The Deep Blue Good-By Mass Market Paperback
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Top Customer Reviews
Trav is an anti-hero born of the 1960s. He's rough around the edges, a womaniser like Fleming's Commander Bond, a man's man. He can be brutal and he can be appallingly chauvanist -- but he's also got a dependable moral code of his own and the guts to go through with every investigation.
This is the first book in the series so is a natural place to start (but they don't affect each other too much so it's ok if you want to begin somewhere else).
MacDonald's writing is at times bleak, others harsh, frequently contemplative. You get a pulp thriller, plenty of action, a dash of mystery and violence, combined with a pessimistic outlook on American society. There are times when MacDonald's gripes with modern life get on my nerves -- but they are more than balanced by his knife-sharp prose, engaging characters and skillful situations.
And unlike many modern novels, the Travis McGee series are all bite-size books. They're easy to read in a couple of days, not 500-page bloated behemoths. Quality -- and quantity, cos there's nearly two dozen different ones to read if you enjoy the first one.
Is there any address in American literature so readily identified? Probably not. It's the home of Travis McGee, "knight in tarnished armor," and central character of the over-20 volumed series by John D. MacDonald.
With quite a following of readers around the world (my first McGee was while vacationing in Torremolinas years ago and needing something to read while soaking up the Spanish sunshine and absorbing the sangria deliciosa!), MacDonald's hero, along with his sometimes bizarre assortment of friends, enemies, and hangers-on, goes from one adventure to another. Each of the McGee books contains a color in the title, easily recognizable. And it's not purple prose either!
MacDonald, a best-selling novelist for years, has more than just a storyline to carry his books. Certainly, McGee is his principal concern. He's "retired" most of the time--he only goes back to work when he sees he's running out of money. He'd rather stay aboard his houseboat and entertain his friends that work. He claims he's taking his retirement one day at a time!
"The Deep Blue Good-by" is the first in this series, published in 1964. It is amazing, too, that in reading it here in the year 2000, the book still stands as relevant now as it was then. McGee, as usual, finds himself befriending and then helping out Cathy Kerr, who has come to him in desperation. Her misfortune has been to meet up with Junior Allen, "a smiling, freckle-face stranger" with depravity on his mind and a more odious person you don't want to meet. There is also something about missing inheritance.Read more ›
The fast moving story draws you in straight away, Travis Magee couldn't refuse to help Kathy Keer, a dirt poor working girl, especially when she'd been wronged by a 'smiling man', who stole her Daddies hidden fortune. Travis agrees to find the mysterious stolen fortune, for half. Even though she doesn't know what it is or how her father got it - only that it has something to do with his war time service in India.
Travis Magee goes on a trip round Texas and New York as he tracks down her father's old war time comrades. Giving a very interesting insight into wartime smuggling between India and China. Travis also meets a past victim of the 'smiling man' and his cruel nature becomes all too apparent as Travis helps her recover.
Travis discovers what was stolen and finds the smiling man, all the way through the story he is warned of his wild animal cunning, advice he largely ignores. This builds the tension and leads to a battle royal of brutal and barbaric ferocity.
The novel often treats us to very sharp, beautiful, one liners, but I think it will for me always be in the shadow of Chandler, purely because he did it first. If this novel had any flaw it would be that the author often drifts into flights of fancy with abstract imagery and observation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved this one, action, the Everglades, the busted flush, Travis at his witty best, a villain to despise and a very satisfying ending.Published 2 months ago by kezzez
The first Travis McGee novel, a man who is described as a salvage expert; he will recover anything you've lost for a 50% cut. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Officer Dibble
If you've never read any of John D.McDonald's 'Travis McGee' books, you're missing out on a good thing ! Read morePublished on 21 Jun. 2014 by Chauffeur
... who reported back that it was "very intelligently written" and had left him wanting to read more of the series. Read morePublished on 24 April 2014 by Ben
Very good... I always changed what I planned to do and ended up reading further in this book. It's very engaging.
I ordered the next one in the series already
For the story - 4 or 5 stars.
For the price and making it come up with Lee Child as author 1 star. Read more
He's a self-described beach bum who won his houseboat in a card game. He's also a knight errant who's wary of credit cards, retirement benefits, political... Read more