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A Purple Place For Dying (1995)

A Purple Place for Dying (1995)

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4 of 5 Votes: 3
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0449224384 (ISBN13: 9780449224380)
ballantine books

About book A Purple Place For Dying (1995)

18 may 15, #36 from macdonald for me, the 3rd travis mcgee story i will read and this is travis mcgee #3 just finished Nightmare in Pink...and been some time since i read the first, The Deep Blue Good-Bye20 may 15, finishedgood story. takes place out west state not named, esmerelda county, and there is an actual county in nevada by that name. in this one, it's not much of a spoiler to write that one dame dies early, within the first few pages give or take. money is involved. isn't it always involved, somehow? money, greed, revenge, hatred. and by story end...hey, this is #whatever of what is it, 21?--by story end all is well and all manner of things are well, we're back on the beach, back on the busted flush, people heal, those that are left after the blood, and we go on from there.time place scene setting* esmerelda county (call it nevada though a state is never specified)* carson airport, 50 miles away from the main scene* a gas station & lunchroom, carry's at cotton corners* story begins in october, like the previous, no definitive time by story end though time has passed* the sage, a convention hotel, where travis stays after the latigo* latigo motel...where travis 1st stays* opening scene, a road in the desert, a small 20x20 cabin, a rock slide* the latigo is between idle hour lanes & baby giant soop-r-mart* corral diner* state western university* faculty residence building at swu, hardee #3, where isobel webb and her brother lived* state road 100...state road 202* bahamas, old mallet cay, an old house there* lawyer office of rogan & mazzari in old yellow bank building* courthouse, sheriff office part of courthouse, a small room off the courthouse corridor* montana, mentioned in passing* jass yeoman's spread/ranch* small house of juan estobar* a number of drugstores...where travis eats/drinks/calls* cottonwood club in the kendrick building east central avenue* esmerelda city* carson, where airport is located...el paso mentioned* the walter rupert place/spread/locale* burned wells, small two-block town where a village of people who do ranch work live* a motel restaurant* x-cell motel east bank mobile bay* the busted flush* belasco, village/town where the lawyer resides, has office* the sage, sundowner grillcharacters* travis mcgee* mona yeoman, 32-year-old, wife of jass yeoman, rich wild rancher-type. her mother died when she was two. father died when she was twelve* fran weaver, who referred mona to travis, the widow mrs. hyde weaver* cubbit fox, deceased, father of mona, past friend party-buddy of jass yeoman* jasper "jass" yeoman, 58, husband now of mona who wants out of marriage* john webb, assistant professor of humanities at state western university, the man with whom mona wants to run away* dolores canario estobar, previous maid of jasper, is also his daughter* married now to juan estobar* wally rupert, former partner of jasper, a partnership of convenience, * michael mazzari, a lawyer hired by mona, from belasco, another town/village nearby* sheriff fred buckelberry* isobel webb, sister to john, also works/lives at state western university with her brother...she is the "dame" in this story* big blonde woman, elizabeth "betty" kent alverson...impersonated mona on the flight with "ron"* charlie and pablo, two sons of amparo sosegado, who knew jass yeoman* esteban sosegado, husband of amparo...they live in burned wells, know doloressetting characters, some with names, most there to move the story along* a married man mona had a fling with, went to paris, france, he went back to wife, jasper rescued her* a man mona hired, private-eye-type, to watch jasper, he was jailed* deputy london, answers the phone call from travis at cotton's corners* arnie, man at cotton's corners* sis, girl at cotton's corners, likened to buddy hackett* deputy homer hardy, arrives at cotton corners before sheriff* deputy dave carlyle, arrives at cotton corners before sheriff* a fat & absent-minded young woman with a baby riding on her big soft hip* old broad in jacksonville whose stepson lifted her collection of gold coins...a job that travis considers taking, instead of working on mona's problem* friend meyer, the economist...back in The Dreadful Lemon Sky meyer has a much larger role. here, he is nothing more than a name* a couple walked by the window. harry is the man*a young women came trooping in (restaurant), bowling team, dot, connie, beth, margo, janice* the ticket man* "mr and mrs webber johnson" the names used by the couple to impersonate mona and john* people wearing badges (convention hotel, the sage, where travis stays)* the uniformed guard* kids were hurrying* tawny cushiony girls & the bullfighter boys* a gray-haired lady* john webb, a student with the same name as mona's fling* mr knowdler, dean of faculty at state western university* both the the webb parents were artists* a man stood just inside the door* the smiling stewardess, madelaine houser* tom claymount, dead now, a lawyer who worked with jass yeoman* the court attendant...harry...a name used by mazzari outside courtroom...the jury...judge...client* lieutenant tompkins central c.i.d.* search crew...technician...two good indians* a clot of young boys* charlie baker, associate of jass yeoman, another mover-shaker* montana man selling mares* operator, telephone* names, cottonwood club poker, wednesdays, boone kendrick, joe gay, tom o'del, fish ellery, jaimie devrees, paul tower...wally rupert and sonny madero two that don't play* helen holmes, lady wally rupert married, 6 kids, died, married her kid sister catherine, she had two, bred five more, she died, married a mexican, rosa, had nine off her* small children at play* two young men who stood* elevator attendant, at the kendrick building where the cottonwood club is located...a small man, also there* old maid first cousin in yuma* roof bar at the cottonwood...armando* prosperous-looking & healthy-looking men* waiter* chief kittering, city of esmerelda* one of the special groups of agents (irs)* jaimie devrees has the paper & the tv & radio* ron, impersonated john on the flight from carson to el paso with betty* ron met a guy in a bar...who initiated the farce* a man came sauntering* shadowy figure, two men came running, deputies* miguel* deputy and stenographer, with fred the sheriff* warm brown gals, giggling & cuddly* doctor kuppler...helps travis with isobel webb* francisco pompa, knife-wielder, attacks jass yeoman, travis defends* a freckled little clerk* a woman, amparo* hughes, robischon, star b...ranches associated with the people of burned wells* a small group of men sat on the steps...a small boy* jigger from nassau* some spook...who robbed betty on the busnames of real, famous, famous imaginary, so forth* buddy hackett* freudian* heidegger, borad, ryle, sartre, camusa quote on educationeducation is something which should be apart from the necessities of earning a living, not a tool therefor. it needs contemplation, fallow periods, the measured and guided study of the history of man's reiteration of the most agonizing question of all: why?a word used in story* a "cronkie" is someone who had been in trouble with the lawstory opensshe took the corner too fast, and it was definitely not much of a road. she drifted it through the corner on the gravel, with one hell of a drop at our left, and then there was a big rock slide where the road should have been. sh stomped hard and the drift turned into a rough sideways skid, and i hunched low expecting the white alpine to trip and roll. but we skidded all the way to the rock and stopped with inches to spare and a great big tree three feet between the read end and the drop-off. the skid had killed the engine.

