The Green Ripper: Introduction – Lee Child (Kindle) With John D MacDonald
- 0 (Registered)
The Green Ripper: Introduction – Lee Child (Kindle) With John D MacDonald
Travis McGee has known his share of beautiful girls, but true love always passed him by – until Gretel. But suddenly, the woman who stole his heart dies of an unidentified illness. Convinced that she has been murdered, McGee finds himself pursuing a less-than-noble cause: revenge.
Obsessed with his crusade, he becomes more and more unhinged. He has spent his life saving other people, but now he’ll need to find the strength to save himself – before he loses his mind.
First published in 1979, The Green Ripper was the winner of the National Book Award. This edition features an introduction by Lee Child.
JOHN D. MACDONALD: A GRAND MASTER CRIME WRITER
‘The great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller’ – Stephen King
‘Travis McGee is my favourite fiction detective. He’s great because he has a philosophical side – he will fight a bunch of mobsters in a car park and then have a muse about life, the universe and everything’ – Tony Parsons
‘A dominant influence on writers crafting the continuing series character . . . I envy the generation of readers just discovering Travis McGee’ – Sue Grafton
‘The consummate pro, a master storyteller and witty observer . . . The Travis McGee novels are among the finest works of fiction ever penned by an American author and they retain a remarkable sense of freshness’ – Jonathan Kellerman
‘. . . my favorite novelist of all time’ – Dean Koontz
‘A master storyteller, a masterful suspense writer . . . John D. MacDonald is a shining example for all of us in the field’ – Mary Higgins Clark
‘What a joy that these timeless and treasured novels are available again’ – Ed McBain
‘There’s only one thing as good as reading a John D. MacDonald novel: reading it again . . . He is the all-time master of the American mystery novel’ – John Saul
*Starred Review* If The Empty Copper Sea is the most romantic book in the Travis McGee series, The Green Ripper is, far and away, the darkest. As it happens very near the novel’s beginning, and as it’s announced on the dust jacket, it’s no spoiler to reveal that Gretel Howard, the love of McGee’s life, the woman poised to take him away from the lazy hedonism of the marina, dies a sudden and violent death, the victim of a poison dart, the kind Soviet agents affix to the tips of umbrellas. But why Gretel, who was working as a physical trainer and tennis coach at an innocuous fat farm near Fort Lauderdale? Apparently because she accidentally saw a man at the farm whom she recognized as being part of a religious cult that once recruited her former sister-in-law. But that still doesn’t make much sense to Trav or his big-brained pal Meyer until a couple of federal agents show up and fill in some of the blanks: The Church of the Apocrypha is a religious cult, yes, but it’s also a heavily armed terrorist organization intent on fomenting class warfare in the U.S. Trav, of course, is sworn off any attempt to investigate the group, but he has other ideas—a campaign far different from his usual Robin Hoodish ventures: “This time, my dead love, I am not doing my knightly routine. I have shelved that as inappropriate for the occasion. The old tin-can knight had too many compunctions, scruples, whatevers. For this caper, I am the iceman. I have come here and brought the ice. It is a delivery service. One time only.” Shirking his McGee identity and signing his houseboat over to Meyer, Trav goes on the road, landing in Northern California and allowing himself to be captured by the cult and then joining their motley crew of terrorists, 10 men and 2 women trained to kill and devoted to a perverted ideal. He displays enough strength and knowledge of weaponry to become an asset to the group, holding back just enough of his skills to save for later. Then the bloodbath begins: “With the ghastly, toothy grin of the skull head of death looking over my shoulder, I was intensely alive.” This is a new kind of life for our Travis, however, and the contrast between the knight errant, helper of the meek, and this new, determined angel of death is shocking both to the reader and to Travis himself. Robert B. Parker fans will notice the similarity between The Green Ripper and Parker’s A Catskill Eagle (1985), in which Spenser embarks on his own blood-soaked, vengeance-fueled journey. But Ripper is darker, more focused on the releasing of the hero’s inner demon. Without the near-idyllic romance between Trav and Gretel, portrayed in The Empty Copper Sea, this personal transformation might not work, but in the context of the earlier book, it strikes a profound chord in anyone who has lusted to take a pound of flesh from an unforgiving world. Beyond the personal Götterdämmerung, the novel proves remarkably prescient about the coming of an age of idealism-driven terrorism. Speaking through his economist-philosopher Meyer (and more than 30 years before 9/11), MacDonald prophetically describes the contemporary terrorist mind-set, recognizing that one man—even one as determined as Travis—can’t stop the tide of history. At the end of the novel, McGee is carrying psychic wounds deeper than ever before. Stay tuned for the series’ three concluding novels to see if those wounds heal. –Bill Ott
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Meyer came aboard the Busted Flush on a dark, wet, windy Friday afternoon in early December. I had not seen him in nearly two months. He looked worn and tired, and he had faded to an indoor pallor. He shucked his rain jacket and sat heavily in the biggest chair and said he wouldn’t mind at all if I offered him maybe a little bourbon, one rock, a dollop of water.
