Emilie Richards's Reviews > The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper

The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper by John D. MacDonald
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Aug 27, 2011

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Read in July, 2011

My husband got this from a Florida bookseller who knew he loved Randy Wayne White. I read it for fun this summer. Also a White fan, I knew I wouldn't be getting the same kind of read even if I was getting another dose of real Florida.

The era was different, but I'd really forgotten HOW different. Travis McGee's a great guy, but this was a lot like reading a pared-down, slightly more thoughtful James Bond. Travis was in and out of bed with three women in the story with several other "encounters" that could have but didn't end up there. More interesting was the way that he uses his considerable sexual expertise to help the women characters overcome problems in their lives. Kind of a PI sex-therapist. Some of the dialogue felt very yesterday, and his view of women and of African-American culture was interesting for the era. He was enlightened by those standards but certainly not by ours.

Having said that, MacDonald's writing and lots of his insights were laudable, even though the story itself wasn't credible. I thoroughly enjoyed delving into this famed series and meeting Travis McGee, but won't be out digging for more selections any time in the near future.
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