RARA-AVIS: Re:Speaking of JDM

From: Raymond Tait (raymond.tait@ntlworld.com)
Date: 11 Oct 2009

  • Next message: Ron Clinton: "RE: RARA-AVIS: Re:Speaking of JDM"

    Speaking of JDM I have never really been a huge fan of the Travis McGee books. I have read them now and again over the years having first read one as a teenager. I recently read the first one, The Deep Blue Good-by, over thirty years after my first McGee book and I didn't enjoy it all that much mainly because of the pontificating. I recall some of the others, e.g. Nightmare in Pink, being better. I feel fond of the series but there are several aspects of the books that for me are quite irritating.

    The only other JDM book I had read until this year was Cape Fear which I thought pretty good but also a bit overrated and a little bit dull. I know he is revered but up to now I couldn't see what the fuss was about. While up in Shetland in the summer I picked up a copy of the Pan books edition of Man-Trap (Soft Touch) - the film tie in edition - and read it on the return trip. I was very pleasantly surprised by it. Classic noir and much tighter and leaner in the way it is written than the McGee books. Not remotely self-indulgent. And a humdinger of a last chapter. Soon after I read Dead Low Tide which is a very different book, not as dark, but also first rate. I am looking forward to the next one. I am sure I will return to the McGee books again as there is a lot to like but unless Soft Touch and Dead Low Tide are the career pinnacles, which I doubt, the real gold is in his non McGee books. What are the ones to seek out? Or avoid? I have quite a few that I have pic
     ked up still to read - the last one being Death Trap - but pointers are always welcome.


    PS Just read Grifters Game (Mona) by Lawrence Block. That's a cracking read with a nice sour ending.

    PPS is the film of Man-Trap any good? I hadn't heard of it until I came across the paperback

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