To ever loyal Kirby Winter, multimillionaire Uncle Omar left nothing nothing but a gold watch and a sealed letter to be opened in one year But Kirby is destined to inherit the magical power to freeze time in its tracks Power like that promises unlimited wealth, wealth that can t buy love, but does make a down payment on a lot of deadly trouble In a universe without time, can Kirby stay one step ahead


10 thoughts on “The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything

  1. Lyn Lyn says:

    It s fun to read a novel from a talented writer when that author has stepped out of his usual style and is trying out a different genre The Machine Stops by E.M Forster comes to mind Like Forster, John D MacDonald has stepped away, somewhat, from his usual crime fiction and Travis McGee novels to try out some cool SF.Actually, MacDonald published this book in 1962, a couple of years before his first McGee novels would arrive on bookstore shelves An established writer of crime fiction like C It s fun to read a novel from a talented writer when that author has stepped out of his usual style and is trying out a different genre The Machine Stops by E.M Forster comes to mind Like Forster, John D MacDonald has stepped away, somewhat, from his usual crime fiction and Travis McGee novels to try out some cool SF.Actually, MacDonald published this book in 1962, a couple of years before his first McGee novels would arrive on bookstore shelves An established writer of crime fiction like Cape Fear The Executioners, fastballer MacDonald climbed the hill and let fly with this entertaining curve ball about time travel.Sort of.MacDonald s story about a time altering device is actually most compelling by what it leaves out If told today, that device would be center stage and the action would revolve around it and what happens when X , Y, and Z come about.MacDonald is too good a storyteller for such a formulaic delivery and like the best of his crime fiction, the strongest element of this enjoyable narrative is the spot on characterization, the interdependency of the players, good dialogue, and a cagey plot I also enjoy when a supporting character steals the show as Bonnie Lee does here.Good fun For MacDonald fans, SF fans and those of us who love 50s 60s fiction


  2. Debbie Zapata Debbie Zapata says:

    You ve worked for your uncle all of your life The man was in complete control of you, telling you what college courses to study, sending you around the world on errands for him You knew he was wealthy, and you tried to be patient So what do you do when he dies and leaves you nothingthan a gold pocket watch and a letter to be opened one year later This is what happens to Kirby Winter, and the way he tries to solve the new riddles in his life make up the rest of the story Riddles caused You ve worked for your uncle all of your life The man was in complete control of you, telling you what college courses to study, sending you around the world on errands for him You knew he was wealthy, and you tried to be patient So what do you do when he dies and leaves you nothingthan a gold pocket watch and a letter to be opened one year later This is what happens to Kirby Winter, and the way he tries to solve the new riddles in his life make up the rest of the story Riddles caused by the tax man s discovery of 27 million dollars apparently gone missing from Uncle s estate No one believes Kirby when he explains what happened to that money He must be lying He must have tucked it away somewhere He had the time to do that, right And what about that beautiful woman who seems so intent on getting Kirby all to herself Who is she and will he ever be able to think straight when she is around This was only my second MacDonald title I got a huge kick out of it I ordered it a couple of years ago after reading A Bullet for Cinderella and wantingMacDonald in the house I have just one other here Cape Fear, which I plan to get to later this year And I think I ll go see if I can find some others at my favorite online used bookstore Why ever not I have the time to do that, right