“Where’s Gretel?” he asked as I handed him his drink.
“Moved out,” I said. He looked so dismayed I quickly added that she had found herself a job, finally, way the hell and gone over in the suburb of Tamarac, west of North Lauderdale and west of the Turnpike, out in the area of the shiny new developments and shopping plazas, near University Community Hospital and Timber Run Golf Club. “Couldn’t get any farther away and still be in the same metropolitan area. It takes at least forty minutes to drive over there.”
“The outfit is called, excuse the expression, Bonnie Brae. It is a combination fat farm, tennis club, and real estate development. She works in the office, lives in one of the model houses, gives tennis lessons to the littlies, exercise classes for the fatties, and is becoming indispensable. She can tell you all about it. She’ll be here about six or six thirty.”
“I was afraid you two had split.”
“No chance. I’m not going to let that one get away.”
“It’s a phase, Meyer. She did hard time in a bad marriage and says it stunted her. She has to make it on her own, she says, to become a complete person, and when she is, then we can think about what kind of arrangement we’re going to have.”
“Makes a certain amount of sense.”
“Not to me.”
“But you’re not … being derisive or patronizing?”
“Hell, no. I am being full of understanding, and all that.”
I didn’t want to try to tell him what a vacuum she left when she packed and moved out. The houseboat was dismally empty. When I woke up, if I wanted to hear clinking sounds from the galley, I had to go make them myself. The winter boats were beginning to come down, filling up the empty berths, spewing out their slender and elegant ladies to walk the area, shopping and smiling, providing what in times past had been like one of those commercial hatcheries where you pay a fee and catch your own trout and take it home to cook. But Grets had made all the pretty ladies look brittle, bloodless, and tasteless, and made the time without her seem leaden and endless.
In another season there were the girls of summer, robust and playful in their sandy ways, and now here were the winter ones, with cool surmise in the tended eye, fragrant and speculative, strolling and shopping, sailing and tanning, then making their night music and night scent, searching for something they could not quite name, but would know once they found it.
“How did the conference go?” I asked.
He shook a weary head. “These are bad days for an economist, my friend. We have gone past the frontiers of theory. There is nothing left but one huge ugly fact.”
“There is a debt of perhaps two trillion dollars out there, owed by governments to governments, by governments to banks, and there is not one chance in hell it can ever be paid back. There is not enough productive capacity in the world, plus enough raw materials, to provide maintenance of plant plus enough overage even to keep up with the mounting interest.”
“What happens? It gets written off?”
He looked at me with a pitying expression. “All the major world currencies will collapse. Trade will cease. Without trade, without the mechanical-scientific apparatus running, the planet won’t support its four billion people, or perhaps even half that. Agribusiness feeds the world. Hydrocarbon utilization heats and houses and clothes the people. There will be fear, hate, anger, death. The new barbarism. There will be plague and poison. And then the new Dark Ages.”
“Should I pack?”
“Go ahead. Scoff. What the sane people and sane governments are trying to do is scuffle a little more breathing space, a little more time, before the collapse.”
“How much time have we got?”
“If nobody pushes the wrong button or puts a bomb under the wrong castle, I would give us five more years at worst, twelve at best. What is triggering it is the crisis of reduced expectations. All over the world people are suddenly coming to realize that their children and grandchildren are going to have it worse than they did, that the trend line is down. So they want to blame somebody. They want to hoot and holler in the streets and burn something down.”
“Whose side are you on?”
“I’m one of the scufflers. Cut and paste. Fix the world with paper clips and rubber bands.”
“Are you trying to depress me, old buddy?”
“On Pearl Harbor Day?”
“So it is.”
“And with each passing year it is going to seem ever more quaint, the little tin airplanes bombing the sleepy iron giants.”
“There you go again.”
He yawned and I noticed again how worn he looked. The international conference had been held in Zurich. There had been high hopes—the newspapers said—for a solution to the currency problems, but as it went on and on and on, interest could not be sustained, nor could hope.
“How was the trip back, Meyer?”
“I was too sound asleep to notice.”
“Did you all just sit around and read papers to each other?”
“There was some of that. Yes. But most of it was workshop, computer analysis. Feed all the known, unchangeable factors into the program, and then add the ones that can be changed, predicating interdependence, making the variations according to a pattern, and analyzing the shape of the world that emerges, each one a computer model. Very bright young specialists assisted. We came out all too close to the doom anticipated by the Club of Rome, no matter how we switched the data around. It comes down to this, Travis—there are too many mouths to feed. One million three hundred thousand more every week! And of all the people who have ever been alive on Earth, more than half are living right now. We are gnawing the planet bare, and technology can’t keep pace with need.”
