John D. MacDonald

Travis McGee - Beach bum, salvage expert
Houseboat in Slip F-18 BahiaMar in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

The Deep Blue Good-by

 (Reviewed by Judi Clark Mar 5, 1998)

The Deep Blue Good-by by John D. Macdonald

The Deep Blue Good-by
is the first in the Travis McGee series and was originally published in 1964. McGee finds himself befriending and then helping out Cathy Kerr, who has come to him in desperation. Her misfortune has been to meet up with Junior Allen, "a smiling, freckle-face stranger" with depravity on his mind and a more odious person you don't want to meet. There is also something about missing inheritance. McGee is unable to resist and from the moment he accepts the challenge, the reader is glued to the pages

This series is a classic! Travis McGee lives on a houseboat, Slip F-18 Bahia Mar, in Ft. Lauderdale and when this beach bum works he is usually employed to find things that are lost, but only if he can keep half. McGee's observation on southern Florida have come to fruition and his books are therefore as timely as ever. Over the past couple of years, they have been republishing these novels, but I find it fun just to pick up what I can in used bookstores. After all, these are quick reads, and require about as much mental calisthenics as vacationing in Ft. Lauderdale. But by all means, if you have never read a Travis McGee novel, you owe it to yourself!

The Lonely Silver RainAs I recall some of my favorite books, I realize that many of these books have a sad note to them. The Lonely Silver Rain is his last novel and it might be my favorite because he delves into the emotions of an aging beach bum. As trite as this sounds, remember that this is Travis McGee and he should never age.  Also, bear in mind that MacDonald died not too long after this last book. Considering that these are such light reads they sure can leave your soul a little heavy.

  • Amazon reader rating: from 26 reviews

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About the Author:

John D. MacDonaldJohn Dann MacDonald was born in Sharon, PA in 1916.  He published his first book in 1950 and by the time he died in 1986 he had published 78 books with 75 million copies in print. The first Travis McGee book, The Deep Blue Good-By, was his 44th novel.  Legend has it that Travis McGee still lives on the Busted Flush, Slip F-18 in the Bahia Mar Marina in Ft. Lauderdale. About Us | Subscribe | Review Team | History | ©1998-2014