The Colors in a Writer’s Mind–John D. MacDonald & Travis McGee

Scarlet Ruse
According to this National Post column by Robert Fulford that I tweeted about earlier, Random House is reissuing all 21 of John MacDonald’s Travis McGee novels, and some of his books that were not in the McGee series. I hope they include in the latter group, The Executioners, the book that was adapted for the movie “Cape Fear,” in the first instance starring Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck, and Polly Bergen (1962) and later, Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, and Jessica Lange (1991). The McGee titles were all color-coded, so readers could remember which ones they’d read, and which they’d missed. I am glad to see they’re coming back, as paperbacks and ebooks. I love these books and have blogged about them frequently in the past couple years. I had first found this John D. MacDonald fan page on Facebook, where I discovered the Fulford column posted by a fellow fan. At Undercover Books, where I worked from 1978-85, we stocked and sold and reordered all these titles. Most of the books in the gallery below were in the library of my late brother, Joel Turner, which I brought in to my own library after his death in 2009.

3 replies
  1. Jack W Perry says:

    I am a big fan of the Travis McGee novels. I remember back many years ago when Fawcett did a re-package and re-promotion of the series. I see many of them in your photos above.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    As we might expect, the Travis McGee novels indulge in a fair amount of superhero, bubblegum, cartoon or comic strip stuff, and that’s fine. Certainly one of their primary purposes is to entertain. But Macdonald also has other aspirations that go far beyond divertissement. McGee is a kind of philosopher of his time – that is, he makes philosophical statements about the society he finds himself in and, periodically, about the cosmos in general.


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