web site hit counter A Tan and Sandy Silence - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

A Tan and Sandy Silence

Availability: Ready to download

Being accused at gunpoint of hiding another man's wife is a rude shock. But it's an even bigger shock when Travis McGee discovers that the woman in question is Mary Broll, a dear old friend. Now she's disappeared, vanished without a word to anyone. Being accused at gunpoint of hiding another man's wife is a rude shock. But it's an even bigger shock when Travis McGee discovers that the woman in question is Mary Broll, a dear old friend. Now she's disappeared, vanished without a word to anyone.


Compare

Being accused at gunpoint of hiding another man's wife is a rude shock. But it's an even bigger shock when Travis McGee discovers that the woman in question is Mary Broll, a dear old friend. Now she's disappeared, vanished without a word to anyone. Being accused at gunpoint of hiding another man's wife is a rude shock. But it's an even bigger shock when Travis McGee discovers that the woman in question is Mary Broll, a dear old friend. Now she's disappeared, vanished without a word to anyone.

30 review for A Tan and Sandy Silence

  1. 4 out of 5

    Joe Valdez

    Spring is finally here and it's time to work on my tan. John D. MacDonald published twenty-one Travis McGee mysteries (between 1964 and 1984) narrated by his weary "salvage consultant" who often agrees to locate missing persons or items, 52-foot houseboat the Busted Flush docked in Fort Lauderdale serving as McGee's office. MacDonald was one of the earliest authors to use themed titles for their series and his brilliant use of color not only offered a visual motif to help readers distinguish eac Spring is finally here and it's time to work on my tan. John D. MacDonald published twenty-one Travis McGee mysteries (between 1964 and 1984) narrated by his weary "salvage consultant" who often agrees to locate missing persons or items, 52-foot houseboat the Busted Flush docked in Fort Lauderdale serving as McGee's office. MacDonald was one of the earliest authors to use themed titles for their series and his brilliant use of color not only offered a visual motif to help readers distinguish each one, but generated some of my favorite titles: The Deep Blue Good-By, Dress Her In Indigo, The Lonely Silver Rain, etc. First up is A Tan and Sandy Silence. Published in 1971, this dazzling detective thriller introduces Travis McGee pumping the bilge of the John Maynard Keyes, a cabin cruiser belonging to his neighbor Meyer (first or last name unrevealed throughout the series), a retired economist who shares in McGee's sardonic world view but is less a sailor, his boat taking on eight inches of water and at risk of sinking to the bottom of the Bahia Mar Marina where the men live. The rainwater pumped from the bilge, Meyer alerts McGee that the Busted Flush has a visitor. Harry Broll is a real estate developer who McGee last saw at the marina when the man came down to beat on him. Broll's attack was centered on Mary Dillon, his newlywed wife, who during an argument revealed to Harry that she was not only intimate with McGee prior to their engagement, but how much fun she had with him on a two-week cruise into the Keys and around the peninsula to Tampa Bay. Despite the bruises he endured, McGee invites Broll onto the Busted Flush, assuming water under the bridge. McGee hasn't seen or heard from Mary in three years, but that fails to satisfy Broll, whose wife has gone missing for three months and he believes, shacked up with McGee. And the dumb little weapon came out from under his clothes somewhere, maybe from the waist area, wedged between the belt and the flab. A dumb little automatic pistol in blued steel, half-swallowed in his big, pale, meaty fist. His staring eyes were wet with tears, and his mouth was twisted downward at the corners. The muzzle was making a ragged little circle, and a remote part of my mind identified it as a .25 or .32 caliber, there not being all that much difference between a quarter of an inch diameter and a third of an inch. There was a sour laugh back in another compartment of my skull. This could very possibly be the end of it, a long-odds chance of a mortal wound at the hand of a jealous husband wielding something just a little bit better than a cap gun. The ragged circle took in my heart, brain, and a certain essential viscera. And I was slouched deep in a chair facing him, just a little too far away to try to kick his wrist. He was going to talk or shoot. I saw his finger getting whiter, so I knew it was shoot. Broll empties his pistol at McGee but both are grateful for it to run out of bullets without hitting flesh. Broll calms down and tells McGee that he needs Mary by the 30th of the month, some business thing. It strikes McGee as unusual that Broll would let three months slide before asking around for his wife. That evening, at a party thrown by their neighbor Jillian Brent-Archer on her motor-sailer trimaran Jilly III, Meyer advises McGee that the next man to shoot at him might not be as generous with his aim. McGee is comforted between the sheets by Jillian, who needs a compatible man in her world and offers to take care of McGee should he accept the position of her houseguest. McGee instead pokes into the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Broll. While Meyer uses his friends in the banks to investigate what Broll is in to, McGee traces him to Casa De Playa, a Broll Enterprises condominium. McGee charms a broker named Jeannie Dolan, who tells him that her girlfriend was dipping in the company ink with the boss, who left her for a Canadian named Lisa Dissat. An anonymous phone call to Mary sent her to Lisa's apartment, where Mrs. Broll discovered the infidelity. Meyer learns that Broll is in business with a Canadian investor named Dennis Waterbury, whose land development offering is about to go public in a deal which would net $2.5 million for Broll. Canvasing Mary's block, McGee gains the trust of a friend who confides that unknown to anyone else, Mary is living off her bastard husband's dime on the Caribbean isle of Grenada, from which she regularly sends her friend postcards. For Harry's land deal to go through, Broll needs to secure a loan using Mary's trust fund as collateral, hence his desperation to locate his missing wife. McGee is troubled by the fact that Mary's car is still at Miami International, which contradicts the frugality of his ex-flame. McGee traces Mary to the Spice Island Inn and boards a BWIA flight to Grenada, where he confronts a woman using his ex's identity. McGee determines this to be Lisa Dissat, a honey pot involved in a scheme hatched by her cousin Paul, a prime cut sociopath. He was single, she said, and did not look like anybody's idea of an accountant. Bachelor apartment, sports car. She said he was a superb skier, proficient at downhill racing and slalom. She said that three years ago, when she was working in Montreal, she had run up bills she was unable to pay. She was afraid of losing her job. She had gone up to Quebec to see Paul, whom she had not seen in several years. He had taken her to dinner and back to his apartment and made love to her. He had paid her bills and arranged for her to work for Waterbury. After they had been intimate many times, he had told her of his plan to share in some of the fat profits from Waterbury's operations. He would arrange the necessary leverage through her. He said he would let her know when the right opportunity came along. The aspect of John D. MacDonald that has influenced Stephen King, Lee Child and other genre fiction writers aren't his plots, doled out with the detail of someone holding expert level knowledge in South Florida sleaze, but the stark beauty of MacDonald's prose. His stories often contrast legality with morality, Travis McGee wanting to do the right thing, as soon as he figures out what that is. MacDonald invites the reader to learn the answers along with McGee, never once stopping to hector or preach. The moral center of the novel is Meyer, who often compels McGee that when confronted with an emotionally difficult decision, the right one is the one that would take the most effort, paying now rather than putting yourself in debt. I knew but did not want to tell her. You see many such couples around the yacht clubs and bath clubs and tennis clubs of the Western world. The man, a little younger or a lot younger than the moneyed widow or divorcée he has either married or is traveling with. The man is usually brown and good at games, dresses youthfully, and talks amusingly. But he drinks a little too much. And completely trained and conditioned, he is ever alert for his cues. If his lady unsnaps her purse and frowns down into it, he at once presents his cigarettes, and they are always her brand. If she has her own cigarettes, he can cross twenty feet in a twelfth of a second to snap the unwavering flame to life, properly and conveniently positioned for her. It takes but the smallest sidelong look of query to send him in search of an ashtray to place close to her elbow. If at sundown she raises her elegant shoulders a half inch, he trots into the house or onto the boat or up to the suite to bring back her wrap. He knows just how to apply her suntan oil, knows which of her dresses have to be zipped up and snapped for her. He can draw her bath to the precise depth and temperature which please her. He can give her an acceptable massage, brew a decent pot of coffee, take her phone messages accurately, keep her personal checkbook in balance, and remind her when to take her medications. Her litany is: Thank you, dearest. How nice, darling. You are so thoughtful, sweetheart. It does not happen quickly, of course. It is an easy life. Other choices, once so numerous, disappear. Time is the random wind that blows down the long corridor, slamming all the doors. And finally, of course, it comes down to a very simple equation. Life is endurable when she is contented and difficult when she is displeased. It is a training process. Conditioned response. "I'm used to the way I live," I told her. A Tan and Sandy Silence is the 13th Travis McGee novel and has a riveting beginning, middle and end, with McGee evading Harry Broll's cap gun aboard the Busted Flush and confronting the depraved, committed killer who Meyer has warned him about, on a deserted beach and later on a construction site. MacDonald made me a partner in wanting to find Mary Broll and whoever was responsible for her vanishing. The ambiance of an April in Fort Lauderdale and Grenada are intoxicating in their natural beauty and deadliness, the dialogue is superlative and research is woven into the story with finesse. Without expecting it, I got notes on how to tell if a man wants to shoot or talk, and how to make life decisions that are a bit more practical.

