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A Tan and Sandy Silence
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A Tan and Sandy Silence (Travis McGee #13)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  1,612 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Travis McGee is the strikingly handsome and ever resourceful invention of John D. MacDonald. Born in the author's imagination in 1964, McGee drifted into the world on a 52-foot diesel-powered houseboat, the Busted Flush, which he has used as a base of operations through many adventures.

In A TAN AND SANDY SILENCE, news of a former girlfriend's mysterious disappearance leads

Mass Market Paperback, Reprint. U.S. Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 12th 1985 by Fawcett Books (first published January 1st 1971)
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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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
A TAN AND SANDY SILENCE. (1971). John D. MacDonald. ****.
It’s all about money, and money is usually attached to a land deal of one kind or another in south Florida. McGee runs into a syndicate that is going public with their stock in an attempt to raise enough capital to launch a huge construction project. One of the fringe investors in the company has a big piece of the action as stock options. He needs to come up with a large hunk of change - $300,000 – to buy up the other shares he needs to m...more
Tom Vater

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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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 a memorable one, for sure. McGee comes very close to dying here.
Aaron Martz
This book starts off like any other McGee book, with a startling sequence of suspense (This time around, a man from McGee's past comes aboard the Flush and tries to kill him), and before McGee knows it, he's looking for that man's missing wife, an adventure which takes him all the way to Grenada. The first half of the book is taut and well-written, but the book becomes sloppy in its last half, and its resolution is unfocused. What is memorable about the book is the sadistic, psychotic villain an...more
Michael Fredette
John D. MacDonald, a prolific post-war crime novelist, is best known for his Travis McGee series, of which A Tan and Sandy Silence (1971) is a part. In this novel, Travis McGee, boat bum and unlicensed private investigator looks into the disappearance of his former girlfriend Mary. She has been married for three years to a faithless, overweight, wealthy real estate investor named Harold Broll. After catching him cheating, Mary leaves him then disappears. Travis investigates whether or not she le...more
Jan 08, 2009 bookczuk marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
Sadly, I don't have time to read this book in the near future, so I will release it. But I did raed the forward by one of my favorite authors, Carl Hiaasen, which was definitely worth it. One of the things I love about Hiaasen is his passion for the land and environment of Florida and his despair at how humankind is crapping it up. The intro alone is worth the read, and Hiaasen's parting words as to where Travis McGee is now, after the death of John D MacDonlad, make me want to start in on this...more
Everett Egginton
Jun 06, 2014 Everett Egginton rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Travis McGee readers; others who enjoy somewhat violent mysteries
Recommended to Everett by: No one
Engaging while reading it; forgetful immediately thereafter.
James Schubring
There's a sense of tiredness as a main theme of this story. It drags the reader's (or, at least, my) energy down.

This is the story of a clever younger man who has a taste for money and murder. He comes up against the clever older man Travis McGee and bests McGee twice, but it unable to close his murderous attempts in both cases.

There's a lot in this book to love, but it didn't click for me like Darker Than Amber. I'll keep reading in the series, though. There's plenty here to love. I'm just grou...more
Nov 29, 2009 Valerie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Valerie by: Julie Neer
I'm only going to write one review for this whole series, because, frankly, I read them so long ago that I think they've all blurred for me. My mother, and perhaps Uncle, were really gung-ho about these, and gave them to me to read when I was about 13 or so...I suppose the thinking was that if I grew up to be a womanizing, semi-violent bachelor living on a houseboat in Florida, I would be well prepared.

I remember enjoying the books when I read them, but I don't think I ever reread any of them.
Nancy Moore
I've read all of this series and loved every one. I read them in order - I always read a series in order, in fact, I'm compulsive about it - because I like to follow the character's life and the author's writing as they both grow. Mr. MacDonald never disappointed - each one is a great thrill ride and they got better each time. Read my review on "The Deep Blue Good-by" to meet Travis, and get ready for some great reading!
One of my favorites, as it involves running a scam on some folks and making everything work out in the end - well sort of. It is also another story where McGee almost meets his maker - but he is saved in a very unique fashion, very James Bond like - a ship full of women of pleasure! A wonderful description and quite a surprise.

Meyer plays a great part and it is a good story.
Steve Goble
A good read, for those in the mood for some violence. This was a re-read for me, as I have read all the Travis McGee books. This one starts with a bang, then takes a long while to get going again, but picks up steam in a big way about halfway through. The middle part seems stretched, and could have been tighter, but once Travis realizes things have gone bad it is a cracking good read.
I kept putting this one down- boring and so dated. I finally gave up about half way through. Travis McGee was an unlikeable, rather violent man, in my opinion. Will not read any more of them.
"c1972: ""A woman is buried up to her neck at the shoreline as the tide comes in. The waves wash over her head and pull her long hair back across her face as they retreat, saving the bound and helpless McGee from having to watch her take her last breaths."" This is the 12th Travis McGee book and I loved them all...
It was okay. This is the second McGee novel I've read and my third MacDonald. I'm slowly warming to McGee, I guess--the guy is so highly rated; I'm slowly figuring out why, though I am not in love just yet. I'll keep reading McGee and MacDonald and hopefully the other offerings will be better.
David Ward
A Tan and Sandy Silence (Travis McGee #13) by John D. MacDonald (Fawcett 1971)(Fiction-Mystery)- these are wonderfully written mysteries, light as a feather, disposable as a tissue, and as dated as a rotary telephone. They are all great fun! My rating: 7/10, finished 1990.
During our summer trips, my Mom and I would always listen to books on CD and cassettes. This one's been through quite a few roadtrips with us, I don't think either of us can get enough of Darren McGavin's fantastic vocal interpretation of John MacDonald's quick and dirty gumshoe read.
Michael Stanton
Investment deception, shadow thin villains, gray fog, hot tar, steamy sex
Mike Ely
An enjoyable read, but not my favorite in the Travis McGee series. The story took a while to develop and I wasn't too invested in many of the characters besides McGee. If you haven't read a Travis McGee book, I'd start with another one.
I love the Travis McGee series. I love when I read a book that I thought I'd already read, and have no idea what is going to happen. John D. MacDonald is ... impeccable? Brilliant? My style of a great summer read.
Nancy Clark
Though this isn't the best of John D. McDonald's Travis McGee books, it was one of my favorites because I bought it while staying on a boat in Grenada where much of the action of the book takes place.
Read thies books maney years ago read them all liked them so much I couldn't get rid of them there still on my book shelf along side my Matt Helm series books.
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John D. MacDonald was born in Sharon, Pa, and educated at the Universities of Pennsylvania, Syracuse and Harvard, where he took an MBA in 1939. During WW2, he rose to the rank of Colonel, and while serving in the Army and in the Far East, sent a short story to his wife for sale, successfully. After the war, he decided to try writing for a year, to see if he could make a living. Over 500 short stor...more
More about John D. MacDonald...
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