RE: RARA-AVIS: John D. MacDonald: after all

From: Todd Mason (
Date: 02 Apr 2001

I, too, suggest anyone who hasn't try THE EXECUTIONERS, which is way the hell better than either of the two CAPE FEAR movies, and takes about ten pages iirc (so it's not much of a spoiler) for the parents threatened by the bright and relentless ex-con to decide they must kill the SOB themselves, and thus (not without reservations) become the executioners of the title...a point neither film can bring itself to.

I forget whom I first read who suggested that Travis McGee was a Rotarian's idea of being a hippie, but I enjoy the TMcG novels nonetheless (though I agree the musing-lectures can be a bit self-indulgent; I prefer them to the more terse and more obnoxious similar observations made by Mickey Spillane, among others). Surely no one's going to suggest that the characters are excessively quirky compared to, say, Andrew Vachss's, among many other successors'...

-----Original Message----- From: Kent Westmoreland [mailto:] While we're on the subject of non-McGee novels, I recommend "The Executioners" which is the basis for the great Robert Mitchum/Gregory Peck film CAPE FEAR, which in turn spawned the much weaker 1990's remake with DeNiro and Nolte
----Original Message Follows---- From: Etienne Borgers <> Juri, you red the "wrong" novels by John D. MacD.

You have to try something written before his McGee series, series that was inferior in many ways to his earlier works. Only 2 or 3 of the McGee series are of higher standard (series easy to spot, as the English title always carries a name of a different color) . This McGee series was an attempt to broaden his readership when HB was already losing ground in the US(his and by other writers)and the public luuve serials with recurrent characters. Commercially it was a great success, but unfortunately it shadowed almost entirely his earlier novels for the American public after the 60's (that were also successful, but mainly with different readers).
--- Juri Nummelin <> wrote:
> On Fri, 30 Mar 2001
> wrote:
> > >I just began to wonder whether you were really
> talking about John D.
> > >MacDonald. I have trouble reading him.
> > Hi, Juri. I was curious to know why. I've just
> gone back to Travis
> > McGee (after about 30 years <g>) and realised how
> much I like the series.
> I have had problems with his characters who seem to
> be eccentric only
> for eccentricity's sake (McGee's partner, whatever
> his name is, McGee's
> strange and peculiar habits (I just hate his Rolls
> Royce turned into a
> pick-up)), with his language that is forcedly
> relaxed and with his
> dialogue that is filled up with long monologues
> about life, politics and
> none-too-bright wisdom. MacDonald babbles. That's
> the main problem.

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