  2. 4 out of 5

    James Thane

    Had I rated this book when I first read it twenty-five or thirty years ago, I no doubt would have given it a solid four stars plus. I loved this series when I first discovered it and couldn't devour the books fast enough. But the times have changed, and so have I, no doubt, and these novels no longer appeal to me nearly as much as they once did. The story at the core of the book is fine. As it opens, Travis McGee is in something of an emotional slump and fears that he may be losing a step or two Had I rated this book when I first read it twenty-five or thirty years ago, I no doubt would have given it a solid four stars plus. I loved this series when I first discovered it and couldn't devour the books fast enough. But the times have changed, and so have I, no doubt, and these novels no longer appeal to me nearly as much as they once did. The story at the core of the book is fine. As it opens, Travis McGee is in something of an emotional slump and fears that he may be losing a step or two to Father Time and to the Bad Guys who always seem to be hovering around McGee's neighborhood in South Florida. He's at least entertaining the possibilty of entering into some sort of a relationship with a very wealthy British widow who's extremely good in bed and who would like McGee to sail off into the sunset with her on her fabulous yacht. McGee's best friend, Meyer the Economist, is actively promoting the idea out of fear that McGee may in fact be slipping a bit and should no longer be leading such a dangerous existence. In his heart of hearts, McGee knows that he would never do such a thing, and the reader knows it too. But the fact that the thought has even entered his mind is scary as hell, both for McGee and for the reader. Fortunately, a new problem will shortly demand McGee's attention and put an end to all this silliness. The problem appears in the person of Harry Dolan who is now the husband of Mary Dolan. Back when she was Mary Dillon, Mrs. Dolan was one of those tragically wounded women that McGee had taken on a long cruise, healed and restored to health as only he can. Dolan says his wife has disappeared and he accuses McGee of taking up with her again and hiding her from him. McGee assures Dolan that this is nonsense and that he hasn't seen Mary in three years. Dolan responds by pulling out a small gun and firing several shots in McGee's direction. Fortunately, they all miss and McGee disarms Dolan, but the fact that the angry husband was even able to get close to McGee with a gun confirms McGee's suspicion that he has lost a step or two. McGee sends Dolan on his way, but is worried about Mary, whom he really liked. He's also concerned because he believes that if Mary were in trouble again, she would have reached out to him. He wonders why she hasn't. Accordingly, McGee goes searching for the missing woman on a quest that will take him to Grenada and back. Inevitably, along the way he will encounter some especially sick, nasty and dangerous people who are working a particularly wicked scheme, and he will be challenged as perhaps never before. This is all well and good, and again, the bones of this story are fine. But as was always the case in these books, the action is frequently interrupted while McGee takes time out to wax philosophically about the problems of the world and to do a considerable amount of navel-gazing, analyzing his own personal psyche. When I first read these books, I wasn't bothered by this and in fact, I found some of McGee's musings to be very interesting. Now, though, I find them to be awfully dated and overly pompous, and I feel that they simply get in the way of a good story. As other reviewers have repeatedly noted, McGee's attitude about women is often cringe-worthy in this day and age as well; however this book is not quite as bad as some of the others in that regard. Every time I pick up one of these Travis McGee novels I desperately want to love it as much as I did when I first read it, and I'm inevitably disappointed. It occurs to me that I may be being overly harsh in this regard and that I should not expect that a book written nearly fifty years ago is going to seem as fresh as it once did. But, at least to my mind, other series from this time period seem to have aged much more gracefully than this one. Thus three stars rather than the four and a half my younger self would have given A Tan and Sandy Silence.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kemper

    When rereading one of these Travis McGee novel, I have to weigh the parts I like against the terrible sexism inherent to the books. Usually this balances out fairly evenly, but this time the old Sea Cock* dropped the equivalent of a cartoon anvil on the wrong side of the scales. *(Sea Cock McGee is the fabulous nickname Amanda coined in her great review of Darker Than Amber.) This one had a lot of promise starting out. McGee is having a personal crisis after a misjudgment nearly gets him killed, a When rereading one of these Travis McGee novel, I have to weigh the parts I like against the terrible sexism inherent to the books. Usually this balances out fairly evenly, but this time the old Sea Cock* dropped the equivalent of a cartoon anvil on the wrong side of the scales. *(Sea Cock McGee is the fabulous nickname Amanda coined in her great review of Darker Than Amber.) This one had a lot of promise starting out. McGee is having a personal crisis after a misjudgment nearly gets him killed, and his best friend Meyer points out that it may be time for him to get out of the business of conning the con men of the world if his instincts are failing. Retirement could take the form of sailing off into the sunset with a wealthy widow if McGee can bring himself to accept the role of a kept man As he is pondering his future, McGee is also looking for Mary Broll after a visit from her husband. Like every other woman in his life, McGee had once taken Mary for a long rape pleasure cruise on his house boat, but he hasn’t seen her since she got married. Mary’s estranged husband hasn’t seen her in months since she took off after catching him with another woman, and McGee gets worried that something may have happened to her. As another one of McGee’s adventures in which he ends up acting as both con man and detective, this would rate pretty highly. The self-doubt of his abilities gives him a valid reason for the kind of navel gazing he engages in regularly. MacDonald’s best writing in this series usually comes up during McGee’s brooding and bitching about the vagaries of modern life in the era, and he delivers several great rants here. But the women. The poor, poor women… I don’t even know where to start. Some examples: - There’s a private yacht crewed by hookers who simply love taking wealthy men out to sea as they prance around the boat naked. This is presented as one of the greatest small business ideas in history. - A sassy bank teller stands up to her ass-grabbing boss in front of McGee and Meyer. After she leaves the room, McGee tells the banker that he should show respect to the pretty female employees and only grab the asses of the ugly ones if he wants a happy bank. - McGee’s suspicions that something has happened to Mary are mainly based around his belief that she would have automatically run back to him since he did such a bang-up (Pun intended.) job of sexual healing on her the first time. - Every attractive woman in the book flirts with or tries to sleep with McGee. - Near the end, McGee seems to finally have some self-awareness of what a man whore he is and that his history of sexing up women with problems as a way of ‘helping them’ was probably a bad thing. The solution? Make sure the next woman he takes out for one of his sex cruises doesn’t have any issues. Fortunately one happens along about ten minutes later. - Worst and creepiest of all, when McGee tracks down a woman involved with Mary’s disappearance, he pretends to be a scamming sociopath who wants to cut himself in on the scheme. He does this by choking the woman nearly unconscious and there’s a strong hint that he does more to her because she essentially begs him to force the whole story out of her. Of course, she keeps trying to seduce him after this but Seacock has far too many morals to sleep with this woman so he makes up a terrifying story about killing another former female partner to scare her pants on. Did I say he was pretending to be a sociopath? It was kind of hard to tell…. I’ve tried to make allowances for the books up until now because they were written in the ‘60s so a certain amount of Don Draper-style attitudes should probably be expected. But this one was published in 1971. Robert B. Parker’s first Spenser book would come out two years later, and Lawrence Block’s Matt Scudder wasn’t far behind, so the idea that this kind of thing was part of the standard equipment for crime novels of the day is starting to get pretty thin. Two stars and slightly shocked frowny face.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    "We're all children. We invent the adult facade and don it and try to keep the buttons and the medals polished. We're all trying to give such a good imitation of being an adult that the real adults in the world won't catch on." - John D. MacDonald, A Tan and Sandy Silence John D. MacDonald's pulp novels are a perfect beach read. They are unassuming, consistently over-deliver, produce better one-liners than a George Carlin set AND seem to have captured perfectly a very American, libertarian ethos "We're all children. We invent the adult facade and don it and try to keep the buttons and the medals polished. We're all trying to give such a good imitation of being an adult that the real adults in the world won't catch on." - John D. MacDonald, A Tan and Sandy Silence John D. MacDonald's pulp novels are a perfect beach read. They are unassuming, consistently over-deliver, produce better one-liners than a George Carlin set AND seem to have captured perfectly a very American, libertarian ethos of the mid-60s to late 70s. Travis McGee is consistently drawn into scrapes that he would rather avoid, beds girls he would prefer to ignore, and kills men he without relish. He perfectly fits Morrell's reluctant hero archetype: "a tarnished or ordinary man with several faults or a troubled past, and he is pulled reluctantly into the story, or into heroic acts. During the story, he rises to the occasion, sometimes even vanquishing a mighty foe, sometimes avenging a wrong. But he questions whether he's cut out for the hero business. His doubts, misgivings, and mistakes add a satisfying layer of tension to a story" MacDonald has perfected using the reluctant hero's questions, doubts, misgivings, and mistakes to add heft to his novels. McGee isn't a dime-store hero. He doesn't want the job, but doesn't mind the money, and it seems no one else is qualified to fix the huge mess that has fallen into his lap and seems destined to take him away from the bikinis, boats and beaches for a season.

