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The Green Ripper by John D. MacDonald

The Green Ripper (1979)

by John D. MacDonald

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Travis McGee (18)

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746817,994 (3.73)57



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» See also 57 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I had been building up to this episode, having heard it was the one where Travis goes berserk. It wasn't quite as I expected. Taking up where the last book left off, Travis is enjoying his time with the girl of his dreams. Of course, his dreams aren't meant to last. And when he finds out someone was responsible for her death, his sole mission is to seek them out. How he does so is a bit improbable, but the focus and intensity of this book win out over the often rambling tales MacDonald tends to spin. We have known all along that McGee is a killer. Here, he gets to practice it for a good cause. This book, published in 1979, seems much more contemporary, although the face of terrorism has changed a bit since it was written. And it has more than its share of gloom and doom, whether it is Meyer's forecasts of economic collapse in as soon as five years or the seeming certainty that terrorism and bloodbaths are on their way--well, maybe it got that part right. it just took a little bit longer. Still, we don't read McGee to be uplifted, so as a reader, we just sort of nod our heads and keep reading. At least for a moment, the good guys can win. And for once, there is no ambiguity about whether McGee is a good guy or not, although MacDonald cops out a bit when it comes to his dealings with the female terrorists. Definitely a change of pace for the series, and a definitely needed one--despite the events that initiated it. ( )
  datrappert | Sep 7, 2018 |
THE GREEN RIPPER (1980) by John D. MacDonald finds our hero, Travis McGee, in a dark state of mind. His woman (girlfriend doesn’t come close to describing the deep bond between the two) dies suddenly after seeing a sinister religious cult figure she happened to see years before. Travis, almost destroyed by his loss, decides there is only one course of action. He must write out his will, leave sunny Florida behind, cross the country and track down the hidden figures who killed her.
This is a darker book than normal, Travis a bitter avenger, but the writing is consistently of the high standard expected from MacDonald. While the book might be almost 40 years old, it could have been written today and been just as truthful.
If you haven’t read any of the McGee novels, start with the first in the series. All are stand alone tales, so you do not necessarily have to read from the beginning, but once you start in you’ll wish you had, just for the sheer pleasure of seeing a master writer growing in his powers. ( )
  TomDonaghey | Jun 12, 2018 |
"The Green Ripper" is probably the tightest, most focused, of all the 21 Travis McGee novels. The title is what a young child thinks he hears when adults are talking about the Grim Reaper. And, that's exactly what comes and takes away Gretel, without whom all the time seemed "leaden and endless." She was the one who made Travis, that beach bum who trawled the waters off Florida in his 52foot houseboat ("The Busted Flush"), forget all about the girls of summer. When she dies quickly of a mysterious disease, he falls into great despair, but what happens when he figures out that Greta only died when she stumbled on a mysterious cult and saw something she wasn't supposed to see.
This novel was written in the late seventies when Jim Jones was busy brainwashing hundreds of people and the remnants of the Patty Hearst years and the Symbionese Liberation Army had not yet been forgotten. But, it is still relevant today in a world where crazy Jihadis are bent on destroying Western civilization. It is a terrific novel which pits a lone McGee against a worldwide cult set on blowing up modern civilization. What can this one lone treasure hunter/ beach bum do against a highly trained army of religious fanatics? It is, simply put, a terrific adventure story. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
Make sure that you first read the previous book in this series, The Empty Copper Sea, as this one follows that more than the McGee books normally do.

While I found this a satisfying quick read, I am beginning to feel that being one of McGee's female friends is a precarious position! Talk about 'unlucky in love'! ( )
  leslie.98 | Jul 25, 2017 |
The Green Ripper continues from Travis's love interest in The Empty Copper Sea, Gretel, they're planning a life together until she is murdered. At this point Travis embarks on a mission of revenge to find the person responsible.

It's definitely one of the more violent McGee books, however the additional violence felt very much in place and not merely added for the sake of it. Builds to an excellent ending, maybe the best book in the series so far, Tan & Sandy Silence seemed to have been a low point in the series and everything following has been better. ( )
  HenriMoreaux | Jun 1, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
If you happen to pick it up first, The Green Ripper (1979) is fine on its own, but its incredibly violent final act shocks those of us who started from the beginning. It takes someone we know and it pushes him so far beyond his known limits that it's breathtaking.

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John D. MacDonaldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brautigam, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Fanaticism is described as redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim. George Santayana
To Maxwell P. Wilkinson Representative and Friend
First words
Meyer came aboard The Busted Flush on a dark, wet, windy Friday afternoon in early December.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449224813, Mass Market Paperback)

"McGee has become part of our national fabric."


Beautiful girls always grace the Florida beaches, strolling, sailing, relaxing at the many parties on Travis McGee's houseboat, The Busted Flush. McGee was too smart--and had been around too long--for many of them to touch his heart. Now, however, there was Gretel. She had discovered the key to McGee--to all of him--and now he had something to hope for. Then, terribly, unexpectedly, she was dead. From a mysterious illness, or so they said. But McGee knew the truth, that Gretel had been murdered. And now he was out for blood...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:14 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The pleasures of life aboard the Busted Flush are interrupted by a murder that plunges Travis McGee into a nightmare where nothing is as it seems, including the Church of the Apocrypha which he must infiltrate to find the truth.

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