Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “One Fearful Yellow Eye: A Travis McGee Novel” as Want to Read:
One Fearful Yellow Eye: A Travis McGee Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

One Fearful Yellow Eye: A Travis McGee Novel

(Travis McGee #8)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  3,751 ratings  ·  124 reviews
"To diggers a thousand yeasrs from now...the works of John D. MacDonald would be a treasure on the order of the tomb of Tutankhamen."

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

How to you extort $600,000 from a dying man? Someone had done it very quietly and skilfully to the husband of Travis McGee's ex-girlfriend. McGee flies to Chicago to help untangle the mess and discovers that although Dr. For
Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 1966)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about One Fearful Yellow Eye, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about One Fearful Yellow Eye

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,751 ratings  ·  124 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Jul 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mcgee, crime-mystery
It’d been twenty-some years since I’d read the Travis McGee books, and when I heard that a movie version of The Deep Blue Good-Bye was in the works, I’d started picking up copies in used bookstores to give the series another read. I’ve had moments where I’ve started to regret that decision.

While I had fond memories of MacDonald’s tales of the Florida beach bum who makes his living recovering funds that were stolen by semi-legal means or conned from the victims, re-reading these early books from
"A man will let his money be taken only when the alternative is something he cannot endure."
- John D. MacDonald, One Fearful Yellow Eye


McGee does Chicago. I liked it, but didn't love it. Sometimes MacDonald takes McGee away from Florida and it seems to almost work, but I still think I prefer McGee on a boat to McGee in Chicago, in the snow. As a favor to an old flame, McGee goes to Chicago because her ex-husband's estate has been emptied and the relatives all think she did it. McGee looks into t
James Thane
The eighth installment of the Travis McGee series takes place in Chicago rather than in Florida, and thus most of the usual cast, save for McGee himself, is MIA. It is not a book that would have endeared MacDonald to the Chicago Chamber of Commerce. The author was obviously not very fond of the Chicago, and through McGee makes some fairly cutting comments about the Windy City and its inhabitants.

For those unfamiliar with the series, McGee is a self-styled "salvage" expert. If someone is defraude
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There is, I thought, almost no useful thing the human animal will not in his eternal perversity misuse, whether it be alcohol, gasoline, gunpowder, aspirin, chocolate fudge, mescaline, or LSD

I'm not sure what happened here.

I've really enjoyed all of the Travis McGee books up to here. One of them I think I thought slogged a little bit, but it was able to recover in its own way. This one just never seemed to really get going, until maybe the last 20 pages, but then it felt more like MacDonald fel
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Only 2.5 Stars.

McGee away from Florida, away from nature mostly. Not his best arena.

As usual with my reviews, please first read the publisher’s blurb/summary of the book. Thank you.

There is one amazing quote that I keep remembering. MacDonald doesn’t like Chicago much, and on the lakeshore, on the deck of a house, he looks out...

The temperature was dropping, the wind increasing out of the north, and in the last grayness of the day I saw a full line of red in the west, like distant cities bur
Benjamin Thomas
The eighth novel in the Travis McGee series finds Travis far from his sunny home aboard The Busted Flush in southern Florida. In fact, the story starts with Travis descending into Chicago O’Hare Airport in wintertime, responding to a distress phone call from Glory Geiss, an old flame who has recently become a widow. Seems her rich doctor husband had been dispersing his fortune over the past several months to the point where most of it is now gone. Dr. Geiss’s son and daughter are convinced Glory ...more
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Travis McGee series
Recommended to Ed by: A fan since I was a kid.
Marvelous Travis McGee, modern knight errant, here. Trav flies north to Chicago to help out an old friend who turns out to be a rich widow. The only trouble is nobody knows where all of her late husband's dough has gone. The brutal Chicago winter doesn't appeal to McGee, but he doesn't slow down to get to the bottom of things. This title reminds me why I like the series. Lee Child offers an insightful introduction to this reissue.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
McGee travels to Chicago and there it's cold and it's dark, much too dark for me, in more ways than one. (I lived in Chicago one winter, that's all I could take, and was never so happy to see a city in the rear view mirror of my car as it was just so painfully cold, but I do hear the city is great in the summer months.) This is the darkest (to me) of McGee's adventures so far, and the plot consists of a mess of relatives whose connections were, well, just too messy for much contemplation. I pref ...more
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best reads. Loved it.A great adventure with Trav !!
JoAnna Spring
Meh. A fine book, but not spectacular. Trav goes to Chicago to help a friend whose rich, older husband died and apparently had been blackmailed out of all funds. Nefariousness and intrigue occur with lots of beautiful social commentary that always feels current despite being written over 40 years ago.