  5. 4 out of 5

    William

    3.5 stars Not the best of the McGee series. Somewhat uneven pacing and plot. As usual with my reviews, please first read the publisher’s blurb/summary of the book. Thank you. Not keen on the first 12% of the book: Clichéd angry husband with a gun wrongly coming after McGee and then high pressure attempts to domestic/marry McGee by a rich girlfriend, almost nagging and whining. (view spoiler)[ However this clumsy attack figures later in the plot (hide spoiler)] 30% MacDonald is now 7 years into T 3.5 stars Not the best of the McGee series. Somewhat uneven pacing and plot. As usual with my reviews, please first read the publisher’s blurb/summary of the book. Thank you. Not keen on the first 12% of the book: Clichéd angry husband with a gun wrongly coming after McGee and then high pressure attempts to domestic/marry McGee by a rich girlfriend, almost nagging and whining. (view spoiler)[ However this clumsy attack figures later in the plot (hide spoiler)] 30% MacDonald is now 7 years into Travis McGee, and like most aging writers living vicariously through their heroes, they begin to look deeper. In this case, a long but not boring exposition by McGee on the ticking clock of his life, ostensibly instigated by Meyer's dark funk, and Jilly's pressure to take him away to a luscious golden cage. As usual, MacDonald takes this old familiar dilemma and makes it fresh and real for our hero. Extract: Because, you dumbass, when you stop scrubbing away at that tiny area you can reach, when you give up the illusion you are doing any good at all, then you start feeling like this. Jillian Brent-Archer is another name for giving up your fatuous, self-serving morality, and when you give it up, you feel grainy, studlike, secure, and that doggy little smirk becomes ineradicable. .... there is a good lump of cash money stashed behind the fake hull in the forward bilge of the Flush. But it would be a good time, a very good time, to go steaming out and find the plucked pigeon and clean up its little corner of the world by getting its feathers back-half of them, anyway. Get out there on the range and go down to the pits and stand up for a moment and see if they can pot you between the eyes. If they miss, maybe you'll get your nerve back, you tinhorn Gawain. 85% The pacing drags badly for a while here, just when the plot should begin to climax. I started skimming. The "death scene" of the climax is quite unusual. I’ve never read much like it. "Rat cheese" is a euphemism for processed American "cheese": ...ate half a pound of rat cheese, - Probably a very advanced male view in 1972: The way it is supposed to work nowadays, if you want to copulate with the lady, you politely suggest it to her, and you are not offended if she says no, and you are mannerly, considerate, and satisfying if she says yes. - Even more true today. So much has been lost. You used to be able to drive through Texas, and there would be meadowlarks so thick along the way, perched singing on so many fenceposts, that at times you could drive through the constant sound of them like sweet and molten silver. Now the land has been silenced. The larks eat bugs, feed bugs to nestlings. The bugs are gone, and the meadowlarks are gone, and the world is strange, becoming more strange, a world spawning Paul Dissats instead of larks. So somehow there is less risk, because losing such a world means losing less. "Hot Tar" teaser for end of book: Full size image here Bonus. From the 1970 "Darker Than Amber" movie starring Rod Taylor, pictures of the producers' ideas of McGee's "The Busted Flush": Full size image here Full size image here Full size image here And finally, two great blogs about John D. MacDonald, McGee and the rumoured-never-written novel where McGee dies"... The Birth of Travis McGee (fascinating) http://thetrapofsolidgold.blogspot.co... "Black Border for McGee" (rumours surrounding a final book, never published) http://thetrapofsolidgold.blogspot.co... .

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    A Tan And Sandy Silence A Tan and Sandy Silence is the 13th book in the Travis McGee series and it too features beach bum McGee, retired economist Meyers, and the Busted Flush. McGee is never quits on his game in this novel and knows it from letting a jealous husband with a gun on board the Busted Flush to letting a psychopath get two steps ahead of him in the Caribbean. But, McGee knows his head’s not quite right, that his reflexes have slowed, and he’s scared that he can’t pull it all together A Tan And Sandy Silence A Tan and Sandy Silence is the 13th book in the Travis McGee series and it too features beach bum McGee, retired economist Meyers, and the Busted Flush. McGee is never quits on his game in this novel and knows it from letting a jealous husband with a gun on board the Busted Flush to letting a psychopath get two steps ahead of him in the Caribbean. But, McGee knows his head’s not quite right, that his reflexes have slowed, and he’s scared that he can’t pull it all together this time. McGee plays the white knight again, trying to find that wife the husband with the handgun was looking for - who happens to have been missing for several months. But, this McGee is not the kind nurturing soul you might have thunk. He’s more like an avenging angel who takes stock of a head-turning femme fatale and physically beats her into compliance. A twisted real estate deal, a psychopathic killer, and a brothel on sails round out this odd story that continues the McGee legend, but feels somehow not completely satisfying.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Checkman

    Well this one wasn't as impressive. It's actually a rather ugly and sordid story thanks to the middle part when McGee tracks down a suspect hiding out on the island nation of Grenada. Though it did have some good points. It's my third Travis McGee novel and it's definitely a product of it's time - late sixties/early seventies. As has been pointed out by another reviewer this novel smacks of the Macho Man mentality that was very popular at the time.I have encountered a few men who are big believe Well this one wasn't as impressive. It's actually a rather ugly and sordid story thanks to the middle part when McGee tracks down a suspect hiding out on the island nation of Grenada. Though it did have some good points. It's my third Travis McGee novel and it's definitely a product of it's time - late sixties/early seventies. As has been pointed out by another reviewer this novel smacks of the Macho Man mentality that was very popular at the time.I have encountered a few men who are big believers in the philosophy and I don't like them. More than a few of them are practitioners of domestic battery and I've taken them to jail in the past. I was surprised by how prevalent it was in this story.Oh well it was the start of the Women's Lib movement. Perhaps MacDonald was feeling the sting of the changing times a little and this was his way of pushing back.Still didn't care for this aspect of the storyline. Guess my own experiences play a part in with the uneasy feeling. I was uncomfortable with the way McGee treats the female suspect. He chokes her out not once but twice. Regardless of how the narration is written Attempted Strangulation is very dangerous and one very tiny slip-up can lead to death in just a minute or two.So while I get that McGee is not a shrinking violet in this situation he's playing around with Attempted Murder and it seems out of character for him. Not only is he physically abusive to her, but he's emotionally abusive to her as well. Later he changes his approach to her, but I was left feeling dirty. Perhaps that was the effect MacDonald wanted and if that was his intention he succeeded. Then there is the chartered schooner with the all female crew that works naked and will sleep with the various (male) customers if they so desire. What the hell is that about? There is a real sense of leering and lechery in this novel. It was disconcerting and I was caught flatfooted by it. Like I said I can't help but wonder if Mr. MacDonald was reacting to the changing times. He would have been in his late forties by the time he wrote this novel and sometimes it's hard to deal with dramatic changes as one gets older. I'm forty-four now so I also speak from experience. Another weak point is Travis does a little too much "navel gazing" in the story. Okay he's getting older, is more aware of his mortality and wondering about his future. Okay got it. So lets get on with the story and get past the mid-life crisis please. Now the male villain is good. He's a psychopath who not only kills without any remorse, but enjoys doing it sadistically. He was creepy and his demise is not only appropriate, but poetic considering what he does to other characters in the book. As usual MacDonald shows in this installment that he would do his research before writing. In 2012 we have gotten used to being able to find information without too much effort thanks to information technology - or whatever you want to call it. But in the early seventies it took some effort to find out how real estate and banking worked. There is some fairly arcane information in the story and I appreciate the work that Mr. MacDonald would of had to put in. I also liked his description of Grenada (interesting to think that just twelve years later the U.S. military would invade that island) and found his description of racial politics and the economic conditions in the Caribbean very interesting. As I stated at the beginning of this review there were some good points. The novel starts of strong, but goes off the rails in the middle part when McGee goes to Grenada. However the last third of the book gets back on track when Travis returns to Florida and Meyer joins him in the investigation. However I just can't give it three stars with a clear conscience. However I did really enjoy The Green Ripper. MacDonald wrote twenty-one Travis MacGee novels over a twenty-four year period. That's twenty-one novels that he wrote not a series of ghost writers. That's quite a load and one can't expect a home run every time.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Mixon