Just to make sure that readers of this review understand up front that Travis McGee is my best guy ever. Please consider that my only disclaimer. Been in love with Travis since I first met him in the early 1970's. First Edition Cover and Probably One I ReadThis review is based, in part, on comments made on a blog created by D. R. Martin called Travis McGee and Me which I read and comment on regularly. All fans of John D. MacDonald and Travis should check it out. But a cautionary note, there are spoilers scattered throughout. I took slight issue with a comment on the blog “His ladies were usually damsels in distress which distresses the feminists to no end.” It’s my opinion that Travis respects woman to no end. Of course, Travis is not a perfect man and he recognizes that but who is a perfect human being? It's my opinion that most feminists, myself included, find no problem with the interaction Travis has with women, as stated in the blog, the “damsels in distress.” Damsels, the word itself in my mind, is antiquated. Travis, as I recall, probably interacts with men in distress with equal fervor in the 21 adventures from The Deep Blue Goodbye to The Silver Lonely Rain.With more time, I could check through D. R.’s blog to determine just who was in distress, i.e. how many women vs men call upon Travis for his ‘salvage’ expertise.A woman plays a prominent place in most every book but nothing surprising about that since women play a significant role in most books of every genre, some, of course, more than others. And why not, since they're about one-half the world population? However, with …Purple… being the third book in the series,(all written from 1974 to 1984) author John D. MacDonald goes into greater depth as to how Travis relates to and treats women and his own personal philosophy of life and living it. From time to time in each book, Travis gives the reader a clue, some insight as to his personal philosophy. Travis and his wiry hair...self described In the words of Travis himself from A Purple Place for Dying:Finding Travis and Isobel (Iz) are in a small cold cave at night huddled together trying to warm themselves and nature simply took its course. Iz, being reserved, frightened and lacking any self-confidence whatsoever is quite afraid of her own emotions. “I patted her shoulder and said, ‘Iz, if we get. If I get you out of this. If you’re ever in my arms again. Just one word will do it. Every time. No. that’s all you have to say. No. And it stops. So don’t say it as a nervous habit. Say it when you mean it. No. there’s nothing wrong with my hearing.’ She thought it over. ‘But I always thought…that men…’ ‘The ravening Beast?’“ Travis asked. Then Iz, stating how she’s changed from the first time she met Travis says “You let me hang myself with my own rope. Philanthropy, you wretch?”Travis thinking and commenting on Why?“Education is something which should be apart from the necessities of earning a living, not a tool therefor. It needs contemplation, fallow periods, the measure and guided study of the history of man’s reiteration of the most agonizing question of all: Why? Today the good ones, the ones who want to ask why, find no one around with any interest in answering the question, so they drop out, because theirs is the type of mind which becomes monstrously bored at the trade-school concept. A devoted technical is seldom an education man. He can be a useful man, a contented man, a busy man. But he has no more sense of the mystery and wonder and paradox of existence than does one of those chickens fattening itself for the mechanical plucking, freezing and packaging.”Travis on love in life“She sighed and started at me, then bent back to her scrubbing. These were our sad ghost, and they made life sweeter somehow by keeping us aware of what a precarious gift it is. And when life seems sweet, love is exaltation.”Forgiving one's self“It would one kind of penance. And there are never enough kinds. Not for him. Not for me. And certainly not for you, my friend.”*****With regard to the titles, I’m making note of where they come from in each novel, with …Purple… referring to the period of time when darkness relinquishes to the sun's rising. “The grey of that light and the reddish tone of the huge rocks made of it a purple world. This was the foolish end of all the foolish things, in a purple place for dying. I was too far from the bright water and the bright boats.” Travis is, of course, speaking of Slip-18, Bahia Mar, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Travis and Busted Flush Dust Jacket Which Hangs Over My Monitor on WallLastly, another small gem from JDM through the voice of Travis: “People who censor books are usually illiterate.”Travis McGee, and I know I repeat myself, is my kind of man and has been since he captured my heart in the late ‘60’s.

