from Krepps Enterprises. But instead of financial records the board of KE found books on sleight-of-hand. Furthermore, Wilma (per instructions) had a bonfire immediately after Omar's death, so the board of KE is now terrified of their tax liability if the missing OK Devices assets aren't located.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
An unusual book by John D. MacDonald, famous author of hard-boiled fiction. This one is light as a souffle, funny and moving. I enjoyed several of his hard-boiled stories, though some were rather too gloomy and violent for my taste, but this one is a delight.
Timid young Kirby Winter's Uncle Omar Krepps lived an ordinary life until he suddenly started acquiring great wealth, quit his job, and spent his life traveling and practicing amateur magic. Uncle Omar dies and the world besieges the young Kirby, the sole surviving relative, who worked in one of his uncle's companies: his job was making large donations to worthy charities and he therefore knows that all his uncle's fortune has been given away. Nobody believes him, of course, least of all a scheming couple who will use every trick in the book to get their hands on all that wealth.
The young man does get something, however: a sealed letter to be opened in a year's time, and a gold watch. Accidentally, Kirby discovers Uncle Omar's secret - the gold watch can stop time! Aided by an array of gutsy and fun-loving girls, Kirby struggles to keep the secret from the scheming couple (and everyone else). In the process, he discovers some hidden strength of character, loses his virginity and learns to have a ball.
A wonderful fantasy, an adventure story rather than your average science-fiction. As another reviewer here eloquently put it, like "Back to the Future". No explicit bedroom scenes, foul language or blood and gore. A true delight. Personally, I think this is worth all MacDonald's other stories put together.
This book marks a major departure for MacDonald-a foray into fantasy fiction. While MacDonald has traveled well away from his home field to write this one, he brings his considerable skills for characterization and plot with him and adds a true sense of whimsy and comedy to the mix with tremendous results.
Kirby Winter's multimillionaire Uncle Omar has just died as this story opens. Always a very eccentric sort of character, Omar has produced a great fortune during his lifetime-and employed Kirby, his only blood relative, to give it all away to charity. No one really understands this, however, and vultures are circling over the supposedly rich estate.
Kirby is a sort of pathetic character-a bit of a wimp, really-until he gets his Uncles only real bequest-a gold watch. However, as Kirby soon discovers, this is no ordinary watch. It is actually a sort of time machine. Kirby, along with a cute young thing acquired along the way, works to foil the bad guys and protect his girl as best he can. The ensuing adventures are a true delight to behold.
This is superior beach fare type reading-light reading entertainment of the highest order.
One warning is in order-This book DOES NOT represent the norm for MacDonald, whose work is usually very gritty, dark and violent. One would be well advised to keep this in mind if that is not your sort of thing if the later is not your cup of tea.
Now, readers of MacDonald books and fans of MacDonald take close note here...this is not like any other book he wrote! In libraries and books stores you will still find this one listed with the rest of the detective stories, crime, etc. but it is actually a science fiction fantasy work! And it is absolutely hilarious in many cases. Yes, it has cops and crooks, good guys and girls and bad, but we are not talking hardcore here at all. I am not at all sure how MacDonald pulled this off, but pull it off he did.
A young man, Kirby Winter has a multimillionaire Uncle by the name of Omar. The uncle dies and does not leave Kirby a cent, only an old gold pocket watch and a sealed letter which he cannot open for one year.
To flash forward a few pages, young Kirby finds out that through this watch he can stop time. He can more or less freeze things at a flick of his fingers, not being effected by the time stoppage himself. Of course these opens up endless possibilities for the author and believe me; the author has taken advantage of them.
This work is loaded with some of the quirkiest and eccentric characters of any work of fiction I have ever read. Our hero get involved with a horridly persistent journalist, mixed up in a massive police manhunt, goes up against a truly evil couple, some idiotic criminals and quite a line-up of girls.
Once the story gets started the action never ceases. There is chases, sex, love, danger, very, very strange situations and of course a humor that I had no idea lurked in the author's mind. Folks, this book is extremely funny!
This in many ways is a very light read, but on the other hand there are situations in it that will make you pause and think. As you read this work, you will get the overwhelming impression that MacDonald enjoyed writing every word of it and chuckled to himself as he crafted each line.
Do yourself a favor, dig this one up and give it a read. It is a bit different and an absolute hoot.
Kirby worked for his eccentric uncle giving away money and now he's been left with a handful of junk and a gold watch. People left and right from financiers to gangsters are looking for the money Uncle Omar must have hidden somewhere and Kirby is getting into more and more trouble, until he hooks up with Bonny Lee and discovers the secret of the watch. The watch, you see, stops time for everything but you and you can do anything you want until you come back and rejoin the world.
His troubles are just beginning...
I have always loved this book and even though it was written in the sixties it still hits home. Even with supernatural powers there is always the problem of how to live with the rest of the world, and the bonus of having fun while you figure it out.