    Huh. I guess MacDonald was getting pretty sick of Travis McGee. As much as I like MacDonald's careful plotting and meticulous writing, I'm not recommending this one. It smacks far too much of the hysterical shock-value bullshit of 1970s he-man culture. How does MacDonald fail to see the parallel between his psycho serial killer torturing victims to get information out of them and McGee spending a lackadaisical afternoon repeatedly choking a young woman to the point of black-out to get information Huh. I guess MacDonald was getting pretty sick of Travis McGee. As much as I like MacDonald's careful plotting and meticulous writing, I'm not recommending this one. It smacks far too much of the hysterical shock-value bullshit of 1970s he-man culture. How does MacDonald fail to see the parallel between his psycho serial killer torturing victims to get information out of them and McGee spending a lackadaisical afternoon repeatedly choking a young woman to the point of black-out to get information out of her? And how does he fail to see the link between McGee's pious refusal to marry a rich woman with a really nice sailboat, on the grounds that he couldn't accept even the appearance that he's trading (great) sex for a great sailing life, and the ship of women who sail naked for the titillation of their all-male clients, for whom they double as prostitutes? As with pretty much all uber-manly testimonials of that era, when MacDonald very nearly succeeds in killing off McGee poor Travis has to be rescued by---you guessed it---the naked women. Well, he couldn't be rescued by men because then, geez, he wouldn't be the manliest of all men, would he? And apparently women being smarter and more successful at survival than Mr. Manly Man doesn't count because. . .well, I guess, women themselves don't count. Also, the revolting torture after which he actually named his novel? Not classy, MacDonald.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    The 13th in the Travis McGee series is a solid entry into the canon, with yet another "salvage" case for problem-solver McGee(this one's not money) and a memorable sociopathic baddie Ian Fleming would have loved. I'd rate this an above-average McGee, with a few new twists: travels around Caribbean islands; lots of Meyer; and Trav struggling with his life philosophy in the face of a novel proposition for "retirement." Someone once noted that the book titles always allude to the way the lead femal The 13th in the Travis McGee series is a solid entry into the canon, with yet another "salvage" case for problem-solver McGee(this one's not money) and a memorable sociopathic baddie Ian Fleming would have loved. I'd rate this an above-average McGee, with a few new twists: travels around Caribbean islands; lots of Meyer; and Trav struggling with his life philosophy in the face of a novel proposition for "retirement." Someone once noted that the book titles always allude to the way the lead female character in the novel dies. I don't think that's strictly true, but in the case of A TAN AND SANDY SILENCE the scene in question is stark, horrifyingly poetic (if it's possible for something to be that), and pretty unforgettable. Travis McGee remains one of my favorite series of all time--great pleasure reading, and it's not hard to see why so many major crime writers love this series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tom Vater

