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The Deep Blue Good-by Mass Market Paperback – May 31, 1995
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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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From the Publisher
When I first arrived at Ballantine, where I am the mass market managing editor, we were just undergoing a daunting task: repackaging all of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee novels. We were giving him a brand-new, beautiful look; ingeniously, we used a deep blue color for THE DEEP BLUE GOOD-BY, a gold color for A DEADLY SHADE OF GOLD, a lavender hue for THE LONG LAVENDER LOOK, etc. But as I worked on the actual stories themselves, I realized that as colorful as these books now are on the outside, they're even more colorful on the inside. In order to prepare these books, we had to have them retyped from scratch; some of these books are so old that the plates had died, so we had nothing to print from. So all the books had to be proofread as if they were new books, and what a joy it was working on them. I unexpectedly rediscovered an author and character I knew very little about. Travis McGee is one of the great characters in crime fiction, and John D. MacDonald a fascinating storyteller. You never know what either is going to do next, or say next; what is going on in their minds is as important, if not more so, then what is going on outside Travis's boat. All of which add up to a heckuva fun series.
Mark Rifkin, Managing Editorial
Top customer reviews
I've been working my way through the McGee books. This happens to be a review of the first of the books, "The Deep Blue Good-by," but it could be a review of any of the dozen I've read so far: they've been remarkably consistent in tone.
Perhaps the best way for me to assess the Travis McGee books is to compare them with the Jack Reacher books. I think that McGee is more substantial than Reacher. With his houseboat, his friend Meyer, and a recurring cast of minor characters, McGee has more of a life than does Reacher. With his acerbic ruminations, he has more of a voice. And the recurring presence of Florida adds local color.
The 60's and 70's vibe adds a distinctive flavor, but I find it a plus: more amusing than cringe-inducing.
The McGee books are great airplane reading, but I'm not going to apologize for that: I travel a lot, and tolerable airplane reading is hard to find. Once I've read them all, I'll miss them.
I would head off to buy those other novels, but $11.99 is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE for an eBook under 300 pages. I can get a Matt Helm novel for $7.99, so I will spend my money there. The publishers who set the price need to smarten up.
So it was somewhat nostalgic for me to pick up the Kindle version of McGee's first adventure to see how it held up. Surprise -- it holds up great!
McDonald knows how to build scenes and characters, and his economical style has a certain hard-boiled pace that is irresistible and hard to put down. I especially loved the old South Florida settings, which is exactly how I remembered the area growing up.
This is a quick and highly enjoyable read, but be careful -- I'm hooked again!