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Deep Blue Good-by [Mass Market Paperback]

John D. MacDonald , Carl Hiaasen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 31 1995
TRAVIS McGEE
He's 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....
With an introduction by CARL HIAASEN
JOHN D. MACDONALD
"....the great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller."
--STEPHEN KING
"....a master storyteller, a masterful suspense writer."
--MARY HIGGINS CLARK
"....a dominant influence on writers crafting the continuing series character."
--SUE GRAFTON
"....my favorite novelist of all time."
--DEAN KOONTZ
"...the consummate pro, a master storyteller and witty observer."
--JONATHAN KELLERMAN
"...remains one of my idols."
--DONALD WESTLAKE
THE TRAVIS McGEE SERIES
"...one of the great sagas in American fiction."
--ROBERT B. PARKER
"...what a joy that these timeless and treasured novels are available again."
--ED McBAIN

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Review

Praise for John D. MacDonald and the Travis McGee novels
 
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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

When I first arrived at Ballantine, where I am the mass market managing editor, we were just undergoing a daunting task: repackaging all of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee novels. We were giving him a brand-new, beautiful look; ingeniously, we used a deep blue color for THE DEEP BLUE GOOD-BY, a gold color for A DEADLY SHADE OF GOLD, a lavender hue for THE LONG LAVENDER LOOK, etc. But as I worked on the actual stories themselves, I realized that as colorful as these books now are on the outside, they're even more colorful on the inside. In order to prepare these books, we had to have them retyped from scratch; some of these books are so old that the plates had died, so we had nothing to print from. So all the books had to be proofread as if they were new books, and what a joy it was working on them. I unexpectedly rediscovered an author and character I knew very little about. Travis McGee is one of the great characters in crime fiction, and John D. MacDonald a fascinating storyteller. You never know what either is going to do next, or say next; what is going on in their minds is as important, if not more so, then what is going on outside Travis's boat. All of which add up to a heckuva fun series.