    “UP WITH LIFE. STAMP OUT ALL SMALL AND LARGE INDIGNITIES. LEAVE EVERYONE ALONE TO MAKE IT WITHOUT PRESSURE. DOWN WITH HURTING. LOWER THE STANDARD OF LIVING. DO WITHOUT PLASTICS. SMASH THE SERVO MECHANISMS. STOP GRABBING. SNUFF THE BREEZE AND HUG THE KIDS.LOVE ALL LOVE. HATE ALL HATE” I’ve had a sad and happy week. I just finished reading John D. MacDonald‘s A Tan And Sandy Silence, one of the celebrated crime writer’s 21 stories featuring charismatic, extremely likeable boat bum, amateur philosop “UP WITH LIFE. STAMP OUT ALL SMALL AND LARGE INDIGNITIES. LEAVE EVERYONE ALONE TO MAKE IT WITHOUT PRESSURE. DOWN WITH HURTING. LOWER THE STANDARD OF LIVING. DO WITHOUT PLASTICS. SMASH THE SERVO MECHANISMS. STOP GRABBING. SNUFF THE BREEZE AND HUG THE KIDS.LOVE ALL LOVE. HATE ALL HATE” I’ve had a sad and happy week. I just finished reading John D. MacDonald‘s A Tan And Sandy Silence, one of the celebrated crime writer’s 21 stories featuring charismatic, extremely likeable boat bum, amateur philosopher, optimistic cynic, involuntary womanizer and ‘salvage consultant’ Travis McGee. I have now read all the McGee novels. Forget James Bond with his paper thin personality and cruel vigilante traits or fat headed Hercules Poirot and his crime-solving by numbers technique. McGee, who lives in a boat called the Busted Flush, which he won in poker game and which is moored at Slip F-18 at Bahia Mar Marina, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is the real deal. He also drives a Rolls-Royce that’s been converted into a pick-up truck, called Miss Agnes. He’s either a Korean war or Vietnam war veteran, doesn’t like working and only gets off his boat when he is low on cash. He has no real ambitions. A flawed hero with a healthy reality check and a supernatural coolness, all American and yet infused with a socialist outlook. And I mean socialist. McGee makes a living by retrieving lost fortunes for people who can’t go to the police. He is a bruiser and has absolutely no compunction about killing people when he deems it necessary. Not for money, mind you, but for justice. I know, it’s a big word. But between getting laid, old Travis has a pretty astute eye for everything that is wrong with the world, with his world, with Florida. And he profoundly dislikes liars, real estate developers and moneyed people who appear to be doing nothing but spend. In A Tan And Sandy Silence, one of the meanest, most violent McGee novels, the hardboiled boat bum attempts to find a woman he once had a fling with. McGee sleeps with lots of women, usually damsels in distress or happy go lucky beach bunnies. He sees sex as a kind of therapy, both for himself and the women he shares his bed with. So 60s. And he never ceases to comment on young beach bunnies, especially when he hangs out with his sidekick, the fat, hairy economist Meyer who also lives on a boat. “I kept to the far right lane and went slowly because the yearly invasion of Easter bunnies was upon us, was beginning to dwindle, and there was too little time to enjoy them. They had been beaching long enough so that there were very few cases of lobster pink. The tans were nicely established and the ones that still burned had a brown burn. There are seven lads to every Easter bunny, and the litheness and firmness of the young ladies gamboling on the beach, ambling across the highway, stretching out to take the sun, is something to stupefy the senses. It creates something which is beyond lust, even beyond that aesthetic pleasure of looking upon pleasing line and graceful move. It is possible to stretch a generalized lust, or an aesthetic turn of mind, to encompass a hundred lassies – say five and a half tons of vibrant and youthful and sun-toned flesh clad in about enough fabric to half fill a bushel basket. The erotic imagination or the artistic temperament can assimilate these five and a half tons of flanks and thighs, nates and breasts, laughing eyes and bouncing hair and shining eyes, but neither lust nor art can deal with a few thousand of them. Perceptions go into stasis. You cannot compare one with another. They become a single silken and knowledgeable creature, unknowable, a thousand-legged contemptuous joy, armored by the total wisdom of body and instinct of the female kind. A single cell of the huge creature, a single entity, one girl, can be trapped and baffled, hurt and emptied, broken and abandoned. Or to flip the coin, she can be isolated and cherished, wanted and needed, taken with contracts and ceremonies. In either case the great creature does not miss the single entity subtracted from the whole any more than the hive misses the single bee. It goes on in its glissening, giggling, leggy immortality, forever replenished from the equation of children plus time, existing every spring, unchangingly and challengingly invulnerable – an exquisite reservoir called Girl, aware of being admired and saying “Drink me!,” knowing that no matter how deep the draughts, the level of sweetness in the reservoir remains the same forever. There are miles of beach and there were miles of bunnies along the tan Atlantic coast. No, McGee is not politically correct. Another reason why I like this man. he continues with his favorite past time, cynically commenting on development and the modern life, the human zoo. When the public beach ended I came to the great white wall of high rise condominiums which conceal the sea and partition the sky. They are compartmented boxes stacked high in sterile sameness. The balconied ghetto. Soundproof, by the sea. So many conveniences and security measures and safety factors that life at last is reduced to an ultimate boredom, to the great decisions of the day – which channel to watch and whether to swim in the sea or in the pool. Classic MacDonald. And this disdain for middle class aspirations extends to our hero’s lifestyle. As he rejects the advances of a fabulously rich single woman, he muses, A lot of the good ones get away. They want to impose structure on my unstructured habits. It doesn’t work. If I wanted structure, I’d live in a house with a Florida room, have 2.7 kids, a dog, a cat, a smiling wife, two cars, a viable retirement and profit-sharing plan, a seven handicap and shortness of breath. Invariably, McGee‘s sarcasm extends to financial institutions. The lobby of the Southern National Bank and Trust Company takes up half of the ground floor of their new building on Biscayne. It is like three football fields. People at the far end are midgets, scurrying around in the cathedral lighting. The carpeting is soft and thick, dividing the lobby into function areas through the use of colors. Coral, lime, turquoise. The bank colors are pale blue and gold. The girls wear little blue and gold bank jackets with the initials SNB on the pocket, curled into a fanciful logo, the same logo that’s stitched into the carpet, mosaiced into the walls, embossed on the stationary, and watermarked into the checks. The male employees and officers up to ambassadorial rank wear pale blue and gold blazers. Everybody has been trained to smile at all times. The whole place looks like a huge, walk -in dental advertisement. There is probably also a bank song. With commentary like this, the plot is almost secondary. McGee goes through the motions, separating the femme fatales from the dames with heart, weeding out the sociopaths from the merely greedy, commenting on race relations, Cuban society and of course sex. Then towards the end of each novel, he does some heavy lifting, almost gets killed, gets lucky and knocks out the bad guy with the full force of his brand of McGee justice. Florida’s slide towards doom and Jeb Bush is not halted by McGee’s actions, but perhaps, we might want to think, it is slowed for just a few beautiful breathless seconds. Then he’s off on another mission of sexual healing, sailing his ship down the coast and into the islands, disappearing into the void he created for himself. McGee would never have used facebook, would have resisted mobile phones, forever in search of friendship, quality of life, clean air and the next, slightly illegal haul. Above all, in almost every story, McGee bemoans the death of the American environment by fast and profit orientated development. In Bright Orange for the Shroud he comments: Now, of course, having failed in every attempt to subdue the Glades by frontal attack, we are slowly killing it off by tapping the River of Grass. In the questionable name of progress, the state in its vast wisdom lets every two-bit developer divert the flow into drag-lined canals that give him ‘waterfront’ lots to sell. As far north as Corkscrew Swamp, virgin stands of ancient bald cypress are dying. All the area north of Copeland had been logged out, and will never come back. As the glades dry, the big fires come with increasing frequency. The ecology is changing with egret colonies dwindling, mullet getting scarce, mangrove dying of new diseases born of dryness. McGee lived from 1964 (The Deep Blue Good-Bye) to 1984 (The Lonely Silver Rain). Each of his adventures was color coded. In the later novels, McGee becomes increasingly depressed about the violence in America. MacDonald’s last work was commissioned by the The U.S. Library of Congress. The resulting essay, Reading for Survival, is a conversation between McGee and Meyer on the importance of reading.The 26-page essay was released in a limited edition of 5,000 copies and can be found online here. There’s a couple of lukewarm Travis McGee film adaptations and there have been rumors that Oliver Stone and Leonardo Di Caprio were going to tackle the first McGee novel, but nothing has materialized as yet. Like I said, sad that I have plowed through every one of McGee’s adventures. I will just have to start reading them all over again. Read more on Noir and Pulp on my blog The Devil's Road my link text

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    My Grade = 85% - B First Published 1971. 306 pages. This is at least the third time I have read this one..... In the early Autumn of 1982 I took a travel sabbatical from teaching high school English. I gave up my apartment, put my furniture and stuff in storage, packed the car, especially with books, and took off to drive around the country visiting, among other things, The Alamo and the Fountain of Youth. Ironically, at some point that fall, I found myself in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with two Travi My Grade = 85% - B First Published 1971. 306 pages. This is at least the third time I have read this one..... In the early Autumn of 1982 I took a travel sabbatical from teaching high school English. I gave up my apartment, put my furniture and stuff in storage, packed the car, especially with books, and took off to drive around the country visiting, among other things, The Alamo and the Fountain of Youth. Ironically, at some point that fall, I found myself in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with two Travis McGee books by John D. MacDonald. For those not in the know, John D. MacDonald was a writer, mostly of pulp fiction from the 50's to the 80's, with Cape Fear and Condominium being two of his best known works. Altogether there are more than fifty novels (and many short stories) in his works. Besides all these, he is the creator of Travis McGee, Fort Lauderdale beach bum who lives on his houseboat, The Busted Flush, at, if I remember correctly, Slip F-19 Bahia Mar. McGee has been described as a modern Don Quixote. He calls himself a salvage engineer. When someone has something taken away from them or stolen and cannot possible get it back legally, Travis will retrieve it at one-half its value. Last week when I was waiting for the arrival of the third book in a trilogy from e-bay, I was looking for something I knew I'd like reading, so I grabbed this one at random from my complete Travis McGee collection. There's nothing exactly lost or stolen in this one except that an old friend of his is missing. Complications ensue..... There are 21 books in this series, and I have very much enjoyed every one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Henri Moreaux

    I found myself feeling a little disappointed in the direction the character took in this book. Initially it seemed good, a bit of personal reflection, questioning of self motivation and life direction then a little later in the novel Travis is repeatedly choking a woman to get information out of her. It sort of takes the evilness away from the character whose torturing and killing people too when the main good character is happy to choke people for information and threaten them. Just found this o I found myself feeling a little disappointed in the direction the character took in this book. Initially it seemed good, a bit of personal reflection, questioning of self motivation and life direction then a little later in the novel Travis is repeatedly choking a woman to get information out of her. It sort of takes the evilness away from the character whose torturing and killing people too when the main good character is happy to choke people for information and threaten them. Just found this one not as enjoyable as most of the others, seemed like it was trying too hard.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    I guess I'm a little put out by Travis McGee because he gets clocked by the bad guy and it scrambles his normal good thinking and actions. But he's concerned about Mary Brody enough to start out on a salvage project without evidence of a payoff. Meyer jumps in to provide good counsel and rehabilitation after the clock event. I guess I'm a little put out by Travis McGee because he gets clocked by the bad guy and it scrambles his normal good thinking and actions. But he's concerned about Mary Brody enough to start out on a salvage project without evidence of a payoff. Meyer jumps in to provide good counsel and rehabilitation after the clock event.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Not the best entry in the McGee series imo... Less humor & more gritty than those I like better.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Text Addict