  3. Sandy Sandy says:

    Having never read anything previously by renowned author John D MacDonald, I discovered his 1962 paperback The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything after reading about it in David Pringle s excellent overview volume Modern Fantasy The Hundred Best Novels Writing about the novel in that volume, the British critic tells us that it is an amusing romp, and MacDonald s only full length fantasy There may perhaps be many readers who are surprised to hear of MacDonald being mentioned in the Having never read anything previously by renowned author John D MacDonald, I discovered his 1962 paperback The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything after reading about it in David Pringle s excellent overview volume Modern Fantasy The Hundred Best Novels Writing about the novel in that volume, the British critic tells us that it is an amusing romp, and MacDonald s only full length fantasy There may perhaps be many readers who are surprised to hear of MacDonald being mentioned in the same sentence as the word fantasy after all, he is an authorwell known for almost 50 hard boiled crime thrillers, not counting the 21 book series featuring his most famous character, Florida based private investigator Travis McGee, which started in 1964 But in truth, MacDonald was, early in his career, a prodigious creator of sci fi tales between 1948 and 53, he penned almost 50 sci fi short stories and two novels, Wine of the Dreamers and Ballroom of the Skies Still, as his only out and out fantasy, TGTGWAE should be of especial interest to his loyal fans.In the book, we meet an interesting nebbish named Kirby Winters At 32 years old, Kirby has had only one disastrous sexual encounter in his life When we first meet him, his wealthy Uncle Omar has just passed away Kirby had spent the previous 11 years traveling around the world and giving away around 27 million of his scientist uncle s money to undocumented charities, and now the IRS wants to know where the money has gone, as do the heads of Omar s corporation AND various criminal elements To make matters worse for Kirby, his only inheritance from Omar turns out to be the gold watch of the title But what a watch it is With it, as Kirby soon learns CAUTION SPOILER AHEAD , he is able to effectively stop time for one subjective hour, causing the universe to enter a red lit stasis in this stalled world, one hour of subjective time is equal to only 3 100 of a second Imagine the possibilities for both mischief and personal gain An amusing romp it surely is In actuality, the novel is a fantasy inways than one It is a science fantasy or what H.G Wells used to call a scientific romance Wells, by the way, as Pringle reminds us, wrote a hoot of a story called The New Accelerator in 1901 with a similar plot device in which a miraculous gadget is created It is also, most assuredly, a sex fantasy In the novel, Kirby must deal with no less than four very sexual women Charla Maria Markopoulo O Rourke, an international criminal, as well as her gang Betsy Alden, her blonde, hot tempered niece Wilma Farnham, Uncle Omar s prudish but lusty assistant and finally, the girl of the book s title, 19 year old Bonny Lee Beaumont, a backwoods Carolina stripper who initiates Kirby into the world of sex, thrills and fun The book also strikes the reader as a wish fulfillment fantasy and a revenge fantasy indeed, the ability to make time stand practically still confers almost God like powers on the increasingly self assured Kirby Winters The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything is a terrific read, filled as it is with interesting characters, great imagination MacDonald constantly surprises us with how thoroughly he has thought out the ramifications of making time stand still , many amusing lines and even some tough action sequences Though the central plot device of time stasis is hardly an original one besides that Wells story, as The Science Fiction Encyclopedia mentions, we must not forget the 1923 film by Rene Clair, Paris Qui Dort, in which Paris is accidentally frozen in time by a scientist , MacDonald gives it a fresh spin, combining it with a crime thriller and a comedy Despite a few missteps for example, early in the book, it is stated that Kirby s single sexual encounter had taken place 12 years earler, but 100 pages later, it is said to have been 13 in one section, Kirby s lawyer is sitting at his left at a conference table, but two pages later, is said to be at his right , this is a perfectly entertaining novel that should prove pleasing to just about everyone And really, how can any novel that discusses Ann sic Francis Twilight Zone episode The After Hours be all bad


  4. William William says:

    I read this when I was about 16 and loved it Great fun, clever, sci fi mixed with noir The movie was not bad, either.The inscription inside the watch, from the LatinTempus unum hominem manet Time waits for one man.After the famous Tempus neminem manet Time waits for no man.


  5. Michael Sorensen Michael Sorensen says:

    Most people aren t aware that JD did Sci Fibut he did, some of the very best This is a prime example and well worth a read Recently it was made into a Disneyesque juenile movie very B Grade which did not do justice to what JD created as a VERY Bawdy tale A Good, Fast and smart read


  6. Chrisl Chrisl says:

    Bumping this to a 4.51 due to memories of library patrons coming back for rereads, including me A fun story The library had a hardcover with an attractive jacket, not same as pictured with this review.


