Posts Tagged ‘Travis McGee’

The Sage of Bahia Mar

June 29th, 2011

John D. MacDonald

I have been revisiting Travis McGee, one of the great serial novel characters of the last century (the others are Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin).  John D. MacDonald wrote 21 books about Mcgee, and I have been reading them seriatim, following not only the character’s development and maturation but also that of the author.  McGee was a self-described “boat bum”, living aboard a fifty-two foot houseboat named The Busted Flush at Slip F-18, Bahia Mar marina, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  He fought in the Korean War, so by now, if he lived this long, he would be in his eighties, although it’s hard to imagine him doddering around a retirement community, plaid pants pulled up to his navel.  He’d be one of those trim, energetic octogenarians doomed to outlive everyone he loves.  He made his living as a “salvage consultant.”  If someone had something taken from them – money; reputation; valuable artifacts – in such a way that the law couldn’t recover it, McGee would try to get it back.  If he was successful, he would take his expenses off the top, then split the recovery down the middle, on the theory that half of something is better than nothing. 

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