Mark Rifkin, Managing Editorial

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Thief Within the Theft Nov. 20 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
According to rumor, when John MacDonald first debuted Travis McGee in 1964, he submited five novels at once. Ritual considers The Deep Blue Good-by as the true first novel, although there is little evidence that would favor any of them. All can be read independently, and all are excellent reading.
McGee makes his living by retrieving things that are hopelessly lost and tasking a hefty percentage off the top. This funds his idyllic existence on the Busted Flush, a housboat in Lauderdale. As McGee puts it, he is tacking his retirement in chunks spread over his life rather than all at once. When Chookie McCall, a friendly dancer tries to get McGee to listen to the probelms of one of the women in her dance troupe McGee's first reaction is to say no. But his sense of chivalry betrays him, and he finds himself drawn into the story of Catherine Kerr, who suspects that her estranged husband ran away with a nest egg that her father left for his family before he went to prison and to his death.
Soon McGee, the Busted Flush, and a Rolls Royce pickup truck named Miss Agnes are out hunting for Junior Allen and the mysterious treasure he is suspected of taking. What McGee discovers soon enough is that Allen isn't just a crook, he is a true socipath. The story begins to take ugly turns and we quickly find out that even white knights can get very dirty. MacDonald's mystery storys are more often roller-coaster rides than quiet journeys, and The Deep Blue Good-by is no exception. McGee is noble defender, tough guy, and patient listener as the circumstances require. What he never is, is boring.
What sets MacDonald's novels apart from his many imitators is his tight control of language and pacing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Appetite Whetter July 11 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first of the Travis McGee books and quickly establishes why they have been so popular for so long. From the opening page the atmosphere is totally relaxed as we are welcomed aboard Travis' houseboat, The Busted Flush. Travis works only when he has to, which means, just before he runs out of money. The rest of the time he spends lazing around the Florida waters, living the good life.
He is coaxed into action by the bad-luck story of a friend of a friend and quickly and professionally gets to work coming to her rescue. On the way, he acts as a knight in shining armour to a second woman who desperately needs help, going above and beyond the call of duty, firmly entrenching him as a helluva nice guy.
This book was written almost 30 years ago, yet it is fresh enough to make one believe that it is set in today's world. It's an excellent introduction to the world of Travis McGee and has certainly whetted my appetite for more. Travis McGee is the ultimate laid back hero who carries his flaws as humbly as his talents.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McGee makes colorful debut! May 4 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Home is the 'Busted Flush,' 52-foot barge-type houseboat, Slip F-18, Bahia Mar, Lauderdale."
Is there any address in American literature so readily identified? Probably not. It's the home of Travis McGee, "knight in tarnished armor," and central character of the over-20 volumed series by John D. MacDonald.
With quite a following of readers around the world (my first McGee was while vacationing in Torremolinas years ago and needing something to read while soaking up the Spanish sunshine and absorbing the sangria deliciosa!), MacDonald's hero, along with his sometimes bizarre assortment of friends, enemies, and hangers-on, goes from one adventure to another. Each of the McGee books contains a color in the title, easily recognizable. And it's not purple prose either! MacDonald, a best-selling novelist for years, has more than just a storyline to carry his books. Certainly, McGee is his principal concern. He's "retired" most of the time--he only goes back to work when he sees he's running out of money. He'd rather stay aboard his houseboat and entertain his friends that work. He claims he's taking his retirement one day at a time!
"The Deep Blue Good-by" is the first in this series, published in 1964. It is amazing, too, that in reading it here in the year 2000, the book still stands as relevant now as it was then. McGee, as usual, 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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Color him McGee in this 'must read'! Jan. 11 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Home is the 'Busted Flush,' 52-foot barge-type houseboat, Slip F-18, Bahia Mar,
Lauderdale."
Is there any address in American literature so readily identified? Probably not.
It's the home of Travis McGee, "knight in tarnished armor," and central character of the
over-20 volumed series by John D. MacDonald.
With quite a following of readers around the world (my first McGee was while
vacationing in Torremolinas years ago and needing something to read while soaking up the
Spanish sunshine and absorbing the sangria deliciosa!), MacDonald's hero, along with his
sometimes bizarre assortment of friends, enemies, and hangers-on, goes from one adventure
to another. Each of the McGee books contains a color in the title, easily recognizable. And
it's not purple prose either! MacDonald, a best-selling novelist for years, has more than
just a storyline to carry his books.
Certainly, McGee is his principal concern. He's "retired" most of the time--he
only goes back to work when he sees he's running out of money. He'd rather stay aboard
his houseboat and entertain his friends that work. He claims he's taking his retirement one
day at a time!
"The Deep Blue Good-by" is the first in this series, published in 1964. It is amazing,
too, that in reading it here in the year 2000, the book still stands as relevant now as it was
then. McGee, as usual, 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.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars In reading The Deep Blue Good-by I remembered why I loved these books...
I have been a Travis McGee fan since the series was first published ( yes I am that old) but I hadn't read any of JDM's book for years. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Bruce Spence
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Fast paced writing and good story. Characters were interesting but, I found, like too many books, the end was too quickly wound up. Read more
Published 4 months ago by myriam segal
3.0 out of 5 stars Used purchase
The book was a little more used than I thought it would be.....still readable but not in great condition:-( i was a little disappointed.
Published 8 months ago by Marilyn Goode
4.0 out of 5 stars McGee and the Monster
This is the first book in John D. MacDonald's long-running Travis McGee series. McGee is an earlier, grittier, less handsome version of Thomas Magnum Although not licensed as a... Read more
Published 15 months ago by John M. Ford
2.0 out of 5 stars A grating style
Due to his popularity I thought I would try out a Travis McGee mystery. "The Deep Blue Good-By" was my first and it will be my last. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2012 by S Svendsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Back Cover of Book
One look at Cathy Kerr you could tell there was nothing life hadn't done to her. She was innocence turned helpless desperation, great brown eyes gone mornful and hopeless, tender... Read more
Published on July 8 2004 by Dennis Gerlits
5.0 out of 5 stars An Appetite Whetter
This is the first of the Travis McGee books and quickly establishes why they have been so popular for so long. Read more
Published on July 11 2002 by Untouchable
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great
This was my first MacDonald book, and all things considered, it was an O.K. book. It is a traditional American mystery with a hansom, smooth talking, tanned Floridian (Travis... Read more
Published on March 28 2002 by Barry D. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars He can fight and shoot and cook and mix great drinks !!
This remains my favorite of the series featuring Travis McGee. McGee is the tall, tanned beach bum, and just happens to be an excellent detective. Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2001 by Dan
5.0 out of 5 stars Travis McGee, a knight in tarnished armor
This is the first of 21 books John Dann MacDonald wrote featuring Travis McGee, a sometime detective who comes out of retirement when he needs money to pay the bills for his modest... Read more
Published on Aug. 6 2001 by Russell Fanelli
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