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The Green Ripper [Mass Market Paperback]

John D. MacDonald
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 20 1996 Travis McGee Mysteries
"McGee has become part of our national fabric."

SEATTLE POST INTELLIGENCER

Beautiful girls always grace the Florida beaches, strolling, sailing, relaxing at the many parties on Travis McGee's houseboat, The Busted Flush. McGee was too smart--and had been around too long--for many of them to touch his heart. Now, however, there was Gretel. She had discovered the key to McGee--to all of him--and now he had something to hope for. Then, terribly, unexpectedly, she was dead. From a mysterious illness, or so they said. But McGee knew the truth, that Gretel had been murdered. And now he was out for blood...

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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

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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
MEYER CAME aboard the Busted Flush on a dark, wet, windy Friday afternoon in early December Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Green Ripper Review July 27 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ho, ho, ho! Merrrrry Christmas! The Green Ripper is here to wish all you nice boys and girls a very merry Christmas -- with a machine gun!
Ta, ta, ta, ta, ta, ta, ta!
John D. MacDonald's classic mystery of love and revenge, religion and fanaticism "The Green Ripper" may be one of the most chilling entertainment novels I've ever read. Ripper was his seventeenth Travis McGee novel, and MacDonald explores the dark side of religio-terroristic minds with a mastery of craft that left me wondering (in several passages) whether he _identified_ with obsessive minds, or was acerbically satirizing such minds. I think the line between the two is probably thinner than we might -- at first glance -- like to admit.
The story begins with McGee's soulmate dying unexpectedly, and inexplicably, and the early pages follow McGee's realization that her death was not accidental -- but was the result of an assassin's dart. And you can't help but wonder.... whether you would be driven to revenge if _your_ wife or loved one was killed in this way. But MacDonald ratchets it up, here, man because McGee finds that the assassins are linked to a religious-terrorist group based in Ukiah, California.
And once you open up religion in an entertainment novel, you've got some really rich ground to work. A few of the passages spoken by the religious nuts are so convincing and so sincere, you don't know whether to hate them or relate to them. Indeed, McGee even crosses the line becoming one of the group and by sleeping with a [street walker]-turned-gun-toting machine of destruction.
I love this storyline, in that as a writer how obsessive minded are you?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McGee the Hammer July 22 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a book of vengeance and revenge. Travis has finally found true love, and she is snatched from him by death. At first it appears to be a lethal illness, then horrifyingly a random sophisticated killing. Trav is almost mad with a desire to find one face to batter and then to execute the killer. To face the fact that the murder appears to be an organizational hit with no single one-of-a-kind killer seems obscenely unfair. Travis follows some paper-thin leads, discards his identity, and infiltrates a terrorist camp sponsored by a cult religious group.
This is a fast paced book, one of my all-time favorite McGees. I was struck by MacDonald's uncanny accuracy in depicting the terrorist personality way back in 1979. The healthy young American soldiers in superb shape confidently believed their next lives would be vastly improved by destroying the civilization in this one. They disdained, even looked forward to death. One character tells McGee that the terrorists will not "waste" their rockets on military vessels. Blowing up a planeload of civilians containing women and children was far more "productive."
The finale is a fine display of McGee's sniperly abilities, derring-do and just plain luck. (Rambo has nothing on him!) The only thing that dated "The Green Ripper" was McGee's reluctance to treat the female terrorists as anything but "ladies" no matter how fearsome they were. Today no such chivalry (even if misguided) would be allowed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A book for a grungy day April 5 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In this entry in the series, McGee has found a True Love, a woman seemingly compatible with all facets of his existence, who is able to give meaning to his life, and then she is cruelly killed by a seemingly random process. In earlier books, other lovers have been killed, but never one he sees such a future with. Her murder jolts McGee notably more than any prior tragedy, into a depressed and narrow focus on revenge; he breaks off from Meyer (who articulates equally nihilistic views), and his usual cynicism becomes total negativism. He takes on a simpler identity, and follows a series of clues and lucky breaks to a terrorist boot camp for the organization that ordered his lover's execution. He (justifiably and unavoidably, it seems) massacres all the group's members, in a spree that sickens but in the end also partly redeems him. There is a certain class of mysteries that is fulfilling to read when you feel depressed, disgusted, and generally grungy. Quite a bit of Chandler, and some of Lawrence Block, falls into this class. This is the only book in the McGee series that really fits into the class, but it's almost perfect of its kind. See also Block's "Such Men Are Dangerous."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Travis comes to the rescue--again! June 20 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee seems timeless. This "knight in tarnished armor," as Time magazine called him, is as pertinent today as when "The Green Ripper" was published in 1979.
Travis, once again, is confronted with his own mortality when Gretel, the woman he feels he is truly in love with, is murdered. McGee, as in episodes past (and this is the18th) feels that retribution, or justice, whichever comes first, is something that he, personally, must pursue. The "game is afoot," as it were, and the chase leads us through the forces of a religious cult (quite the topic in 1979), the Church of the Apocrypha. Travis "joins" to gain their confidence and little does he know the far-reaching ramifications of this group. The author cites George Santayana in a preface statement: "Fanaticism is described as redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim." And when you have finished "The Green Ripper," fanaticism is spelled with a capital "F"!
Probably, "The Green Ripper" is the most suspenseful of the McGee series (always characterized by a color in the title). MacDonald is methodical in his plot developments and while suspense is naturally a necessary ingredient, in this book it becomes perhaps the most important aspect. But the author stays true to McGee, probably Florida's most famous literary character, and readers will not be disappointed. As in the other books, vivid description, poignant characterization, and a top-drawer storyline, marked by sparks of good humor, are MacDonald's trademark. It's a worthy read!
(Billyjhobbs@tyler.net)
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