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Free Fall in Crimson Mass Market Paperback – Apr 20 1996


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett; Reprint edition (April 20 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449224821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449224823
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 150 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #571,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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

About the Author

John D. MacDonald was an American novelist and short-story writer. His works include the Travis McGee series and the novel The Executioners, which was adapted into the film Cape Fear. In 1962 MacDonald was named a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America; in 1980, he won a National Book Award. In print he delighted in smashing the bad guys, deflating the pompous, and exposing the venal. In life, he was a truly empathetic man; his friends, family, and colleagues found him to be loyal, generous, and practical. In business, he was fastidiously ethical. About being a writer, he once expressed with gleeful astonishment, “They pay me to do this! They don’t realize, I would pay them.” He spent the later part of his life in Florida with his wife and son. He died in 1986.


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WE TALKED past midnight, sat in the deck chairs on the sun of the Busted Flush with the starry April sky overhead, talked quietly, and listened to the night. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul Skinner on Feb. 15 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a great book if you're in the mood for a philosophy lesson on the meaning of life and how to maintain it. John D. MacDonald knows how to keep the action flowing, without hitting the reader over the head. It's nice to be treated as if you are an intelligent reader, which is why I keep coming back to the McGee series. Travis helps out a man whose father was killed, shortly before cancer would have taken him anyway. As Travis pokes around, he finds a web of dispicable characters hiding behind the entertainment industry. Justice is served to the guilty, as usual. Unfortunately, some of the innocent do not come out of this one, but only those who are not as careful as our houseboat hero. This is definitely one of the better entries in the McGee series, but one should read "A Quick Red Fox" first.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In "Free Fall in Crimson," the 19th Travis McGee episode, author John D. MacDonald refuses to be tied up with boundaries. In fact, this book seems a great deal like a geography lesson, as the plot takes him from Ft. Lauderdale, to other Florida parts, to Beverly Hills, and, finally, to Iowa for the climactic scene!
However, readers should not let that put them off another top-flight installment in the McGee series--this time involving, yes, a murder and other corruption, a hot
air balloon competition.
The plot is set aloft when Ron Esterland approaches Travis for help--seems he's been completely cut out of his inheritance when his father was murdered two years earlier (most of the estate has been left to his estranged wife and her filmmaker friend). Ron wants Travis to find the truth about the murder, suspecting that the wife and friend had much to do with it.
Travis' pursuit then takes him cross country, eventually landing in Roseland,
Iowa, where a film is being made about a hot-air balloon meet. As with the other McGee stories, MacDonald keeps us on the edge until the final pages. It is not that we don't know the guilty party; it is just that Travis must find a way to secure justice--usually his own brand--as many of the guilty are "out of bounds" to legal prosecution.
Readers will not be disappointed in either the story or McGee! While the series does not require a chronological reading, the earlier books establish the characters (especially McGee and economist friend Meyer). The first book is "The Deep Blue Goodby"--and it's a good place to get started, to "channel" the McGee interest. But regardless, "Free Fall in Crimson" merely adds to the charm of the series and of the character--it will leave you grasping for air!
(Billyjhobbs@tyler.net)
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By A Customer on March 28 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dishing out heavy doses of moral philosophy, McDonald always keeps the reader entertained and thought provoked. Not quite on par with some of the earlier McGee's, but never-the-less, vintage McDonald. 30+ years of reading his novels, one can only morn the loss that Travis, Meyer and the rest won't have a new tale to tell.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 38 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The sky's the limit in this MacDonald thriller! June 20 2000
By Billy J. Hobbs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In "Free Fall in Crimson," the 19th Travis McGee episode, author John D. MacDonald refuses to be tied up with boundaries. In fact, this book seems a great deal like a geography lesson, as the plot takes him from Ft. Lauderdale, to other Florida parts, to Beverly Hills, and, finally, to Iowa for the climactic scene!
However, readers should not let that put them off another top-flight installment in the McGee series--this time involving, yes, a murder and other corruption, a hot
air balloon competition.
The plot is set aloft when Ron Esterland approaches Travis for help--seems he's been completely cut out of his inheritance when his father was murdered two years earlier (most of the estate has been left to his estranged wife and her filmmaker friend). Ron wants Travis to find the truth about the murder, suspecting that the wife and friend had much to do with it.
Travis' pursuit then takes him cross country, eventually landing in Roseland,
Iowa, where a film is being made about a hot-air balloon meet. As with the other McGee stories, MacDonald keeps us on the edge until the final pages. It is not that we don't know the guilty party; it is just that Travis must find a way to secure justice--usually his own brand--as many of the guilty are "out of bounds" to legal prosecution.
Readers will not be disappointed in either the story or McGee! While the series does not require a chronological reading, the earlier books establish the characters (especially McGee and economist friend Meyer). The first book is "The Deep Blue Goodby"--and it's a good place to get started, to "channel" the McGee interest. But regardless, "Free Fall in Crimson" merely adds to the charm of the series and of the character--it will leave you grasping for air!
(Billyjhobbs@tyler.net)
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
McGee tangles with motorcycles, balloons and movie producers Feb. 15 2002
By Paul Skinner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a great book if you're in the mood for a philosophy lesson on the meaning of life and how to maintain it. John D. MacDonald knows how to keep the action flowing, without hitting the reader over the head. It's nice to be treated as if you are an intelligent reader, which is why I keep coming back to the McGee series. Travis helps out a man whose father was killed, shortly before cancer would have taken him anyway. As Travis pokes around, he finds a web of dispicable characters hiding behind the entertainment industry. Justice is served to the guilty, as usual. Unfortunately, some of the innocent do not come out of this one, but only those who are not as careful as our houseboat hero. This is definitely one of the better entries in the McGee series, but one should read "A Quick Red Fox" first.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Free Fallin' Oct. 29 2005
By Clare Quilty - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of the things I like about the McGee series is the strange authority MacDonald brings to it. He had a very strict, intelligent mind and a disdain for shoddy work that rivaled Hemingway's, which often gave his descriptions and depictions a shrewd authority. Even when you may not fully buy what's going on on the page, you can buy that the author and the characters believe it, which is often enough to go on.

