Summary

The men who killed Tush Bannon knew he was a nice guy with a nice wife and three nice kids - trying to run a small marina on the Florida coast. They also knew he was in the way of a big land development scheme. Once they killed him, they figured they were on easy street. But Tush Bannon was Travis McGee's friend, and McGee could be one tough adversary when protecting a widow and her kids.
©1968 John D. MacDonald Publishing, Inc. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Robert on 21-04-18

A tight story well read

John D MacDonald has influenced many writers and his style stands the test of time. Like almost all his Travis McGee books, this is tightly written and well narrated by Robert Petkoff.

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2 out of 5 stars
By Mr. C. G. Moore on 04-09-17

Not quite up to standards

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

This is for completists

What was most disappointing about John D. MacDonald’s story?

. I wasn't expecting originality by book 9, just more of the same hard boiled pulp but it got a bit bogged down in certain elements of the plot, which unfortunately I didn't find that interesting. A good start gradually feels a bit directionless and treading water till the finale.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Ambivelence and disappointment

Any additional comments?

There have been stronger Travis McGee novels and by book 9, it's feeling a bit underwhelming

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Doug on 09-05-12

My Favorite Book In My Favorite Series

What did you love best about Pale Gray for Guilt?

McGee is a conflicted but essentially moral man and his rage at what happened to his friend is very nearly palpable. It infuses the book with a tension it wouldn't have if the protagonist had been a disaffected third party investigator.
Another thing is the realness of the plot. As someone quite familiar with criminal activity, I am always struck that the action in this book follows the law of unintended consequences that we often see in street crimes. Other authors (Elmore Leonard and John Sandford come immediately to mind) use the technique in contemporary fiction but MacDonald did it first and does it best.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

When a reader cares about the characters, he cares about what happens to them. MacDonald creates characters so real that each one of them could walk off the page and sit down on the next bar stool. We care, of course, about McGee's knight on a spavined steed but we also care about his friends, particularly Tush Bannon. How could you read the early description of the man and not see a decent guy? What happens to him is tragic...and thus the essence of the plot. We want to see justice.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene where McGee cons a description of what happened to his friend Tush out of an unwitting phone repairman.
I have also always been moved by McGee's simplified visualization of life and death. I don't want to spoil it for the uninitiated but, suffice to say, I read it the first time when I was about 12 and it's stuck with me for nearly fifty years.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Mythlover on 08-05-12

Hooray! Travis McGee is back!

Would you listen to Pale Gray for Guilt again? Why?

It's a joy to find John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series available on Audible. I first read Pale Gray for Guilt in the 60s when the book turned up in my Peace Corps book locker. Immediately, I was hooked on Trav, his philosophy and adventures. I collected and read all the novels more than once. Dog-eared paperbacks still have a place in my library. Later when the stories emerged on tape read by Darren McGavin, I collected those, too, and wore them out. Pale Gray for Guilt still remains a favorite for the intricacies of the plot, the fun of taking down the con men, and the fact that Travis' friend Meyer has a nice role. Always loved Meyer. The story stands up surprisingly well after all the years.

What other book might you compare Pale Gray for Guilt to and why?

If you've enjoyed the stories of Carl Hiaasen, you'll probably enjoy Travis McGee's adventures. Hiaasen has stated that John D. MacDonald's series influenced his writing.

What does Robert Petkoff bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Robert Petkoff does a fine job of narrating the stories as if he were McGee telling the tales as opposed to reading a book written in the first person. He's a fine successor to the late Darren McGavin.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It's easy to listen to this book all at once. Audiobooks accompany me while I do chores, yard work or exercise and the plot and characters of this one will keep you motivated. The story is interesting; there's plenty of action and strong writing. Best of all are the characters. You like them and care what happens to them.

Any additional comments?

In an age where we are urged to work longer hours and for more years, Travis' philosophy of taking his retirement a bit at a time instead of grasping for more and more money may seem strange or out of step. His way of thinking caused me to think seriously about what I wanted and how much money I needed to achieve it. I've applied it to my own life without regrets. Enjoy.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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