  7. Keith Gapinski Keith Gapinski says:

    Like a lot of people, I was first introduced to this story through the 1980s TV movie with Robert Hayes and Pam Dawber in it I really liked the movie as a kid, so I grabbed the book and read it, and like that, too.I just recently revisited the book, since it just came out for Kindle, and I still found it to be in my list of my favorite books of all time The story is fun a male twist on a romance story, as Kirby bounces amongst a cast of women, trying to find one that doesn t thoroughly frig Like a lot of people, I was first introduced to this story through the 1980s TV movie with Robert Hayes and Pam Dawber in it I really liked the movie as a kid, so I grabbed the book and read it, and like that, too.I just recently revisited the book, since it just came out for Kindle, and I still found it to be in my list of my favorite books of all time The story is fun a male twist on a romance story, as Kirby bounces amongst a cast of women, trying to find one that doesn t thoroughly frighten him It s a fun, comic romp, but reading it again, with adult perspective, I have to say McDonald had some deep moments, too.On relationships, he has Bonny Lee deliver some great commentary I love you good , Kirby And love is a pretty thing See how fast all worked up we gettin That s the good of it, sugar Going to bed is happy and it s fun It s the way you get the good of it with none of the bad It s like everybody has forgot that s all it is and all it was ever meant to be People got to mess it up, it seems Cryin , moanin , clingin onto one another, all jealous and selfish and hateful We love each other on account of we give each other a lot of happy fun, and if it comes round again, we ll take some , and if it doesn t, we got this much already anyhow But no vows and pledges and crap like that,hear That s what people do because they got the funny idea it s the right thing to do And before they know it, the fun part is gone, gotten itself strangled on the fine print, like it was a deed to some land I live free and simple, Kirby, and I look on myself in the mirror and say hello to a friend I like The day I stop liking her, I change my ways So this is who loves you, and that s what the word means, and I got friends would die for me and me for them What I say , you run onto a hell of a girl I also love what he has to say about the morality of using the magical gold watch ok, spoiler, but the book is really old.And he would have lost one of the most precious attributes of this unique ability to make time stand still the additive of wry mischief, of ironic joy Bonny Lee had understood that instinctively Murder would have turned the watch into a perpetual solemnity and a perpetual guilt because, regardless of provocation, the owner of the watch was beyond the need to kill.There are a lot of storytellers out there who could learn the lesson above.Still one of my favorite books of all time Check it out if you re into realistic fantasy


  8. Tasula Tasula says:

    I found this book amusing and enjoyable, enough that I will readof this author It s about a loyal nephew whose wealthy uncle died and left him only a gold watch and a letter The shy, retiring, almost virginal man is suddenly besieged by corporation executives, the IRS and the press, demanding to know WHERE the 27 million that should be in Krepps Corp coffers went So he goes on the run, evolving from bewildered ninny to well you ll see It s a gentle book nothing horrible happens I found this book amusing and enjoyable, enough that I will readof this author It s about a loyal nephew whose wealthy uncle died and left him only a gold watch and a letter The shy, retiring, almost virginal man is suddenly besieged by corporation executives, the IRS and the press, demanding to know WHERE the 27 million that should be in Krepps Corp coffers went So he goes on the run, evolving from bewildered ninny to well you ll see It s a gentle book nothing horrible happens just a lot of fun and games


