Talk:Travis McGee

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Meyer's First Name[edit]

I saw in the edit history that someone tried to add Meyer's first name as "Ludwig." I think he/she got this idea from Pale Gray for Guilt, where Meyer obtains business cards and a letter to give him and Travis a cover to swindle Preston LaFrance. The business cards state "G. Ludweg Meyer" and the letter begins "My dear Ludweg." Since this is for a false identity, we cannot assume that "Ludweg" or "G. Ludweg" is Meyer's true first name/names. --Boone 18:43, August 29, 2005 (UTC)

The most recent edit adds information on Meyer's name that I have never seen anywhere else. Yes, Meyer has a doctorate in economics, but nowhere that I know of does MacDonald indicate that Meyer is both his first and last name. I don't believe it's even suggested anywhere that it is specifically his last name, though that does seem the more likely to me. I won't alter the edit yet but thought it would be good to find out if there is any supporting evidence. --Wspencer11 (talk to me...) 12:18, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
It is his last name. I don't recall the book, but McGee calls him "Professor Meyer" at one point, to make a point to a local cop. (I don't think he was bullshitting; it would've caused unnecessary trouble in the circumstances.) Also, I seem to recall Meyer refers to himself as "Dr", & McGee at least once ironically calls him "Professor" (suggesting he is, & neither gives a damn). Trekphiler 11:31, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm currently rereading the series and will attempt to keep an eye out. I agree that "G. Ludweg" is probably not his real name, and for some reason I think it's "Meyer", that is, "Meyer something Meyer". htom (talk) 19:46, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Please do keep a look out. You will find it there - McGee considers amusing / ironic that Meyer's parents named him Meyer Meyer. I don't remember if there is a middle name, I.E. "Meyer something Meyer". It is many years ago that I last reread this brilliant series, my favourite. GeoffDS (talk) 06:52, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

For what it's worth, Spider Robinson, the SF author, who is a big McGee fan, uses this as a bit in "Callahan's Key", where he and his motley crue visit Bahia Mar Marina, and he sees someone whom he recognizes as Meyer, and gets him to stop to talk as he walks away by calling him "Ludweg"... to which the reply he gets is something within a few words of "even exceptionally astute readers never seem to notice the first name, for some reason", which leads me to believe that Spider thinks that's what it is -- if the opportunity presents, I'll ask him, though he may not answer.  ;-)
--Baylink (talk) 03:26, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Source for McGee's clients[edit]

I have added the word "almost" to the note about McGee's way of obtaining clients. In Pale Gray for Guilt he tells Puss Killian that he got his last client through a close reading of newspaper articles. Wspencer11 20:18, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

McGee's wartime experience[edit]

It seems to me that McGee never actually says which war he fought in. JDM himself was in the India/Burma theater in WWII, but if we take McGee's birth year to be somewhere around 1934 (as I do) then he would obviously have to have been in Korea. When McGee does talk about his wartime experience it's obvious that it was in a tropical climate of some sort, since he mentions leeches and jungles. Does Korea have those? Wspencer11 13:36, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

In "Nightmare In Pink" McGee states he wagered on a pass with Mike and McGee won to spend "..all those Japanese hours in a silk robe...". Don't think he would be doing R&R in Japan during WWII but it was quite common during the Korean conflict. Jsadamsjr (talk) 19:03, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
It's pretty clearly Korea in the earlier books, but later there's a reference to a paratroop drop that sounds like WWII, and later still there's an account of a jungle war that the US didn't win, which sounds like Vietnam. Actually he couldn't possibly have been in Nam, the first books came out in 1964. (I guess conceivably that could be a reference to Burma, since the US didn't win that one, the British did. Seems unlikely though.) MacDonald is generally pretty meticulous, but he seems to have gotten a little mixed up on this one. BTW, the article says McGee was in the Marines, but I don't think that is ever stated, and I seem to recall that at one point McGee specifically refers to the Army. 76.199.89.188 (talk) 14:15, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Busted Flush[edit]

Although it's a common misconception, McGee didn't actually win the houseboat with a busted flush. According to chapter 3 of "The Deep Blue Good-By," he merely started the run with a busted flush and allowed the other players to see his cards, thus lulling them into thinking he was bluffing in later hands. 216.39.180.60

Right, and that's explicitly reconfirmed in one of the late ones, I think Cinnamon Skin. 76.199.89.188 (talk) 14:16, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Latest addition[edit]

