The Empty Copper Sea

Travis McGee #17: The Empty Copper Sea by John D MacDonald

Everyone in Timber bay thought my old friend, Van Harder, was responsible for his boss’s death. Now Van wanted me to clear his name. Travis McGee, salvage expert, saver of souls and dreams.

First I had to find the truth behind Hub Lawless’s disappearance. Was he dead? Maybe. No body  had yet turned up. And there were lots of rumors about his being very much alive – hiding out in Mexico.

I figured we’d have to run down the clues at Timber bay. If we could stay alive, that is. For the crowd in Hub Lawless’s hometown was very strange – and very lethal…

Title: The Empty Copper Sea
Author: John D MacDonald
Imprint & Number: Lippincott
Publication date: 1978
Price: 8.95
Cover artist: photo
ISBN: 0-397-01220-9

I’ve included images of both the first edition hardcover and the paperback edition of the 17th Travis McGee novel by MacDonald. The paperback has a metallic ink cover which doesn’t look that great when scanned and, although my hardcover collection is terribly tiny and insignificant, it deserves to be posted with the paperback McGees.

Gold Medal, 1st printing

Title: The Empty Copper Sea
Author: John D MacDonald
Imprint & Number: Gold Medal 1-4149-7
Publication date: 1978
Price: 2.25
Cover artist: uncredited
ISBN: 0-449-14149-7

I’ve probably mentioned it before but I’m so irked with myself I’ll say it again. I’ve bought and sold most of McDonald’s PBOs without having read more than a couple of volumes. Now that I’m enlightened, I feel the need to promote any and all of MacDonald’s work. Hardcovers generally tend to be considered more of a “serious” collectible than paperbacks so here’s one of a few that I own. I know, I know… there are more than a few out there at very reasonable prices… it’s nothing to cheer about.

Sam Elliott as Travis McGee

Sam Elliott as Travis McGee

Sam Elliot starred as McGee in a 1978 made-for-TV movie based on this novel. From what I’ve read, it was a mediocre effort, with the usual inconsistencies that come with Hollywood’s translations of books.

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