Do You like book A Purple Place For Dying (1995)?

For more background, refer also to my GoodReads review of John D. MacDonald’s first Travis McGee book, The Deep Blue Good-By. From what I’ve learned, that book, its sequel Nightmare in Pink, and this book were all written at the same time in 1964, and then released in consecutive months. As a result, they’re all cut from the same cloth, and all equally establish the back-story of one Travis McGee, "salvage consultant".Once again, we find McGee as a fish out of water, this time out west. He’s called upon to help yet another damsel in distress, Mona, who wants a divorce from her husband. She suspects he’s been embezzling money from her trust fund. As McGee is debating whether or not to help her – he is broke and could use the money, but doesn’t think much of her – she is assassinated right before his eyes. This, of course, will not stand, and McGee sets off to solve her murder in what turns out to be classic (and somewhat routine) mystery-thriller fashion.The story is better and more believable than the second book, but also a little more predictable. Excellent prose, especially for this genre.
—Dennis D.

Travis McGee is back. I read somewhere that the first three McGee novels were submitted at the same time. All three novels have a different feel to them. I have to wonder if MacDonald was trying to get a handle on the character or if he was trying to get a feel as to which style was most enjoyed by readers. Blue is an awesome thriller. Pink is a sex read. Purple brings back the fun in more of a mystery than anything else. All three contain great writing that is both beautiful and smile inducing.I enjoyed all of the characters and did not see the ending coming. Both are required for an enjoyable mystery. A personal subplot for me was to see how many pages McGee was able to control his erection. I was impressed. Great read and I look forward to seeing which direction the series drifts to next.

Apparently the first three novels in John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series were published simultaneously in early 1964. A Purple Place for Dying was the third. I enjoyed it more than the first two, but it's still pretty similar, and the things I don't like about the series so far are still here in full force. McGee's musings on the ways of the world always seem as if they're supposed to be profound, but they're generally trite and dated. And there's always a frigid, neurotic, female character who needs McGee's sexual healing ... which wouldn't be so bad if the reader were not then always treated to pages of tiresome exposition about the sexual healing and what it all means. On the plus side, however, A Purple Place for Dying was tightly plotted, with a mystery that kept me turning the pages. Also, many of the descriptions of the Western landscape were really beautiful.

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