There's something wrong in this new paragraph: "Unknown to most followers of McGee, in 1987 the Library of Congress's "Center for the Book" commissioned a short work by MacDonald. He responded by writing an essay entitled Reading for Survival, which is a conversation between McGee and Meyer on the importance of reading. The 26 page essay was released in limited edition of 5,000 copies, and was available for a small contribution to the Center for the Book." MacDonald died in 1986. --Wspencer11 (talk to me...) 12:25, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

The pamphlet was published in 1987 and expressly refers to "the late John D. MacDonald." The text has been corrected.76.199.89.188 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:19, 9 December 2010 (UTC).

Oh, Spenser...[edit]

I've read an article in a writer's magazine (which I can't find my copy of, dammit) he was orignally named Dallas, changed after JFK was assassinated. Can anybody confirm? Trekphiler 11:48, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Okie. But why are you telling us this in the *MacDonald* article? Hayford Peirce 18:15, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Pay attention. It's McGee I'm talking about: it was Dallas to begin with, not Travis. (The article was "Sherlock Holmes was a smartass" in Writer, I think.) Trekphiler 04:53, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I've never heard that. If you can produce a reliable source it might be good to include, but speculation...I think not. VanTucky (talk) 04:55, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Spinoff novel?[edit]

Is it worth mentioning The Black Squall by Lori Stone, as an unofficial spinoff? Although Travis and Meyer are never mentioned by name (as I recall, it was years ago that I read it), the main character Jean is clearly meant to be Travis' daughter, investigating the murder of her father and his best friend. Not exactly up to the standards of the original, but surely of relevant interest to people reading this page, no? —Preceding unsigned comment added by NDGawain (talkcontribs) 19:15, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Since there's no article for it, I don't think it's worth mentioning any unofficial spinoffs. That's a slippery slope. Steven Walling (talk) 01:22, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

McGee's fee structure[edit]

It seems to me that the way McGee charges people varies somewhat from book to book. I think he sometimes says he risks his expenses, and at other times he takes expenses off the recovery and then splits the remainder 50-50. Maybe there are other variations, too...and I'm sure he says at least once that his way of charging his fee varies from case to case. Can anyone confirm? --Wspencer11 (talk to me...) 13:21, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

If there's no recovery, then his expenses would go unpaid. IIRC, he always said it would be half and half, but in actuality usually half, sometimes less, or none; somewhere he or Meyer says that he didn't seem to want to get too far ahead, as being so made him sloppy and lazy. htom (talk) 15:09, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
He pays his own expenses, & the standard claim is half of whatever he recovers. The truth is, the damsels usually end up getting most of it... TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 19:02, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Military rank, branch of service[edit]

McGee is referred to as a sergeant in Nightmare in Pink and Free Fall in Crimson (p. 136, large print edition). There is a citation for Sergeant McGee in his safe deposit box (The Lonely Silver Rain, p. 276, large print edition).

In Free Fall, McGee speaks of "army records" (p. 208, large print edition). He keeps "Army discharge" in his safe deposit box (The Lonely Silver Rain, p. 276, large print edition).

Additional Marine Corps evidence: in Free Fall, his former lieutenant offers to tattoo McGee with "Semper Fidelis" (p. 141, large print edition), suggesting Marine Corps service. There is a US Army regiment (the 11th Infantry) with the same motto but they didn't see combat between World War II and Vietnam. WW2 service for McGee seems unlikely because it would make him a minimum of 37 when the series begins in '64 and because R&R in Japan (Nightmare in Pink) would have been impossible then.

I think the offer to tattoo him with the USMC slogan was probably a gag by the ex-lieutenant. 76.199.89.188 (talk) 14:24, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

"The Scarlet Ruse" publication date[edit]

Wiki gives the publication date of The Scarlet Ruse as 1972. My hardbound edition (1980) reports the original copyright as 1973. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.83.186.248 (talk) 06:18, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Salvage consultant[edit]

How does a link to the "salvage" disambiguation page tell the reader anything that the definition immediately following doesn't already provide? --Khajidha (talk) 02:30, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

"Reading for Survival"[edit]

The essay was distributed by the Book of the Month Club to its many members, giving the piece far wider distribution than the Wikipedia article suggests. Source: http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/1994/94-007.html