I miss the biting banter when Trav is working with/for women who are friends. Because he likes these women, they are usually implausibly perfect and bland. Give me a flawed, self-absorbed, psycho bi
Aug 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m sorry, ONE FEARFUL YELLOW EYE, I think a lot of this is me rather than you. Yes, I know I raced through you quite quickly and you might have got the impression than I was entranced by you, but really, I was just trying to get to the end.

The more I consider it, I may just have issues with the whole sub-genre of Florida crime fiction. I can remember once trying to read to Elmore Leonard’s RUM PUNCH and getting nowhere, the work of Carl Hiaasen has always left me cold, and I can’t say I’m blown
Harv Griffin
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, own
pic of ONE FEARFUL YELLOW EYE on my shelf

At the moment, due to Amanda’s excellently written complete trashing of Travis McGee in her ★ review of MacDonald’s DARKER THAN AMBER (she may have even called it Book Rape, I forget), a cautionary note to potential female readers may be appropriate.

ONE FEARFUL YELLOW EYE is Copyright 1966. Travis McGee’s views on women are anchored in the Sixties. Travis easily makes my Top Ten List of favorite literary characters, but savvy 2012 women are going to have “
Jul 27, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When I was thinking about tackling the Travis McGee series, I consulted my mom on this. She was a major mystery reader. (MMR) To qualify for this designation start with all of Agatha Christie (88 books) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (4 novels 200+ stories).

She was woman of few words and her respond was pursed lips and a few knowing nods. This expression had only been observed for Les Miserables and Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" (best opera of all time).

So, Travis McGee is was. I have to say I h
Mackenzie Brown
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book I loved better the second time of reading.
Bronzed beach bum McGee, turns up in snowy Chicago in December to help a widowed friend who tells him somebody has stolen her dead husband's fortune.
This book has one of the finest plots in the series and leaves you guessing until the very end. I also must admit that the poignant ending fired up my emotions as only truly great writing can. John D MacDonald was a master at work and the Travis McGee series is a timeless reminder of a man at the heig
Carla Remy
I loved the first two in the series, but since then, I haven't been able to get interested in the plots. It's confusing, because the writing is great and there are always very interesting sections. I just don't love series in general. In this case, McGee, I find the books sprawling and uneven. I adored MacDonald's one off A Bullet For Cinderella (1955) - it was tighter, contained, very full but also shorter.
Jan 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
MacDonald always delivers great characters and good plots plus language always seems real with overtones about life in modern times
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was a little tedious for the first two-thirds of the novel. In terms of formula, author MacDonald makes a big deviation in setting, as much of the story takes place outside McGee’s Florida habitat and places him on the streets of Chicago, a few northern suburbs, and the desolate rural towns west of the city, in the onset of winter. McGee is asked for help by an old friend (yet another ‘lost lamb’ of a woman he saved from despair and death several years prior). After her fling with McGee ...more
Grady McCallie
This book has problems. (view spoiler) ...more
Jim Thomas
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
I had almost forgotten the real embodiment of masculinity, Travis McGee. Knight not in shining armor but beach bum attire, McGee is not really a detective but helps people in need if he feels right about the job. I say masculine because there have been two films I know of, the one in the 80s starred Sam Elliot and one made even earlier had Rod Taylor. Neither captured McGee's essence. This one is a highly complex story with a lot of threads that McGee eventually ties together. John D. MacDonald ...more
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Travis McGee is always a delight to read. An especially scathing description of Chicago politics and at one point the wind was ruffling the 4 tons of paper on the Chicago streets.
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Copyrighted 1966, very dated style, not as good as Lawrence Block. Dumb story line. I thought I would never finish this book. Bless his heart, I remembered John MacDonald as being better than this.
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding. I am reading them chronologically and this one is the best so far. Reason being it had me scratching my head up until near the end. It was awesome and could have been longer. I am not the biggest fan of Chicago, but McDonald drew a perfect picture of mid 1960’s Chicago and created a setting for his skulduggery. My first 5 star for Mcgee but all others 4 and maybe one 3. On to the next book in the series.
MisterLiberry Head
There are not enough pejorative words and disparaging metaphors in the English language to adequately express the loathing of our sun-bronzed Florida “salvage consultant” for winter in Chicago, where ONE FEARFUL YELLOW EYE finds him.

In his eighth adventure, McGee hops onto his spavined destrier and rides to the rescue of another of his one-time “broken birds,” Glory Doyle Geis, who now is the widow of a prominent and wealthy neurosurgeon, Dr. Fortner Geis. The doctor has left an awful mess in hi
Pete Hoetjes
I have to admit, this was a departure from the rest of the books in this series. Travis McGee travels to cold Chicago. What occurs thereafter is what can only be described as a very well made adult drama. I'd go so far as to call it a soap. John MacDonald has enough talent to make it enormously interesting and I have to say it was engrossing.

I will disclose that I didn't finish the book, and explain so soon. In the half I read, it was well written and paced. Much of it took place in flashbacks a
Aug 23, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Occasionally, I join with Travis McGee on one of his adventures, eight times in the last ten years. I always look forward to Travis's easy banter, his well crafted descriptions of situations and scenery, and his ability to solve whatever mysteries lie before him. John D. MacDonald writes better than most in this genre so a Travis McGee novel is often light reading spun into a comfortable, recognizable formula that typically makes for good fun.

With my expectations high for so many reasons, One Fe
John Bunyan
I haven't read a Travis McGee story in 30 years and this wasn't the one to jump back in with. Maybe they were all like this and I had a different perspective before.
McGee is described in this book as a savior of wounded birds, meaning women in trouble. A woman that McGee is getting involved with is raped in the story. He describes his feelings by comparing it to the time he and his brother built this sports car and then it was damaged in an accident. Although it was repaired, it was never the s
Bill Williams
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This time around, Travis McGee is on the trail of the lost fortune of a recently deceased Chicago doctor. McGee knows the young wife of the older doctor and the angry family has the long knives out for his beach buddy.

The novel is full of charming character bits and great storytelling as McGee tries to pick up a long dead trail. It's short on action, but long on story and craft.

One unfortunate tic of the series is on full display in One Fearful Yellow Eye. McGee meets broken people as he walks
David Wrubel
Apr 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beach-reading
JD McDonald's Travis McGee books were my first experiences with the private detective / happy maverick moral loner / mystery genre, and after decades of reading others, Travis McGee remains my favorite. Stone Barrington in Stuart Woods' novels is OK but formulaic; Robert Crais' Elvis Cole is a close second to McGee, but Crais' Joe Pike character, while darker, has more potential for development. Plus, Travis McGee is just very cool!

But I digress. John D. McDonald was the master, and Travis McGee
Travis McGee, part rebel, and a part philosopher........a ruggedly sexy Floridian boat bum with a special talent for helping friends in trouble or get a revenge on their death.

This time McGee was called from an ex-girlfriend Gloria Geis in Chicago who married a Dr. Fortner Geis about the disapperance of six hundred thousand dollars, and has become a mystery after the Dr. died. So, Travis McGee flies to Chicago to untangle the mystification of how and who extorted the $600.000 from a dying man. I
Nancy Moore
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Before Midnight (Nero Wolfe #25)
  • The Paths of the Air (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #11)
  • The Big Sleep; Farewell, My Lovely; The High Window
  • A Catskill Eagle (Spenser, #12)
  • South of Heaven
  • Captiva (Doc Ford Mystery, #4)
  • Even the Wicked (Matthew Scudder #13)
  • Playmaker
  • Odd Velvet
  • The Zebra-Striped Hearse
See similar books…
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. He served in the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.) in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations. A ...more

Other books in the series

Travis McGee (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • The Deep Blue Good-By (Travis McGee, #1)
  • Nightmare in Pink (Travis McGee, #2)
  • A Purple Place for Dying (Travis McGee #3)
  • The Quick Red Fox (Travis McGee #4)
  • A Deadly Shade of Gold (Travis McGee #5)
  • Bright Orange for the Shroud (Travis McGee #6)
  • Darker Than Amber (Travis McGee #7)
  • Pale Gray for Guilt (Travis McGee #9)
  • The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper (Travis McGee #10)
  • Dress Her in Indigo (Travis McGee #11)
“Every day, no matter how you fight it, you learn a little more about yourself, and all most of it does is teach humility.” 7 likes
“If there was one sunset every twenty years, how would people react to them? If there were ten seashells in all the world, what would they be worth? If people could make love just once a year, how carefully would they pick their mates?” 3 likes
More quotes…