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If you are reading this, there's a good chance you've listened to the other twenty titles in the McGee series . . . experienced 20 years of John D MacDonald's McGee magic in just a few, short months and know what an incredible cultural treasure these recordings represent.
Here, now, is the last McGee novel ever, maybe the best McGee novel ever and assuredly the most heartfelt McGee novel ever. Savor this one, because there ain't gonna be any more.
Savor also Robert Petkoff's brilliant characterizations. I had my doubts, at first, but Petkoff has proven himself to be one of the best audiobook narrators ever, taking the listener on a trip back in time . . . to a world peopled by all the wonderfully quirky characters of MacDonald's imagination, bringing them from the written page to life with skill and style.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful
The last book of the Travis McGee series ended on both a high note and a low note. The low notes occurring as the author attempted to tie up all the loose ends of McGee's life. Willie Nucci of The Scarlet Ruse returns dying of cancer; perhaps as the author's stand in. Someone is leaving pipe cleaner cats on "The Busted Flush" and since I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone. I'll just say that it totally invalidates the ending of a previous book that was pretty convoluted and unlikely already. The last Meyer/ McGee party on some deserted tropical island several names from previous books are seemingly tossed in randomly to establish a connection to previous works. As are several names in one of the earlier chapters where the names of past characters now dead are named. It felt as though the soul reason for this portion of TLSR was that the author knew he was dying and was making an effort to tie all the loose ends of the series together. This seemed a useless effort on the part of John D. who with a few exceptions usually usually tossed in names of new characters in each book as though they were old friends.
Which brings us to the positive aspects of the penultimate McGee. Trav's client is his old friend Billy Hanrahan; another of those old friends who somehow escaped mention in the first twenty books in the series. Billy and his new wife Millis have just had their brand new custom built yacht stolen and Billy contracts Travis to get it back. When he finds it there are three dead bodies on the boat. the kids who stole it and a girl they picked up in Mexico. At that point the attempts on McGee's life begins. In this vein McGee goes off on a rant concerning the American Government's war on drugs that contains more cogent points in three pages than thirty years of statements by political and law enforcement officials. All books and all series contain problems and weak points. At the time it was being written this series contained fewer than most; even close to thirty years after the final edition of the life and times of Travis McGee, the books still work. Despite the weaknesses that evolve in a series written thirty to fifty years in the past the works of John D MacDonald are a primer on how to write mystery fiction. With apologies to John Lennon. All I am saying is give McGee a chance.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful