The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper Mass Market Paperback – Mar 9 1996
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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
From the Back Cover
"...my favorite novelist of all time."
"...the consummate pro, a master storyteller and witty observer."
--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper is an intelligent, riveting look at human behavior, and written by one of the best crime novelists there ever was. John D. MacDonald’s style is engaging and distinctive, his pacing and plotting marvelous. As someone who reads a lot of crime novels I can usually predict where a story is going, however, the twists and turns in this book kept me guessing. The ending, while not gloriously happy, was truly satisfying.
My only quibble is the confusing opening chapter. The author supplies the directions and names of so many locations within the Florida Keys that they become confusing and therefore meaningless to anyone unfamiliar with the area. Still, I did learn that there is a lot more to the Keys than I thought. This was my first MacDonald novel, but it definitely won’t be my last.
After two excellent introductory sections (a cool short section about Trav *actually* working in his supposed field -- salvage consulting; and a amusing backstory about his affair with an older woman), we gear into the breadth of the plot which involves a beautiful, unhinged blonde with a bottomless trust fund and her husband, a monied sociopath who's both more and less dangerous than he seems.
Somewhere along the way, we find Trav actually experiencing genuine feelings for a woman (and the *wrong* woman, no less; this is one instance in which most readers can finally say *they* know better than MacDonald's endlessly shrewd, canny protagonist).
The final third is a little too much Q&A, with Trav extracting exactly the information he needs from relative strangers; the fairly obvious examination of race-relations may be accurate but hasn't aged too well; and the ending -- in which MacDonald actually has to step back and explain the twists step-by-step to the reader through a deposition -- feels like a writer tip-toeing out of the corner he's painted himself into.
But nevertheless, this is a vivid little page-turner with some nicely rendered characters (Pike, Biddy, Nurse Penny, screwed-up lawyer Holton and his alluring wife and especially Detective Stanger) and an apt air of melacholy, regret and loss.
This is my 11th McGee novel. Clearly MacDonald writes in a more sophisticated style than 98% of the mystery writers today. A new reader may find it annoying that one must suffer through a good 100 pages before the action really begins, but this is typical MacDonald style. Not only do you get a complex mystery, but you get a lot of philosophy along the way.
Most recent customer reviews
This was my second John D. MacDonald book and my first Travis McGee book. I had heard that MacDonald could flat-out write, and I was not disappointed by this book. Read morePublished on Feb. 28 2000 by Amazon Customer
As a massive consumer of Crime Fiction, I am happy to say that this, my first foray into the writings of McDonald has proved most pleasurable. Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2000 by matt wallace