Book Review: The Deep Blue Good-By (1964)

by John D. MacDonald
Classic Travis McGee tale with language for the ages

Travis_Good-by1964 (renewal 1992) , Ballantine Books, 273 pages

For some reason there’s a gap in my reading history for John D. MacDonald’s fine fiction, especially the hugely popular Travis McGee mystery crime novels.  So you can’t call me an expert witness in this case, but a friendly one on this his first in the Travis McGee series.

I had read something in the series before—I think it was the Pale Gray one (the Travis McGee titles always contain a color)—but did not remember what an astute judge of character ol’ Trav is… and how he teeters so on the edge of cynicism when it comes to sociological observations.

For example, in the Deep Blue Good-By, after Travis assesses his soon-to-be client—”The world had done its best to subdue and humble her, but the edge of her good tough spirit showed through.”—he launches into a broad internal diatribe on the world as he knows it: Continue reading