A beautiful woman calls Travis McGee to Arizona.
The third Travis McGee adventure.
I've only read some of his early novels so far, this is my third Travis McGee novel, and I've read a handful of his early standalone novels, but what stands out is how dark most of them have been. The previous novel, a pink something or other, had a similar feel for awhile (not really, it wasn't as passive in book 2, but just felt a little too tame, no one seemed like a real villain or something like that), but then it sharply veered into total fuckedupness. I was kind of expecting something like that in this book, but that never happened. Next up A Quick Red Fox, which has to be good because I'm sure it will be about an actual fox and all.
James Bond, Thomas Magnum, Jim Rockford and Mike Hammer sit in a bar in Phoenix, discussing whiskey, women, handguns and John D. Hammer: Easy Commander, youre sitting at a table with some American men who dont lose time for queen or country. Magnum: Right James, all due respect, but thats what MacDonald is selling, and plenty of buyers, hes the quintessential American hero a loner, and his own man, not a cop or a spy, not a government man, hell, not an employee at all. Rockford: True, all true, McGee is all that but hes also very much a man of his times, he asks some serious questions.
MacDonald, A Purple Place for Dying John D. Along with his first two novels The Deep Blue Good-By (1964) and Nightmare in Pink (1964), A Purple Place in Dying was also published in 1964.
R. Martin called Travis McGee and Me which I read and comment on regularly. I took slight issue with a comment on the blog His ladies were usually damsels in distress which distresses the feminists to no end. Its my opinion that Travis respects woman to no end. Of course, Travis is not a perfect man and he recognizes that but who is a perfect human being? It's my opinion that most feminists, myself included, find no problem with the interaction Travis has with women, as stated in the blog, the damsels in distress. R.s blog to determine just who was in distress, i.e. how many women vs men call upon Travis for his salvage expertise. MacDonald goes into greater depth as to how Travis relates to and treats women and his own personal philosophy of life and living it. Travis and his wiry hair...self described In the words of Travis himself from A Purple Place for Dying: Finding Travis and Isobel (Iz) are in a small cold cave at night huddled together trying to warm themselves and nature simply took its course. Travis on love in life She sighed and started at me, then bent back to her scrubbing. This was the foolish end of all the foolish things, in a purple place for dying. Travis McGee, and I know I repeat myself, is my kind of man and has been since he captured my heart in the late 60s.
MacDonald's spare and open prose, his character and place descriptions, his rendition of scenes, all seem fresh and new in every book. I mentioned before, his prose is almost magical, as if he bypasses the words completely, and transfers the images directly to your mind. Full size image here Quotes and notes: MacDonald, even in his mediocre books, continues to find poetry and philosophy in himself. Somehow it was identified with my own mortality, my own inevitable day to die. She had gone far past childhood, yet when she was down, she was Little Girl smashed, and closer to my heart dead than alive. - We looked odd in the mirror, all the rawboned height of McGee standing next to and slightly behind the pale perfection of the naked girl, so small in her bare feet, her frank breasts revealed, and, nested into the smoothness of her thighs, the sooty- soft-dark cornerstone to the soft and tender arch of hips. Smirking at her mirror image I put my lips close to her ear and said, "See the pretty girl? A different fellow had gone out there to Esmerelda, with the bad nerves and the flying twitches and the guilts and remorses and the feeling of being savagely and forever alone. - Full size image here The sun was not up. The Birth of Travis McGee (fascinating) http://thetrapofsolidgold.blogspot.co... "Black Border for McGee" (rumours surrounding a final book, never published) http://thetrapofsolidgold.blogspot.co...
I mean it's an above average mystery by any means, but it doesn't feature much of McGee's sharp psychological insight that makes McDonald's novels so good because he doesn't have any visceral ties to the crime.
There is nothing like reading a book that was written the year you were born to make you realize that the world has, in fact, changed beyond recognition. The scary thing is that I almost certainly read this book for the first time when I was a young teenager and soaking up all the Travis McGee I could get my hands on.
Over 500 short stories and 70 novels resulted, including 21 Travis McGees.