    Ay ay ay, some serious nightmare fodder in this one.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I like the Travis McGee series. The problem I have with most series is that I often don't read them in order which usually doesn't matter, but I forget which ones I have read. Until I begin again and - oh, I've read this one. John MacDonald and Walter Mosely use color names for titles, one author uses ABCs, and so on. This has little to do with this book, just my rant. I like the Travis McGee character and these mysteries. I like the Travis McGee series. The problem I have with most series is that I often don't read them in order which usually doesn't matter, but I forget which ones I have read. Until I begin again and - oh, I've read this one. John MacDonald and Walter Mosely use color names for titles, one author uses ABCs, and so on. This has little to do with this book, just my rant. I like the Travis McGee character and these mysteries.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Nice quote that fixes this novel in 1971: Trav is lightly undercover: "A guard moved in from the side and asked if he could help me. I said I was meeting the little woman here because she had to cash a travellers check, probably to buy some more of those damn silly hotpants, and where would she go to cash a travellers check." Nice quote that fixes this novel in 1971: Trav is lightly undercover: "A guard moved in from the side and asked if he could help me. I said I was meeting the little woman here because she had to cash a travellers check, probably to buy some more of those damn silly hotpants, and where would she go to cash a travellers check."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Noreen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Lessons in bad guy, Abnormal psychology: He fits the pattern of a certain kind of damaged personality ...He could be called the activated sociopath sadist. Bright, healthy, energetic, competent. Excellent in areas requiring ritual. Mathematics, accounting, engineering. Quite cold inside. Tricky. Unable to concede the humanity of people around them because, having no basis of comparison, they think all of us have their same dry and barren soul. They are loners. They can charm when they choose. Se Lessons in bad guy, Abnormal psychology: He fits the pattern of a certain kind of damaged personality ...He could be called the activated sociopath sadist. Bright, healthy, energetic, competent. Excellent in areas requiring ritual. Mathematics, accounting, engineering. Quite cold inside. Tricky. Unable to concede the humanity of people around them because, having no basis of comparison, they think all of us have their same dry and barren soul. They are loners. They can charm when they choose. Sexually stunted, inhibited, often impotent. ....injuring her seriously activated him. Now he knows what he wants. He wants inventive episodes like the one with Lisa. The money will be meaningful only in how many such episodes it will buy. He isn't aware of evil. Only of being caught. You have to think of him as a bored child who suddenly discovers that it is wonderful to go to the pet store and buy a mouse and bring it home and do things to it until it is dead. Life is no longer boring. It is full of rich and wonderful excitement. The mouse share the experience, so he feels fond of the mouse for as long as it lasts. Stroking Lisa's forehead, drying Harry's sweaty face, are imitations of emotion. We can imagine he spoke tender words to Mary because she was pleasing him, giving him release. He's not a madman in any traditional sense. He cannot feel guilt or shame. If caught, he would feel fury and indignation at the game's ending too soon. He'll go to great lengths to feel free, unsuspected. His career is a lot less important to him than it used to be. Build-a-broad: $50 makes you a hooker. $500 makes you a call girl. $5000 makes you a courtesan. $50,000 makes you a career woman (con artist/grifter). Alimony is a cheap hustle. She had ripened young. They had drilled virtue into her so mercilessly that, when she was seduced, she believed herself corrupt and evil. Purity could not be regained. So she ran away and spent a dozen years corrupting because she believed herself corrupt, debauching because she had been debauched, defiling because she was the virgin defiled. When you cannot like yourself or any part of yourself in mind or body, then you cannot love anyone else at all. If you spend the rest of your life on bleeding knees, maybe Jesus will have the compassion to love you a little bit. She had been destroyed twelve years ago. It was taking her a little while to stop breathing. Good guy psychology: Men who are rich have times when they don't listen. Men who are quite bright have times when they don't listen. Men who are both bright and rich always listen. That is how they got the money and that is how they keep it. Charlie Munger 95, Warren Buffet's business partner, tends to "skim" or "at least give some cursory attention" to any book that mentions Berkshire Hathaway. (Both bright and rich). WSJ 1/26/2019 pg B4 Jason Zweig The Intelligent Investor. But Danielson says Waterbury is honest by choice, not as a matter of necessity or operating policy. Developers: These are the same folk you see dancing in the moonlight aboard ship in the tour ads. These are the people who keep saying that if you've got your health, you don't need anything else. But when the condominiums are finished and peopled, and the speculator has taken his maximum slice of the tax-related profits and moved on to crud up somebody else's skyline, the inhabitants all seem to be on the frangible side of seventy, sitting in the sunlight, blinking like lizards, and wondering if these are indeed the golden years or it it is all a big sell, an inflation game that you have to play, wondering which you are going to run out of first, your money or your life. The developers leave enough to go wrong in each condominium that it becomes an odds-on bet the money runs out first. Nursing homes are a big industry in sunny Florida. On craft gin: There is something self-destructive about Western technology and distribution. Whenever any consumer object is so excellent that it attracts a devoted following, some of the slide rule and computer types come in on their twinkle toes and take over the store, and in a trice they figure out just how far they can cut quality and still increase market penetration. Their reasoning is that it is idiotic to make and sell a hundred thousand units of something and make a profit of thirty cents a unit, when you can increase the advertising, sell five million units, and make a nickel profit a unit. Thus the very good things of the world do down the drain, from honest turkey to honest eggs to honest tomatoes. And gin.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Thirteen books into the series, and old Travis McGee seems to be slowing down. This story is filled with Trav doubting his abilities, reflexes and motivations. Like the earlier books, there is plenty of philosophizing, jabs at the human condition and modern life, but in this one there seems to be a more existential focus, with a middle portion that really has McGee struggling with all. And he comes closer to dying in this one than in the other previous books, as I recall. All of this ruminating Thirteen books into the series, and old Travis McGee seems to be slowing down. This story is filled with Trav doubting his abilities, reflexes and motivations. Like the earlier books, there is plenty of philosophizing, jabs at the human condition and modern life, but in this one there seems to be a more existential focus, with a middle portion that really has McGee struggling with all. And he comes closer to dying in this one than in the other previous books, as I recall. All of this ruminating is intertwined with a confusing plot involving a missing woman, a greedy psychotic land developer/investor, a trip to Grenada, and plenty of womanizing. You must remind yourself that these books are a product of their time and are written for a male audience, but the treatment and portrayal of women can be a little hard to take, and sometimes is laughably ridiculous. Not the best of the series so far, but not the worst either. You don't need to read this series in order, so if you're new to the series don't start here.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    John MacDonald's Travis McGee is not a good man. He is certainly not a man you would want your son to emulate. But, like Joab in the story of David, he is loyal to his friends and sometimes necessary in difficult times. MacDonald put a different color in each title so the reader could remember if he had read the story before. The stories are formulaic: McGee is lounging around his houseboat when a friend or a friend of a friend comes by needing help. McGee gets into the mix. There are dead bodie John MacDonald's Travis McGee is not a good man. He is certainly not a man you would want your son to emulate. But, like Joab in the story of David, he is loyal to his friends and sometimes necessary in difficult times. MacDonald put a different color in each title so the reader could remember if he had read the story before. The stories are formulaic: McGee is lounging around his houseboat when a friend or a friend of a friend comes by needing help. McGee gets into the mix. There are dead bodies. McGee comes out ahead monetarily. But the stories are told with verve and imagination, and occasional really thoughtful passages about life. Another advantage is that the books are a quick read. They are also easy to find. Most libraries have a few. Most thrift stores have a few. Most used book shops have a few. So there is little expense for an afternoon's reading pleasure.

  21. 4 out of 5

    MisterLiberry Head

    Travis McGee, our “tinhorn Gawain,” is changing. He hasn’t been a smoker (not even of manly pipes) for half-a-dozen books now, although no mention is ever made of Trav quitting. Since THE DEEP BLUE GOOD-BY, our hero has been shot several times, cut with a knife and punched silly by an ex-prizefighter. The first queasy stirrings of doubts about his instincts and reflexes that began in THE LONG LAVENDER LOOK have grown to alarm bells. The Lauderdale boat-bum who steals from thieves, often at the r Travis McGee, our “tinhorn Gawain,” is changing. He hasn’t been a smoker (not even of manly pipes) for half-a-dozen books now, although no mention is ever made of Trav quitting. Since THE DEEP BLUE GOOD-BY, our hero has been shot several times, cut with a knife and punched silly by an ex-prizefighter. The first queasy stirrings of doubts about his instincts and reflexes that began in THE LONG LAVENDER LOOK have grown to alarm bells. The Lauderdale boat-bum who steals from thieves, often at the risk of his own life, feels “overdue, and scared, and not ready for the end of it yet”(p93). In A TAN AND SANDY SILENCE, McGee wakes up to the possibility that another of his apparently endless list of “broken birds” might be in danger when her jealous husband blusters his way on board the “Busted Flush” and tardily tries to shoot McGee at close range. So, rather than stick around trying to decide whether to become the permanent “tame houseguest” (p109) of an amorous titled British lady, McGee takes off for Grenada to confirm whether his former cruise companion, Mary Broll, is safely in hiding on the island. It requires a serious concussion and being tormented by a humorless sado-sociopath for Travis McGee to arrive at the important epiphany: “I’m hooked on the smell, taste, and feel of the nearness of death and on the way I feel when I make my move to keep it from happening” (p299). It’s about 1970 in the story, so A TAN AND SANDY SILENCE is full of fun antiquarian references: Green Stamps, Kharmann Ghias, Eastern Airlines, Hubert Humphrey, Spiro and F. Lee Bailey. McGee is a big fan of Eydie Gorme, especially of her several Spanish-language albums with Trio Los Panchos, and he predicts that “maybe a generation from now” her recordings will be a collectors’ joy (p60). Eydie died on Aug. 10, 2013, at the age of 84--sorry about that, Trav!--maybe the collectors will line up in another generation or two from now.

