Joseph's Reviews > The Deep Blue Good-By

The Deep Blue Good-By by John D. MacDonald
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's review
Sep 05, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction
Read 2 times. Last read December 31, 2008.

I discovered Travis McGee back in 2000 or 2001, as I was sampling what many deemed "pulp fiction". I suppose there's some hard-boiled grit to McDonald's writing, but he's just too good to be lumped in with some of the other trash that is also recognized as "pulp".
I've read all 21 of the McGee books, and I think I'll try to re-read them, one or two a year, while also trying to fit in some of McDonald's non-McGee works. (He was a prolific author.)
As part of my reviews, I'll copy in a passage from each book of that unique McGee philosophy. Here's one of my favorites from a Deep Blue Good-by:
These are the playmate years, and they are demonstrably fraudulent. The scene is reputed to be acrawl with adorably amoral bunnies to whom sex is a pleasant social favor. The new culture. And they are indeed present and available, in exhausting quantity, but there is a curious tastelessness about them. A woman who does not guard and treasure herself cannot be of much value to anyone else. They become a pretty little convenience, like a guest towel. And the cute little things they say, and their dainty little squeals of pleasure and release are as contrived as the embroidered initials on the guest towels. Only a woman of pride, complexity and emotional tension is genuinely worthy of the act of love, and there are only two ways to get yourself one of them. Either you lie, and stain the relationship with your own sense of guile, or you accept the involvement, the emotional responsibility, the permanence she must by nature crave. I love you can be said only two ways.
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