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The Deep Blue Good-by (1964)

by John D. MacDonald

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Travis McGee (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,693448,464 (3.71)96
Travis McGee is a self-described beach bum who won his houseboat in a card game. He's also a knight-errant who's wary of credit cards, retirement benefits, political parties, mortgages, and television. He only works when his cash runs out, and his rule is simple: he'll help you find whatever was taken from you, as long as he can keep half. "The Travis McGee novels are among the finest works of fiction ever penned by an American author." --Jonathan Kellerman McGee isn't particularly strapped for cash, but how can anyone say no to Cathy, a sweet backwoods girl who's been tortured repeatedly by her manipulative ex-boyfriend Junior Allen? What Travis isn't anticipating is just how many women Junior has torn apart and left in his wake. Enter Junior's latest victim, Lois Atkinson. Frail and broken, Lois can barely get out of bed when Travis finds her, let alone keep herself alive. But Travis turns into Mother McGee, giving Lois new life as he looks for the ruthless man who steals women's spirits and livelihoods. But he can't guess how violent his quest is soon to become. He'll learn the hard way that there must be casualties in this game of cat and mouse. "John D. MacDonald is a shining example for all of us in the field. Talk about the best." --Mary Higgins Clark… (more)
  1. 00
    Your Day in the Barrel by Alan Furst (clif_hiker)
    clif_hiker: I think MacDonald's book superior... but similar styles
  2. 00
    The Mango Opera by Tom Corcoran (ckNikka)
    ckNikka: More great Florida Noir
  3. 00
    Sanibel Flats by Randy Wayne White (ckNikka)
    ckNikka: The Orginial...
  4. 00
    The Harry Chronicles by Allan Pedrazas (ckNikka)
    ckNikka: great storytelling
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» See also 96 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
Everyone loves it, but I couldn't finish it. I got bored. ( )
  DaveReadsaLittle | Feb 4, 2022 |
In less than five minutes I was into The Deep Blue Good-By. I could hear the piano music of film noir and imagine the narrator. I am glad we didn't lose this gem written in 1964. ( )
  nab6215 | Jan 18, 2022 |
I enjoy MacDonald's writing here's a small example of a Travis McGee monologue

And I am wary of a lot of other things, such as plastic credit cards, payroll deductions, insurance programs, retirement benefits, savings accounts, Green Stamps, time clocks, newspapers, mortgages, sermons, miracle fabrics, deodorants, check lists, time payments, political parties, lending libraries, television, actresses, junior chambers of commerce, pageants, progress, and manifest destiny.

This is timeless writing, written in 1964 take away the green stamps and it could have been yesterday. This is the first McGee novel and we learn the origins of the Busted Flush, how she got her name and owner.

re-read originally read January 2012 ( )
  kevn57 | Dec 8, 2021 |
Excellent mystery. I'd wanted to read this series for some time and I'm glad I finally did. It was well written and exciting. McGee is an interesting character, and his pithy ruminations on the human condition really add a unique component to the novel. For a 50 year old book, it has certainly aged well, and did not seem very dated at all. You can certainly see the influence Travis McGee has had on modern mystery authors, such as Lee Child's Jack Reacher series. Looking forward to reading more Travis McGee books. ( )
  usuallee | Oct 7, 2021 |
This is a novel for mature readers – and not because of the language or scenes alone, but also because there is a deeper sentiment to be found in this one, hiding under the ribald and loose 1960s Florida attitude. That is to say, it’s a lot more noir than it is expected to be. It is very important for readers to know going into this that these are not good characters. There is not the good guy chasing the bad guy.

So here is book one in the Travis McGee series. Its full of miserable people that run, more or less, in the same circles as the main character – no hero, but at least aware of his rôle. It is a rough read for content, the sex and the 60s zeitgeist is layed on quite heavily. Recommended for mature readers. Recommended for all noir/crime readers.

Fast read, good trim on the words. I own book two and when ready, I’ll read it. ( )
  AQsReviews | Aug 18, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
MacDonald, John D.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Child, LeeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Petkoff, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
For Knox Burger, McGee's first editor
First words
It was to have been a quiet evening at home.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Travis McGee is a self-described beach bum who won his houseboat in a card game. He's also a knight-errant who's wary of credit cards, retirement benefits, political parties, mortgages, and television. He only works when his cash runs out, and his rule is simple: he'll help you find whatever was taken from you, as long as he can keep half. "The Travis McGee novels are among the finest works of fiction ever penned by an American author." --Jonathan Kellerman McGee isn't particularly strapped for cash, but how can anyone say no to Cathy, a sweet backwoods girl who's been tortured repeatedly by her manipulative ex-boyfriend Junior Allen? What Travis isn't anticipating is just how many women Junior has torn apart and left in his wake. Enter Junior's latest victim, Lois Atkinson. Frail and broken, Lois can barely get out of bed when Travis finds her, let alone keep herself alive. But Travis turns into Mother McGee, giving Lois new life as he looks for the ruthless man who steals women's spirits and livelihoods. But he can't guess how violent his quest is soon to become. He'll learn the hard way that there must be casualties in this game of cat and mouse. "John D. MacDonald is a shining example for all of us in the field. Talk about the best." --Mary Higgins Clark

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