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One Fearful Yellow Eye

(Travis McGee #8)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  4,149 ratings  ·  146 reviews
"To diggers a thousand years from now...the works of John D. MacDonald would be a treasure on the order of the tomb of Tutankhamen."

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

How do you extort $600,000 from a dying man? Someone had done it very quietly and skillfully to the husband of Travis McGee's ex-girlfriend. McGee flies to Chicago to help untangle the mess and discovers that although Dr. For
Audio Cassette, Abridged, 0 pages
Published April 12th 1999 by Random House Audio (first published 1966)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,149 ratings  ·  146 reviews

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Jul 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery, mcgee
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
Joe Valdez
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
As research for a novel I'm writing, I'm reading detective fiction and ripping off everything of value. My story takes place in L.A. of the early '90s, but I'm traveling to all eras and hiring all types of sleuth as tour guide. Published in 1966, One Fearful Yellow Eye is the eighth Travis McGee mystery by John D. MacDonald. Most of the book takes place away from Bahia Mar in Fort Lauderdale as McGee arrives in Chicago to help an ex-lover named Gloria "Glory" Doyle Reis locate the estate of her ...more
"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
Dec 06, 2010 rated it liked it
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
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 b
This was never one of my favorite McGee novels and if this wasn't a book by John D. MacDonald and one of the Travis McGee series, and if I hadn't committed to re-reading all of these, I wouldn't have continued past the third chapter. No edge at all in basically the first half of the book. Just a lot of long torturous back story, delivered predominantly via long and torturous expository dialog as McGee interviews family members and hangers on to find out what secret led Fort Geis to liquidate his ...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.
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
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
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
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 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
Aug 27, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Barbara Lemon
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that I have previously read most of the Travis McGee novels. Florida has changed so much since this novel and I read about the ravages to the environment with sadness. This one was mostly in Chicago though. Of course much has changed since these novels were written.Women have made much progress in achieving how they are portrayed in our culture. For the young women who take this progress for granted, they have only to read these novels to appreciate the hard-won progress. I did n ...more
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
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
Carla Remy
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
MacDonald always delivers great characters and good plots plus language always seems real with overtones about life in modern times
Andrew Diamond
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Published in 1966, One Fearful Yellow Eye is the eighth book in John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series. This one takes place mostly in Chicago, where McGee has travelled to help an old friend. Gloria “Glory” Doyle was one those “broken birds” McGee had taken in and for a period of healing after her life had gone wrong. Her happily-ever-after came in the form of marriage to the good and caring Dr. Fortner Geis.

This story opens with a call from Glory. It seems someone had been extorting the late
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
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This book has problems. (view spoiler) ...more
Jim Thomas
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 20, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoy the writing style and unspooling of the mystery tremendously, but Travis McGee is such a unaware gross perv the enjoyment just barely comes out on the positive side.
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
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
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
John Bunyan
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
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
Jerry B
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Except for the final entry in this 21-book Travis McGee set, we’ve had a rather ho-hum attitude about the other nine we’ve read to date. Often the plot seems flawed at the end; and while obviously the author is admired by legions for his writing skills, his attitudes about women, homosexuals, and probably many other things are quite dated. As another reviewer so accurately notes, the stories, dating back now some fifty years, have not held up nearly as well as the author’s reputation.

And so with
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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. 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)

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