Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Red Hot Typewriter: The Life and Times of John D. MacDonald” as Want to Read:
The Red Hot Typewriter: The Life and Times of John D. MacDonald
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Red Hot Typewriter: The Life and Times of John D. MacDonald

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  54 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Although John D. MacDonald published seventy novels and more than five hundred short stories in his lifetime, he is remembered best for his Travis McGee series. He introduced McGee in 1964 with The Deep Blue Goodbye. With Travis McGee, MacDonald changed the pattern of the hardboiled private detectives who preceeded him. McGee has a social conscience, holds thoughtful conve ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published August 12th 2000 by Minotaur Books
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 The Red Hot Typewriter, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Red Hot Typewriter

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
A thorough and entertaining biography that should be a must-read for JDM fans. Little critical insight, and it felt a little like a graduate thesis (the writing is not strong), but the book provides some wonderful background on the life of one of the great "mystery" writers of the 20th Century (including his vexed relationship with Hollywood and his evolving views on social issues) who also happened to be a great writer full stop.
Aug 17, 2017 added it
Shelves: biography
Just finished the book and thinking how I want to rate it.

On the plus side, I don't totally hate John MacDonald after reading it, which is more than I can say for some other biographies (Arthur Conan Doyle, for example).

After WWII, John MacD and his wife settled for a while in Clinton, New York. Like many outsides, John MacD. had a false impression of academic life and didn't find the kind of camaraderie he was looking for in Clinton. And it's winter in upstate New York for about 8 months of th
Cap'n Bobby
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Who knew that I liked biographies? I certainly didn't till I read this book. I loved it. I actually felt sad when the story was over because I wanted to keep reading. "The Red Hot Typewriter" is my all-time favorite biography.

I like John D. MacDonald, a prolific writer and composer of the Travis McGee series. John D. Is the great Florida crime writer, an artist who inspired other Florida greats such as Carl Hiaasen and James W. Hall. If you're interested in the history of Florida crime writing,
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hadn't expected to blaze through this in an afternoon but it was compelling. Because MacDonald's writing career began in the pulp magazines - when starting out he wrote 800,000 words in the first four months and received over 1,000 rejections! - and continued until is death in the mid-1980s, there is a fair amount of history about the publishing industry as we follow his writing trajectory. There is some interesting back story on many of his novels - he was one to put his personal concerns into ...more
Mar 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
This is an okay, if somewhat flat, biography. It might be hampered by its subject, who was cranky, maybe humorless, and basically wrote all of the time. MacDonald had adventures during WWII (including vaguely cloak and dagger stuff), but longed to get out of South Asia, and basically took no interest in India. Merrill details some of the conflicts of MacDonald's early life and tough times at the outset of MacDonald's marriage, but he barely connects this material to MacDonald's writing (more oft ...more
Feb 07, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a biography of MacDonald, a prolific writer who created the character, Travis McGee (the subject of many novels in the Spenser variety). McGee lives on a houseboat in the Fort Lauderdale area, but he travels around solving crimes. He likes women, but he's not a womanizer. He also wants to right the wrongs of the world in the Sir Galahad manner of Spenser. MacDonald grew up in NY but lived for a year in Cuernovaca, Mexico (where I've spent most of my Mexican time), and lived many years i ...more
Tom Britz
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
The biography of John D. MacDonald was well written. My only drawback was that I was left with not much feel for John D., the man. I know what he did,in his life, just not the why. This may have been because John D. was very jealous of his privacy. John D. MacDonald was a prolific writer of detective/suspense novels in the 0's through the 80's. He influenced writers as varied as Stephen King and Carl Hiaasen.
Hen House
Dec 16, 2011 rated it liked it
The story is told in incredible detail and takes you through MacDonald's entire career. He had a troubled relationship with Hollywood and was unable to let go of his scripts and have films based on them. He seemed to miss the point that movies were not verbatim recreations of novels; they are stories based on the original work. All in all a good read, and I'd recommend it to those interested in the genre.
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: john-d-macdonald
This solid book has just reissued by Stark House, and it's well worth the time of any fan of John D. MacDonald. You get a real sense of the man and his fierce ambition to be successful, and you see what a tremendous work ethic he possessed. A useful book.
Nancy Loe
Sep 22, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Travis McGee lovers
MacDonald comes across almost exactly as I'd imagined him. I wouldn't have wanted to know him, but I do enjoy the Travis McGee series.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »