John D. MacDonald Quote

From A Deadly Shade of Gold, a Travis McGee title: The only thing in the world worth a damn is the strange, touching, pathetic, awesome nobility of the individual human spirit. From the stand-alone thriller Where Is Janice Gantry?: Somebody has to be tireless, or the fast-buck operators would asphalt the entire coast, fill every bay, and slay every living thing incapable of carrying a wallet. These two angles show up everywhere in his novels: the need to—maybe reluctantly, possibly even grumpily—stand up and be counted on behalf of the weak, helpless, and downtrodden, which included people, animals, and what we now call the environment—which was in itself a very early and very prescient concern: Janice Gantry, for instance, predated Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking Silent Spring by a whole year. But the good knight’s armor was always tarnished and rusted. The fight was never easy and, one feels, never actually winnable. But it had to be waged. This strange, weary blend of nobility and cynicism is MacDonald’s signature emotion. Where did it come from? Not, presumably, the leafy block where he was raised in quiet and comfort. The war must have changed him, like it changed a generation and the world.

John D. MacDonald

From A Deadly Shade of Gold, a Travis McGee title: The only thing in the world worth a damn is the strange, touching, pathetic, awesome nobility of the individual human spirit. From the stand-alone thriller Where Is Janice Gantry?: Somebody has to be tireless, or the fast-buck operators would asphalt the entire coast, fill every bay, and slay every living thing incapable of carrying a wallet. These two angles show up everywhere in his novels: the need to—maybe reluctantly, possibly even grumpily—stand up and be counted on behalf of the weak, helpless, and downtrodden, which included people, animals, and what we now call the environment—which was in itself a very early and very prescient concern: Janice Gantry, for instance, predated Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking Silent Spring by a whole year. But the good knight’s armor was always tarnished and rusted. The fight was never easy and, one feels, never actually winnable. But it had to be waged. This strange, weary blend of nobility and cynicism is MacDonald’s signature emotion. Where did it come from? Not, presumably, the leafy block where he was raised in quiet and comfort. The war must have changed him, like it changed a generation and the world.

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About John D. MacDonald

John Dann MacDonald (July 24, 1916 – December 28, 1986) was an American writer of novels and short stories. He is known for his thrillers.
MacDonald was a prolific author of crime and suspense novels, many set in his adopted home of Florida. One of the most successful American novelists of his time, MacDonald sold an estimated 70 million books. His best-known works include the popular and critically acclaimed Travis McGee series and his 1957 novel The Executioners, which was filmed as Cape Fear (1962) and remade in 1991.