enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: John D. MacDonald, Barrier Island

I read this book about 21-Aug-2001. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1986. This note was last modified Thursday, 04-Mar-2004 22:30:33 PST.

This note does not contain major spoilers for the book.


I first read MacDonald's Travis McGee books many years ago, and liked them quite well for that kind of thing. I like men of action (or women; Modesty Blaise is a favorite) well enough. I haven't read so much of the rest of MacDonald's output, so I'm poking into a couple of them.

Like all of MacDonald's books I've read, it's set in Florida, and talks quite a lot about issues of ecology and development. This one was published in 1986, so it wasn't that new an idea, but it seems to run through his older books as well.

I like the way he handles his characters. They're not the people I know; they seem to be mostly outdoorsmen, or developers and related businessmen, or both. No farming, no manufacturing, and of course no tech businesses. But he makes them rather make sense, if sometimes in a very broken sort of way. I suspect he'd be happy to know I saw a number of them (not just "bad guys") as rather broken people.

His view of women and marriage has little to do with anything in my experience, but that's probably mostly age, with some geography and social cloass issues. Might put a lot of people off these days, or might be a fascinating archaeological study for people trying to figure out the period (and I mean more MacDonald's formative period, rather than 1986 when this book came out).

I suspect some of MacDonald's books will stay around for a long time.

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David Dyer-Bennet