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The Deep Blue Goodbye

Page history last edited by J F Norris 11 years, 5 months ago

MacDonald, John D - The Deep Blue Good-by (1964)


The first Travis McGee is a masterpiece and sets up the whole long series with all the basic background material. What is so good about Deep Blue Good-by is that it has all of the virtues of JDM without the flaws (e.g., the mawkish descriptions of TM's relationships, and the sometimes irritating Meyer). All the typical elements are there - - the boat bum scenery, the Alabama Tiger's perpetual house party, Travis's unusual profession of 'recoverer of stolen property' with his 50% commission and quasi - legal methodology, his effective if somewhat mercenary way of curing birds with busted wings, without professional psychiatric treatment just simple lust and a good technique, his cleverness in intimidating people into revealing their secrets, all that good stuff. Also, as usual, an exceedingly nasty villain. In this case, McGee nearly comes a cropper by underestimating the latter, and there is a very poignant and traumatic for Travis ending. Grand premiere. Wonderful book. The villain, as many of JDM's are, is totally amoral and an exploiter of the innocent. He is in particular a sadistic abuser of woman - - to Travis, the worst of crimes. He is also both shrewd in an animal - like sense, and physically very powerful, almost indestructable. The ending is extremely violent, but also apt and satisfying.


Wyatt James


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