Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Candle #15: Dress Her in Indigo

This is the way private eye books should be written. If I were prone to this sort of thing John D MacDonald would have sold me for good with Dress Her in Indigo (another of my Birth Year Challenge Books). I'm not saying that I'm hooked on Travis McGee and will be rushing out to find all the other books, but MacDonald can write. Imagery? You got it. Philosophical commentary? You got it. Social commentary on the world of the late 1960s? You got it. Interesting detective, side-kick, and peripheral characters? You got those too. I may never make it to Mexico, but after reading this book set in Mexico--I may not have to. I feel like I was there with the sun on my face and the brilliant colors of the sky and the dry dusty roads leading out to the ruins and....I may have only just started my life in 1969, but I feel like I lived through the end of the 60s. MacDonald has that special writer's magic that can so evoke a place and time that you forget where you are and when. That doesn't come along every day.

This is SO not my kind of book. But if you're going to do gritty private eye, this is the way to do it and I found it extremely difficult to put down when I had to (like to sleep and to work and all those other unimportant things that get in the way of the life of a reader). This is one book that I probably would never have picked up were it not for the reading challenge. I'm glad I got the chance to try MacDonald out. MacDonald is known for this color-in-the-title series. Color me intrigued. And give MacDonald's book three stars out of five.


J.G. said...

I've never spent much (read: any) time in the mystery section, but this sounds like a good one to try, just so I can't say "never" anymore. Sounds like everyone should meet Travis MdGee at least once.

Bev Hankins said...

Gonna try this again...without stupid typos. I would have to agree...everyone should meet Travis McGee at least once. And from what I've read on MacDonald, this isn't even supposed to be his best.