But with "Free Fall in Crimson," the authority is a little flimsy. The book, published in the early 80s, is the first McGee that just does not convince on several key levels.

Most of that has to do with McGee's brief dip into California outlaw biker culture in his attempts to track down a murderous Hell's Angel named Dirty Bob. Nothing about the scenario -- not the crime McGee investigates, not the people he meets along the way, not the stilted dialogue he engages in, not the situations he encounters -- feels convincing.

A millionaire goes to buy a little hash and takes gold Krugerrands to purchase the drugs? McGee is made an honorary member of a bike tribe ("The Fantasies") and given a special pin to use... if he ever needs it? A character on the run who needs to hide his identity suddenly gets a terminal illness that allows him to drop 100 pounds in two months?

The second half of the book -- McGee's visit to a debauched, coked-out 80s-era film set, where a Dennis Hopper-esque auteur is having a big budget meltdown as he tries to make an existential thriller (about balloon pilots?) -- is a little more convincing than the biker stuff, but the dialogue still smells too much like exposition, the film crew's lines sound transposed from research.

I did enjoy the nightmarish riot that begins the last act; and I liked the creepy section in which McGee slowly, gradually figures out that his prey has turned around and is coming after him; and, oddly, I was completely convinced that McGee could survive a leap from a runaway balloon hovering 50 feet off the ground (just remember: land on the balls of your feet, tuck your chin, roll forward with your right shoulder out and down, hit the ground running....)

But as far as the series as a whole goes, this is probably one of the weaker entires I've read. But, should I ever fall or jump out of a hot air balloon, I seriously think I'll know what to do.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
gone but not forgotten March 28 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dishing out heavy doses of moral philosophy, McDonald always keeps the reader entertained and thought provoked. Not quite on par with some of the earlier McGee's, but never-the-less, vintage McDonald. 30+ years of reading his novels, one can only morn the loss that Travis, Meyer and the rest won't have a new tale to tell.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Subpar for MacDonald. March 24 2009
By Michael G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First, the positive aspects of Free Fall in Crimson by John D. MacDonald. The storyline as narrated by protagonist Travis McGee is straightforward and therefore highly readable. McGee's well known tendency to wax philosophic is sufficiently subdued so that it doesn't become annoying. (As it does in some other entries in the Travis McGee series.)
On the negative side: The plot is a bit too simplistic and unevenly paced to satisfy most mystery fans. And unlike the author's best novels, the supporting cast generally lacks the nuance that make them believable, three dimensional characters capable of reaching out and touching the reader.
Bottom line: Free Fall in Crimson is an effortless read by virtue of its straightforward storyline. Unfortunately, it does not rise to anywhere near the level of John D. MacDonald's best fiction.


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