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The Turquoise Lament: A Travis McGee Novel Paperback – August 13, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for John D. MacDonald and the Travis McGee novels
 
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
 
“A dominant influence on writers crafting the continuing series character . . . I envy the generation of readers just discovering Travis McGee, and count myself among the many readers savoring his adventures again.”—Sue Grafton
 
“One of the great sagas in American fiction.”—Robert B. Parker
 
“Most readers loved MacDonald’s work because he told a rip-roaring yarn. I loved it because he was the first modern writer to nail Florida dead-center, to capture all its languid sleaze, racy sense of promise, and breath-grabbing beauty.”—Carl Hiaasen
 
“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. The Travis McGee novels are among the finest works of fiction ever penned by an American author and they retain a remarkable sense of freshness.”—Jonathan Kellerman
 
“What a joy that these timeless and treasured novels are available again.”—Ed McBain
 
“Travis McGee is the last of the great knights-errant: honorable, sensual, skillful, and tough. I can’t think of anyone who has replaced him. I can’t think of anyone who would dare.”—Donald Westlake
 
“There’s only one thing as good as reading a John D. MacDonald novel: reading it again. A writer way ahead of his time, his Travis McGee books are as entertaining, insightful, and suspenseful today as the moment I first read them. He is the all-time master of the American mystery novel.”—John Saul

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Product Details

  • Series: Travis McGee (Book 15)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (August 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812984064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812984064
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Paul Skinner on August 4, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Travis McGee once again takes on the torch of righteousness as he saves the daughter of an old friend. She thinks she's losing her mind, which is exactly what somebody wants her to think. But McGee sees through the charade, and undercovers a shady past that explains why he's willing to travel halfway around the world to provide justice. The last 50 pages are stunning in this thriller. Like all MacDonald books, you will get a heavy dose of philosophy from a sophisticated author. Enjoy this classic.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Glen Engel Cox on January 28, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Had Travis McGee been in a science fiction novel, we would have had books like THE PHILOSOPHY OF MCGEE, similar to THE NOTEBOOKS OF LAZARUS LONG, dedicated to the wit and wisdom of this, MacDonald's best known and best loved character. Perhaps it is for the best. While not quite given to epigrams as Heinlein, MacDonald definitely had a consistent vision of who this latter day Don Quixote was. Long before Robert Parker investigated male angst in the Spenser books, MacDonald had mined the entire territory.
In The Turquoise Lament, McGee must face doubt, guilt, and faith as the grown daughter of a deceased salvage friend is afraid that her newlywed husband is attempting to kill her. Culminating in a fight scene with a cable car that today's Hollywood would go nuts for--in fact, that gets me to wondering why we have never seen McGee on film. Maybe we have, and I just don't know about it? Sure, some of the dialogue might not work on the screen, but the mystery, adventure, and spectacular fights would surely fit today's current vehicles for male stars. Today's directors would probably make a mish-mash of it, though; MacDonald probably better fits a director like Hitchcock than Paul Rudhoven or James Cameron.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TinCan Frank on May 13, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was first introduced to the series in the late 70s by a girlfriend, no less. I read 4 or 5 of them, then got on a very heavy science fiction binge for years, McGee was forgotten.

Recently I came upon a yellowed paperback in a box which had been in storage a long time. Since I had forgotten most of that which I had read so long ago anyway, I decided to start from #1, The Deep Blue Good-by (why did he spell it that way?) and read the entire series in chronological order. It was interesting to see the references to characters earlier in the series, the increasing complexity of the plots, the exposition of the MacDonald ethical philosophy.

But the entire structure of The Turquoise Lament was much different than the earlier books, and it took a little getting used to.

Thoroughly enjoyable, in some ways a more human Travis, and I too wonder why Hollywood couldn't make a story like this, with its multiple exotic locations, mix of morality, debauchery and evil, and fast pace into something people would spend money to see?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bill McGee on September 23, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Too much philosophy in a Travis McGee? That's like saying too much McDonald in a McDonald. Somebody maybe with a short attention span objected to a discourse on sand filters just when the action was heating up. Guess the term "suspense" is unknown there. I was chilled by the implications of a small female person alone on a very long trans-pac yacht with an unpredictable giant madman who is trying to make her lose her mind or take her own life or both. This painful anxiety is maintained to the point of acute distress page after page for the thoughtful reader. The climax is so graphic that I can't get the image of that body spiraling down getting smaller and smaller as it plummets toward the bay. Too much philosophy? Read Kootz!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lowcountry girl on September 27, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading about 11 JDM McGee series books I have to say that this is one of my very favorites. The characters interesting, the musings on target with today's worries and complaints and the story very entertaining. I was at Hilton Head and read this in a couple of days on the beach. Excellent beach read. Not too dark like some of the other McGee books. Satisfying ending. Loved the dated accounts of flying, lol.

JDM should have gotten a Pulitzer just for his creativity in naming his books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Read VINE VOICE on March 6, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been reading the series in order, but I'd already read the last seven books in the series before, many years ago, so I was re-reading this one. I think it is one of the better ones.

Travis gets a call for help from Hawaii, from a young newlywed named Pidge Brindle, who is on a round the world cruise with her husband, Howie. Pidge tells Travis to come quick, and he comes, because he owes her late father a solid favor. She tells Travis that Howie, who Travis knows casually, is either trying to kill her or drive her insane. After examining the relevant evidence, Travis tells her she's just having a neurotic reaction to the fact that the marriage was a mistake, and she does not love Howie. He tells her to divorce, and her sanity will return. She agrees. Travis flies back to Florida, and a few days later receives a letter from Pidge saying that she has decided to make one last cruise with Howie, from Hawaii to Pago Pago, where she will sell the boat to a buyer and then start divorce proceedings.

Shortly thereafter, a chain of events unfolds and Travis begins to learn that he's made a ghastly mistake in his advice to Pidge, and begins to lament it bitterly.

One interesting thing for McGee fans is that, when Travis needs a photographic expert, he goes to the same character introduced in "The Quick Red Fox," a wounded war photographer/correspondent named Gabe Marchman. He also mentions a cat that was owned by a deceased character in "The Long Lavender Look."

An interesting note for world tourists is that an aerial tramway on the island of Pago Pago, which featured very prominently in the last chapters of the book, is no longer in operation.
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