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The Green Ripper: A Travis McGee Novel Paperback – October 8, 2013
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“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
Top Customer Reviews
Travis, once again, is confronted with his own mortality when Gretel, the woman he feels he is truly in love with, is murdered. McGee, as in episodes past (and this is the18th) feels that retribution, or justice, whichever comes first, is something that he, personally, must pursue. The "game is afoot," as it were, and the chase leads us through the forces of a religious cult (quite the topic in 1979), the Church of the Apocrypha. Travis "joins" to gain their confidence and little does he know the far-reaching ramifications of this group. The author cites George Santayana in a preface statement: "Fanaticism is described as redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim." And when you have finished "The Green Ripper," fanaticism is spelled with a capital "F"!
Probably, "The Green Ripper" is the most suspenseful of the McGee series (always characterized by a color in the title). MacDonald is methodical in his plot developments and while suspense is naturally a necessary ingredient, in this book it becomes perhaps the most important aspect. But the author stays true to McGee, probably Florida's most famous literary character, and readers will not be disappointed. As in the other books, vivid description, poignant characterization, and a top-drawer storyline, marked by sparks of good humor, are MacDonald's trademark. It's a worthy read!
This is a fast paced book, one of my all-time favorite McGees. I was struck by MacDonald's uncanny accuracy in depicting the terrorist personality way back in 1979. The healthy young American soldiers in superb shape confidently believed their next lives would be vastly improved by destroying the civilization in this one. They disdained, even looked forward to death. One character tells McGee that the terrorists will not "waste" their rockets on military vessels. Blowing up a planeload of civilians containing women and children was far more "productive."
The finale is a fine display of McGee's sniperly abilities, derring-do and just plain luck. (Rambo has nothing on him!) The only thing that dated "The Green Ripper" was McGee's reluctance to treat the female terrorists as anything but "ladies" no matter how fearsome they were. Today no such chivalry (even if misguided) would be allowed.
As always, I must add:
I know that MacDonald enjoyed popularity in his time, but it seems that his popularity is running out of gas. I hope I am wrong because he is horribly overlooked.
Since I would cheerfully give 5 stars to every other book in the Travis McGee series, it may seem strange that I down-rate this one so dramatically. It's especially odd since this book garnered more critical praise than almost any other in the series (including major national awards).
My problem is, simply, that this book just seems flat-out alien, an intruder into the Travis McGee series that just doesn't belong here. The first 20-25% of the book, to be sure, DOES seem like vintage McGee. But then it veers wildly away, onto an arc of a story that takes him far, far from his Florida stomping grounds, far, far from the moral underpinnings of the series, and far, far from the mystery genre that is his usual haunt. It seems to owe more to Rambo than to McGee.
The story in a nutshell: McGee has finally found love. Many times in prior books, MacDonald has McGee claiming that he isn't into the "Hugh Hefner thing," while nonetheless having him bed 2-4 beauties in every novel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Magee gets a little wordy in places but all in all a great book as usual for John D McDonaldPublished 2 months ago by Warner H. Tabor Jr.
One of his best and that is saying a lot. How did he do it with such consistency? We readers will always remember him. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Doug Miser
Always a sadness when the last pages are near, want it too keep going to the next adventure. I have read these stories for over forty years can be read over and overPublished 6 months ago by Teresa Webb
Huge fan of Travis McGee, on my third or fourth time around on these. Read all the first times with old fashioned yellowed paperbacks. Now reading them all on my Nexus tablet. Read morePublished 6 months ago by James Tanner
I didn't finish the book. And even getting past pg 200 took effort. I've read at least one of MacDonald's novels before and was very entertained. This one is a klinker though. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Curt Fluegel