As an aspiring writer in the early '80's, I bought a book on writing called Maybe You Should Write a Book by Ralph Daigh. In one chapter he talks about JDM and how he wrote feverishly upon getting out of the service, papering his walls with rejection slips. I had never heard of him or TM, so I went directly to the public library and grabbed the first JDM book I saw, which happened to be the Purple book. Needless to say, I was distracted from my writing for several months, as I read every TM book I could find. My wife had to remind me to get back to my own writing. The dialogue between TM and Meyer was addicting and delicious. My mind conjured up images of Meyer and TM which I have to this day.
JDM was a courageous writer and man. He has impacted my life.
I just found this web site. I was telling my wife of 1 year about John D's Travis McGee books last night. I turned 62 the 12 of this month. I was a marine engineer sailing tankers 34 years. On a ship the only way to survive with sanity is the act of reading. I read every book by this man I could get my hands on over the years at sea. The guy could paint a person,place,situation,or even an emotion and tell the story in a way to make me hesitate putting the book down,afraid I was gunna miss something. LOL. This is a great site.Thanks so much.
In the late 1980s, like millions of other British citizens I was unemployed. Looking for a cheap (preferably free!) and enjoyable way of passing my increased leisure time. Consequentially, my reading went up from one or two novels a week to almost one a day.
One of these novels was a dog-eared paperback, picked up for 10p in a charity shop, called Dress her In Indigo. To say I was hooked somewhat understates my reaction. The Marlowes, Spades and Archers of this world are OK, but I could never identify with them. Between them, Travis and Meyer seemed admirable templates for the way men ought to live their lives.
Most admirable was the lack of conventional ambition (up the greasy pole) with the accompanying lack of materialism.
Macdonald was way ahead of his time with his environmental concerns and understanding the true value of leisure.
Nowadays it all seems to be about 'standard of living' rather than quality of life.
My favourite novel is The Long Lavender Look. Lilo is a femme-fatale like no other.
Sudbury in Suffolk, U.K.
We had become just friendly enough to converse easily, so it was a surprise when, one evening, she asked if I would walk her home when the library closed. As it turned out, she was being harassed by an ex-boyfriend and was in need of an escort. It wasn't until we had reached her home that I actually saw the guy. We were sitting on the porch steps when he drove by in a car full of buddies. But he didn't stop, and I've never dwelt on the incident. But apparently Tanya felt that the jerk drove on without stopping simply because I was there.
A few moments later, she said as she passed me a glass of lemonade, "Thanks, Trav. The only thing I can give you half of is this." She toasted me with the whole pitcherful.
Since she knew that my name wasn't Trav, I had to ask what on earth she was talking about. And she explained about John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee.
It wasn't until weeks later that I realized that this was in fact the same John D. MacDonald whose books I had years before shoplifted more often than any other from the paperback rack at the drugstore as I walked home from church, youth group, and choir practice. Way back when the price of paperbacks was 20 to 35 cents.
Upshot: I've known about and enjoyed the works of JDM for about 50 years and started in on the Travis McGee books shortly after he first appeared. I've re-read the complete series several times since then, but it's been more than 15 years now, mainly because I was for so long unable to separate the chaff of sexism from the wonderful story-telling.
While cleaning out the garage a few weeks ago, I came across the 17 that I have in paperback and, beginning another re-read, am dismayed that I waited so long! And I now carry in my wallet a memo with the 4 missing titles, hoping to find them at a yard sale or thrift shop.