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Weird Rand Mention This one's for the quirky. Don't be shy. I like quirky. I have been reading through the Travis McGee series by John D. MacDonald. Right smack in the middle of The Quick Red Fox (1964 - the fourth in the Travis McGee series), there is a description of a small city in California called Santa Rosita that Travis and a lady are driving through. At least I think it is a small city since I can't find it. The story is typical for the mystery mixed with thriller genre. A movie star named Lysa Dean is being blackmailed with photographs of an orgy she once participated in (during a moment of emotional vulnerability, obviously ) and she hires Travis to dig up and obtain all the copies and discover who the blackmailer is. There we have it. Instant plot. Travis gets to contact--and have lethal adventures with--a list of colorful characters taken from the orgy photos while getting involved with the lovely assistant, Dana Holtzer, that Lysa Dean hired to help him. Dana is cold and frigid and, of course, Travis thaws her along the way as he gets the bad guy. As I have been discovering, MacDonald uses a quirky form of digression as part of his writing techniques. He sometimes has flights of fancy where he goes on a rant about groups or places within American society that he finds particularly superficial. This is probably to help explain or illustrate the why of Travis McGee's main lifestyle as a beach bum who lives on a houseboat (called The Busted Flush). Travis simply doesn't fit in. During one of these rants in The Quick Red Fox, MacDonald mentioned Ayn Rand. This is the weirdest allusion to her I have read in popular entertainment. See for yourself. Did you catch it? "... the portentous gruntings of Uris, Wouk, Rand and others of that same witless ilk." I have read works by all three and I can think of many things to call them in common, but "portentous gruntings" and "witless" are not contenders. What on earth was MacDonald smoking when he wrote that? Ditto for the Stepford Wives kind of people MacDonald gives that particular literary taste to. If he had mentioned Reader's Digest or Kahlil Gibran or novels by Irving Wallace or Arthur Hailey, I could see it. But Leon Uris, Herman Wouk and Ayn Rand? These are reading fare for middle-class overly commercialized Babbits of the 60's? It's kinda breathtaking. And weird as all hell. btw - Don't let this excerpt spoil any interest you may have in reading any Travis McGee book. The ones I have read so far are good stories with loads of entertainment value. Michael