  9. Craig Pittman Craig Pittman says:

    When I think of a John D MacDonald book, what I think of is a sharp, penetrating look at crime and greed, usually set in Florida, often featuring interesting characters and sparkling dialogue This book is set in Florida, features lots of crime and greed, and includes both interesting characters and sparkling dialogue but it s unlike any MacDonald book I ve ever read, because it s not a gritty thriller but rather a delightful what if fantasy.Kirby Winter is a self diagnosed ninny, a pushover When I think of a John D MacDonald book, what I think of is a sharp, penetrating look at crime and greed, usually set in Florida, often featuring interesting characters and sparkling dialogue This book is set in Florida, features lots of crime and greed, and includes both interesting characters and sparkling dialogue but it s unlike any MacDonald book I ve ever read, because it s not a gritty thriller but rather a delightful what if fantasy.Kirby Winter is a self diagnosed ninny, a pushover who s spent years running errands for his incredibly wealthy uncle, Omar Krepps, hoping he d eventually inherit the old man s millions But when Uncle Omar dies, Kirby gets nothing but an old watch It takes him about half the book to figure out that the watch is worththan mere money, because Krepps figured out a way to use it to stop time It s the secret to how he won big jackpots at poker and roulette, and how he often seemed to go without sleep and appear suddenly wherever he was needed.Kirby needs all the help he can get from the watch, too, because by the time he s figured it out, he s hip deep in trouble sought by the Miami cops, by a gang of thugs and by strangers after a big reward He s been wrongly accused of stealing his uncle s millions, and lured into a trap by a couple of ruthless operators named Joseph and Charla Fortunately he stumbles into a love affair with an uninhibited country girl named Bonnie Lee who quickly grasps how to use the watch and together they outwit everyone who s gunning for them They usually do this by doing things while time has stopped that leave massive numbers of people reeling in confusion and embarrassment, wondering where their clothes have gone or how they wound up where they are.The book s a delight right from the start, in a prologue that s quite funny, right up to the comeuppance that Kirby dreams up for Joseph and Charla Joseph s punishment is amusing all right But what Kirby devises for the femme fatale Charla is something that in 1962 was played for laughs but which would probably make most modern readers uncomfortable or even repulsed It left me with a queasy feeling about the book that made me knock one star off my review.This year is MacDonald s 100th birthday, so I m trying to work my way through all of his non Travis McGee books This is my second one Can t wait to see what the third will be


  10. Truman32 Truman32 says:

    John D MacDonald s The Girl, the Gold Watch Everything is the hardboiled writer s peculiar attempt at fantasy and humor Our story deals with Kirby Winter, the ineffectual namby pamby whose Uncle Omar Krepps has just died Krepps had accumulated an extensive fortune in a mysterious manner, but upon his passing left no money to Kirby Instead he bequeathed only a gold watch and a mysterious letter to be opened in one year s time The watch, Kirby eventually discovers, has the power to freeze t John D MacDonald s The Girl, the Gold Watch Everything is the hardboiled writer s peculiar attempt at fantasy and humor Our story deals with Kirby Winter, the ineffectual namby pamby whose Uncle Omar Krepps has just died Krepps had accumulated an extensive fortune in a mysterious manner, but upon his passing left no money to Kirby Instead he bequeathed only a gold watch and a mysterious letter to be opened in one year s time The watch, Kirby eventually discovers, has the power to freeze time It allows it s owner to move around while everyone else remains frozen in place And is, of course, how Uncle Omar accumulated his great wealth The watch also is the kick start Kirby needs to become a real man which in MacDonald s view means having a backbone and not being afraid of women.There are really well written moments here this description of motel owner Hoover Hess who, was a loose, asthmatic, scurfy man with the habitual expression of someone having his leg removed without anesthetic Or MacDonald writing about a pretty model who looked, faintly confused as though she had just been awakened, or had just been given a good one behind the ear , and some extremely laugh out loud scenes, but like a picture of the family dog drawn by a 5 year old while you might get the overall idea, everything seems off Max s ears are not bigger then his legs, and his muzzle does not curve up, and he has four legs, not six.The stuff that make John D such a great noir writer his wonderful Travis McGee series has found fans such as Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, and Donald Westlake among others hurts him here The tough guy speak and tough guy observations as well as the hyperactive macho 1960 s view on women and relationships works much better in a hard hitting noir environment then a light hearted fantasy romp Kirby never comes off as the ninny he is supposed to be and the jokes played on the unsuspecting when time freezes comes off as mean hearted and cruel One later time stop prank made to show the main villain s comeuppance comes offthen a little rapey Overall, I d recommend that you mark this odd book down as a curiosity and move on to the John D MacDonald detective books