  22. 4 out of 5

    JoAnna Spring

    It's probably not John MacDonald's fault I didn't finish this book. I tried to read it in little pieces and kept losing the story. One of Trav's friends is missing and he goes to Mexico to check it out. Lots of money shenanigans and real estate blah blah. As I have come to expect, however, I love McGee a little more with each book: "The sun bleaches my hair and burns it and dries it out. And the salt water makes it feel stiff and look like some kind of Dynel [I have no idea what that is....:]. Wer It's probably not John MacDonald's fault I didn't finish this book. I tried to read it in little pieces and kept losing the story. One of Trav's friends is missing and he goes to Mexico to check it out. Lots of money shenanigans and real estate blah blah. As I have come to expect, however, I love McGee a little more with each book: "The sun bleaches my hair and burns it and dries it out. And the salt water makes it feel stiff and look like some kind of Dynel [I have no idea what that is....:]. Were I going to keep it long, I would have to take care of it. That would mean tonics and lotions and special shampoos. That would mean brushing it and combing it a lot more than I do and somehow fastening it out of the way in a stiff breeze. Life is so full of all those damned minor things you have to do anyway, it seems nonproductive to go looking for more. So I go hoe the hair down when it attracts my attention. The length is not an expression of any social, economic, emotional, political, or chronographic opinion. It is on account of being lazy and impatient."

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'm not sure why I didn't enjoy this one as much as the other two McGee novels I've read. It was a bit more grisly, perhaps, and the villain went beyond being merely unconscionable; he was a sociopath. The scene on the beach with the basket and the head was downright chilling. That would have been fine on its own, but I had trouble following the details of the real estate scheme so I kept losing interest in the story. And oh, right, one more thing: the hooker cruise operation. I've given MacDona I'm not sure why I didn't enjoy this one as much as the other two McGee novels I've read. It was a bit more grisly, perhaps, and the villain went beyond being merely unconscionable; he was a sociopath. The scene on the beach with the basket and the head was downright chilling. That would have been fine on its own, but I had trouble following the details of the real estate scheme so I kept losing interest in the story. And oh, right, one more thing: the hooker cruise operation. I've given MacDonald a pass on a lot of the politically incorrect stuff because of the era he was writing in, and the pulp nature of the material, etc., but I lost my tolerance for the story with this absurd and unnecessary plot point. I realize the ship rescuing McGee after he used the riptide to escape the sociopath tied the plot up nicely, but ... really? Did he need to be rescued by a ship full of naked women?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Definitely not the best in John MacDonald's Travis McGee series. I was thrilled to see Meyer playing such a large role in the story - I'd missed him! - and was curious to read about Grenada, an island I have not been to yet - but the story as a whole dragged quite a bit, and I nearly fell asleep many nights right in the middle of a chapter, something I almost never do. And some of the language in the book was off-putting, but considering that the book was written nearly 40 years ago, I'm not sur Definitely not the best in John MacDonald's Travis McGee series. I was thrilled to see Meyer playing such a large role in the story - I'd missed him! - and was curious to read about Grenada, an island I have not been to yet - but the story as a whole dragged quite a bit, and I nearly fell asleep many nights right in the middle of a chapter, something I almost never do. And some of the language in the book was off-putting, but considering that the book was written nearly 40 years ago, I'm not surprised. Still, there were parts of the book that were really wonderful, like the Hell's Belle, and the way Travis rescues himself from Paul Dissat towards the end of the book. I get the feeling that this installment might improve with repeated readings, as I begin to notice little details that I might have missed the first time around.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Harv Griffin

    This is not one of my favorite Travis McGee novels, although it is competently constructed, and has some good moments. Any McGee will do if I’m bored, and there’s nothing else around to read. This puppy didn’t really grab me until about page 66; even then, I could pull free anytime I wanted. TAN is a serviceable Hunt-For-A-Girl story. Maybe I don’t much like TAN because Trav gets tied up and almost killed twice! @hg47 This is not one of my favorite Travis McGee novels, although it is competently constructed, and has some good moments. Any McGee will do if I’m bored, and there’s nothing else around to read. This puppy didn’t really grab me until about page 66; even then, I could pull free anytime I wanted. TAN is a serviceable Hunt-For-A-Girl story. Maybe I don’t much like TAN because Trav gets tied up and almost killed twice! @hg47

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    #13 in the Travis McGee series. Travis McGee is visited and shot at by Harry Broll, a real estate developer who insists his missing wife would have fled to McGee. Something doesn't ring true and Travis and friend Meyer look for the missing Mary and encounter a web of high finance deception and murder stretching from Lauderdale to Grenada. #13 in the Travis McGee series. Travis McGee is visited and shot at by Harry Broll, a real estate developer who insists his missing wife would have fled to McGee. Something doesn't ring true and Travis and friend Meyer look for the missing Mary and encounter a web of high finance deception and murder stretching from Lauderdale to Grenada.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Terry Graap

    Another excellent book in the Travis McGee series by John D MacDonald. McGee investigates an ex lover's disappearance. He doesn't find her but another woman is impersonating her in Grenada. He unveils her murder and a financial scheme. Another excellent book in the Travis McGee series by John D MacDonald. McGee investigates an ex lover's disappearance. He doesn't find her but another woman is impersonating her in Grenada. He unveils her murder and a financial scheme.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Randy

    Damn. I had forgotten how good this stuff was.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    This is a memorable one, for sure. McGee comes very close to dying here.