I had never seen him more serious, or more depressed. I fixed him a fresh drink when Gretel arrived. I met her, and after the welcome kiss, she looked over my shoulder and gave a whoop of surprise and pleasure at seeing Meyer. She thrust me aside and ran into his delighted bear hug. Then she held him off at arm’s length and tilted her head to give him her brown-eyed measuring stare.
“You look awful!” she said. “You look like you just got out of jail.”
“Fairly good guess. And you look fantastic, Gretel.”
“It goes with the job. I got sort of sloppy living on this barge, eating too much and drinking too much. Today I jogged with four sets of fatties. I must have done seven miles. I’ve got the greatest new job.”
“Travis was telling me about it.”
“You’ll have to come out and let me show you around.” Quite suddenly the enthusiasm had faded out of her voice. I couldn’t imagine why. She gave me a quick look and looked away, and went to the galley to fix herself one of her vegetable juice cocktails.
I followed her and said, “Is something wrong out there?”
“No. Of course not.”
“Hey, Grets. This here is me. Asking.”
“I hear you asking. I think I might fall right off the wagon right now. I’m down to where I can spare a few pounds. Straight Boodles and rocks, okay?”
“When you come down off it, you come down a way.”
She leaned against a storage locker as I fixed her drink. I looked at her, a great lithe woman who, on tiptoe, could almost look me in the eye. Thick brown sun-streaked hair, dark-brown eyes, firm jaw, broad mouth, high-bridged imperious nose. A woman of passion, intensity, good humor, mocking grace, and a very irritating and compelling need for total—or almost total—independence. During all the lazy weeks aboard the Busted Flush when, after the death of her brother in Timber Bay, I had brought her all the way around the peninsula to Fort Lauderdale, we had arrived at last at a relationship she had decided did not threaten her freedom. She was a hearty and sensuous woman, and for a long time she was suspicious and reluctant in lovemaking, apparently feeling that my increasing knowledge of her body’s resources, its needs and rhythms and special stimuli, was somehow an exercise in ownership. But after she decided to accept completely, she became herself—forthright, evocative, and deliciously bawdy when the mood was upon her.
–This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
Praise for John D. MacDonald and the Travis McGee novels
“The great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller.”—Stephen King
“My favorite novelist of all time . . . All I ever wanted was to touch readers as powerfully as John D. MacDonald touched me. No price could be placed on the enormous pleasure that his books have given me. He captured the mood and the spirit of his times more accurately, more hauntingly, than any ‘literature’ writer—yet managed always to tell a thunderingly good, intensely suspenseful tale.”—Dean Koontz
“To diggers a thousand years from now, the works of John D. MacDonald would be a treasure on the order of the tomb of Tutankhamen.”—Kurt Vonnegut
“A master storyteller, a masterful suspense writer . . . John D. MacDonald is a shining example for all of us in the field. Talk about the best.”—Mary Higgins Clark
“A dominant influence on writers crafting the continuing series character . . . I envy the generation of readers just discovering Travis McGee, and count myself among the many readers savoring his adventures again.”—Sue Grafton
“One of the great sagas in American fiction.”—Robert B. Parker
“Most readers loved MacDonald’s work because he told a rip-roaring yarn. I loved it because he was the first modern writer to nail Florida dead-center, to capture all its languid sleaze, racy sense of promise, and breath-grabbing beauty.”—Carl Hiaasen
“The consummate pro, a master storyteller and witty observer . . . John D. MacDonald created a staggering quantity of wonderful books, each rich with characterization, suspense, and an almost intoxicating sense of place. The Travis McGee novels are among the finest works of fiction ever penned by an American author and they retain a remarkable sense of freshness.”—Jonathan Kellerman
“What a joy that these timeless and treasured novels are available again.”—Ed McBain
“Travis McGee is the last of the great knights-errant: honorable, sensual, skillful, and tough. I can’t think of anyone who has replaced him. I can’t think of anyone who would dare.”—Donald Westlake
“There’s only one thing as good as reading a John D. MacDonald novel: reading it again. A writer way ahead of his time, his Travis McGee books are as entertaining, insightful, and suspenseful today as the moment I first read them. He is the all-time master of the American mystery novel.”—John Saul –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
John D. MacDonald (1916-1986) MacDonald was born in Sharon, Pa, and educated at the Universities of Pennsylvania, Syracuse and Harvard, where he took an MBA in 1939. After war service in the Far East he wrote hundreds of stories for the pulps and over seventy novels, including the 21 in the Travis McGee sequence.
The Green Ripper: Introduction – Lee Child (Kindle) With John D MacDonald course is a digital product. You will receive a download link via your email after payment.
-In some cases, the link is broken for any reason or the product pre-order, our Support Team will contact and update status The Green Ripper: Introduction – Lee Child (Kindle) With John D MacDonald within a few hours business days.
Please contact us if there are any further questions or concerns you may have, we are always happy to assist: [email protected]
Curriculum is empty