  30. 5 out of 5

    wally

    12 jun 15 #48 from macdonald for me and this is the 14th travis mcgee story. if you only read the travis mcgee stories you are missing out on some fine story-telling. i've read 34 non-travis-mcgee stories and they rock and roll. macdonald rocks the casbah. just finished Dress Her in Indigo onward and upward. 15 jun 15 finished. good story! worth a read. the bad guy in this one gives me the heebie-jeebies, more so when one realizes there are people...too many...like that in the world. they walk amo 12 jun 15 #48 from macdonald for me and this is the 14th travis mcgee story. if you only read the travis mcgee stories you are missing out on some fine story-telling. i've read 34 non-travis-mcgee stories and they rock and roll. macdonald rocks the casbah. just finished Dress Her in Indigo onward and upward. 15 jun 15 finished. good story! worth a read. the bad guy in this one gives me the heebie-jeebies, more so when one realizes there are people...too many...like that in the world. they walk among us but they do not wear horns on their forehead. by their fruit you will know them. in this one, mcgee isn't tasked with recovering...salvaging, may it do ya...a large sum of money...although a large sum of money is in play. he tasks himself with learning the whereabouts of harry broll's wife mary. what follows is a nicely plotted and characterized story, a colorful cast of people large and small, more than a few scenes that cross the border into what i'll call southern gothic, for lack of a better term, and so forth and so on and scoobie doobie doo. good read story begins on the most beautiful day any april could be asked to come up with, i was kneeling in eight inches of oily water in the cramped bilge of meyer's squatty little cabin cruiser, the john meynard keynes, taking his automatic bilge pump apart for the third time in an hour. the socket wrench slipped, and i skinned yet another knuckle. time place scene setting *all there in the first sentence, april, meyer's boat, the john meynard keynes * time moves along through april...the 22nd...to a date late in may by story end * bahia mar fort lauderdale, florida * the busted flush, travis's barge-like house boat, slip f-18 bahia mar * april 14th, day story opens * the jilly iii, boat of meyer's current girl, jillian brent-archer, widow of henry brent-archer * al's musicade...where travis brings his marantz for repair * west of lauderdale off davie road, harry broll's place of business, broll enterprises, inc * harry broll's home residence, 21 blue heron lane * 8553 ocean boulevard, a development of apt/condos by harry broll and harry is staying on the 6th floor of 12 stories, apt #61 * the above is called "casa de playa" * monty's lounge in the shopping center, where travis and jeannie dolan, sales at 8553 ocean boulevard, go for a couple drinks * townsends, pier 66, the wastrel where travis does not go with jillian for eats and drinks * miss agnes, travis 30s mnodel rolls royce that someone converted to a pickup truck and painted bright blue. travis named the car after an elementary school teacher. * january 5th is when mary left harry...she'd caught harry with a canadian girl around christmas give or take * southern national bank & trust company, miami * barbardos * grenada, grenada beach hotel...taxis in both grenada and barbados * holly dressner's place, close neighbor to harry/mary broll * grand anse beach, grenada * cottage #50, spice island inn, grenada...and #54 * car rental place, grenada...travis rents a moke, a kind of jeep * hell's belle, 3-masted schooner captain mickey laneer (f) and a crew of 7-8 maidens...who mostly go naked * a ma and pa motel on route 1 into lauderdale * the red crab for eats * a lighthouse, grenada * paul dissat's place, palm vista gardens d-2 * several locations in canada are mentioned, toronto, others * beach off a-1-a * seagate building site, warehouses, construction-type * 7 miles due west of frigate island * the dulcinea...with rupe and artie aboard characters major * our hero, travis mcgee, beach bum, this, that, the other * meyer, his economist friend, neighbor there at bahia mar * harry c broll, 35...a kind of developer builder mover shaker...his wife mary left him months earlier and has not returned. mary had had a time with travis and harry incorrectly presumes travis and she are shacked up. he has moved out of his home and is living in an apartment in a big complex he helped develop. he showed up at the busted flush and asked where's mary. * mary dillon broll...travis and she had had a time together in the past, then she married, now she has left harry her husband and nobody seems to know where she is. she spent time w/travis, recuperating, after the accidental death of her divorced husband, wally * jeannie dolan, in sales at the complex that harry helped develop, her and another, betsy booker. they are both from columbus, ohio, came to florida for a divorce, betsy's hubbie is a city fireman, jeannie's husband is an accountant, and betsy is having it on with harry broll * lisa dissat, 26, the canadian quiff harry broll is banging when another turns mary on to that information * paul dissat, 37, lisa's 1st cousin, also canadian, an accountant characters minor, named, not named, scenery/setting characters * a canadian girl...that harry had a fling with, mary caught them * jillian brent-archer, widow of henry brent-archer...travis and she are together as story opens * crew of three * a dozen guests assembled * she and her injured friend * smallish, withered englishwoman, mrs lenore ogleby, husband geoffrey * a friend of a friend * two-legged lamprey * nice little swiss elves * an old man was jogging slowly by * a fat girl in a brown dress * al of al's musicade * meyer's friends in money, finance, accounting that sort of thing, he "talked to twenty people." * a girl answered...phone, harry's business * miss locklin, a person with harry's utilties where travis gets information * yearly invasion of easter bunnies * seven lads to every easter bunny * a waitress at the monty's lounge * a housekeeper said...from jeannie to travis * natalie and charles townsends * dennis waterbury, quebec (canadian money) financier, in deal with harry broll * jensen, baker and company, national accounting firm doing an audit of harry & company's stuff * fairmont, noyes...names associated with the above * tina potter/ freddie...friend of mary, who had gone to florida to see tina...who is not in atlanta...tina's kids * johnny dow's plymouth sedan...a friend of mcgee's...and i've seen the name before, but as yet, have not met johnny * holly dressner, a close friend of mary * her husdand, david, two little gals, gone all week * mary's bank trust officer at southern national bank & trust company, miami * professor danielson in toronto, associate of waterbury * mrs caroline stoddard...(paul)...mr w's private secretary * mrs deangela, at the travel agency (mary used), the seven seas in hollandale * rupert darby, hired captain on the dulcinea * artie calivan, mate on the dulcinea * captain mickey laneer, she is the captain of the hell's belle, a charter service that caters to men * julia, teddie, louise, hester, janey, joyce, margot, and valerie...crew of the hell's belle * mr woodleigh...sounds like coxswain...hell's belle * joyce, two above...has a husband * leonard sibelius, lawyer...and he appears in person in another story...one where miss agnes goes off the road...from miami, travis mails a letter (security0 to him * sally, wife of rupe/rupert darby...they have thre kids...and sally went back to her folks, married a widower w/4 kids of his own * diane barbet, best friend of lisa in canada * 2,000 passengers from the queen elizabeth ii, docks in grenada * joshua...one of the bearded, biblical men * the healer for the tribe (of religious folk on the beach) * the vinegar girls...suffering from crabs, so they go naked on the beach, into the salt water, meyer tells them of the fabled vinegar cure * foster cramond...two exx-wives...ends up with jillian, who was looking, travis was not available-enough * widower dentist in north miami, jeannie dolan's friend is with by story end * travis's uncle (story from past) * a baby was crying (with the tribe on the beach) * a dream girl...skull...and this brings back the image from earlier, an eagle flying, the skull of a...weasel, i think, attached * two lovely ladies * the rental man on grenada, beautiful people, fashion photography team, yacht people, twosome guests, ritualistic sun worshipers * the girl standing behind the counter * delmonica pennypacker...who is miss kathy marcus, bank teller at southern national...and she was delmonica at the house boat party * a guard at southern national * mr winkler, vice president at southern national * herman falek, cashier at southern national * a fat political gentleman * boss immigration fellow...on the return from grenada * a magic name (not provided) and his wife...used by travis since he had no papers/documentation * the lighthouse attendant on grenada * choirmaster * barbie...who had to be let go from the hell's belle * hester, crew of the hell's belle, father is a bank official in jamaica * four fellows from a television network, clients of the hell's belle * "gavin lee" identity used by travis on grenada * a bored bartender in a red coat/grenada * a bellhop * carl brego...is with "mary" on grenada when travis first enounters her * a minor partner in one of waterbury's developments, victim of lisa and paul...the partner's wife * another * a deaf boy...to do with lisa * people swam in the relative cool of twilight * a limber black girl * oswald, the name of a taxi driver on barbados * albert own, the name of a taxi driver on grenada * stewardess, pilot...on flight from miami to barbados * mia (miriam) cruikshank, a stewardess on the flight who has an extended conversation with travis * "forrester" an identity used by meyer talking to the bank * two police, one named al...who check out travis and meyer checking out the miami airport parking lot * nine lithe maidens, a gaggle of giggles, a prance of pussycats...this is probably what some call the sexism in the mcgee stories...and some refuse to read because of that...just as the religious fok refuse to read some things for the curse words therein that this the other but it is the religious folk who are taken to task for being judgmental. ha! it's okay to be pee-cee. * kincaid, one of meyer's constituents * "breadox"...a name meyer provides for one...dog named rover * some racing jackass...one of the rare times macdonald uses vulgar language, although he doth take the lord's name in vain on numerous occasions, again, entirely understandable to pee-cee crowd who refuses him for sexism. ha! * the girl beside him * the surprised folk in the other car * mr woodrow willow, trust officer of mary famous, real, fictionally famous people * a jim harrison quote before story opens: in northern manitoba/ a man saw a great bald eagle--/ hanging from its neck,/ teeth locked in skin and feathers,/ the bleached skull of a weasel. "a year's changes" * jesus, jesus h. christ * god, almighty god * eydie...music * trio los panchos...music, kind of backup to eydie * john meynard keynes...the name of meyer's boat * marantz, fisher...associated with sound system thingies * bertram, matthews, burgers, trumpys, huckins, rybovitches, strikers...names of boat makers * easter bunny(ies) * papa hemingway * edison (boca grande...naples?) * gawain * merrill lynch * alex bell, don ameche * hubert humphrey * walter mitty * prince valiant * f. lee bailey * ali mcgraw * rosinante * george patton * spiro (agnew, vice president to nixon) * walt (disney, i think, chipmunk cheeks) * montovani * seabees * hindustani (person or thing?) * dulcinea...name of a boat, quixote's lady * khrush ? * raggedy andy * mother hubbard * thomas jefferson

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.