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Fletch Paperback – March 12, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (March 12, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375713549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375713545
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The toughest, leanest horse to hit the literary racetrack since James M. Cain, and it’s sheer pleasure to watch him make his run.” --Pete Hamill

“A top-rate thriller told in stripped down language that races to a climax.” --The Washington Post

From the Inside Flap

Fletch

He?s an investigative reporter whose methods are a little unorthodox. Currently he?s living on the beach with the strung-out trying to find to the source of the drugs they live for.

Fletch

He?s taking more than a little flack from his editor. She doesn?t appreciate his style. Or the expense account items he?s racking up. Or his definition of the word deadline. Or the divorce lawyers who keep showing up at the office.

Fletch

So when multimillionaire Alan Stanwyk offers Fletch the job of a lifetime, which could be worth a fortune, he?s intrigued and decides to do a little investigation. What he discovers is that the proposition is anything but what it seems.

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Customer Reviews

The entire series is a great read.
Neil The Unreel
This Fletch book best combines the elements of Fletch's biting, sarcastic humor with a REALISTIC mystery.
RMurray847
Fletch won a 1975 Edgar Allan Poe Award, for Best First Novel, from the Mystery Writers of America.
Michael P. Naughton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By RMurray847 VINE VOICE on May 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read Fletch more years ago than I care to admit. And I've read all the others (heck, it could be a parlor game just trying to put all these books in chronological order...McDonald wrote them in the most convoluted order!!). They are all excellent, but Fletch set the mold.
Fletch is an investigative reporter with an attitude. Assigned to cover drug dealing on the local beaches, and also hired by a rich man to murder him, Fletch has a lot on his plate. Naturally, he doesn't intend to kill the guy, but he certainly wants to figure out WHY the man wants to be killed.
This Fletch book best combines the elements of Fletch's biting, sarcastic humor with a REALISTIC mystery. It's far-fetched, true, but still feels grounded in everyday life. Later Fletch books presented more outrageous mysteries and off-the-wall solutions. They are entertaining, but when you're dealing with mysteries surrounding presidential contenders or people who've undergone sex changes, you see that the "silliness" quotient is upped.
But, the main reason to read Fletch is to enjoy the dialogue. Much like the incomparable Ed McBain (Evan Hunter), McDonald can go on for pages with absolutely nothing BUT dialogue. No "said Mr. Jones" or "He laughed." You pick up all the mood, intonation and knowledge of who is speaking simply through the incredibly skillful use of the dialogue. And how often, really, do you laugh outloud when reading novel. You will in this one. I really recommend this book (and all the other Fletch books...Flynn is a little harder to get into.)
(A word about the movie...Chevy Chase is NOT the Fletch of these books.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ian Fowler on June 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've seen the Chevy Chase movie, although it's been years. I remember it having some good one-liners, etc., although it was not a "great" film. Still, bargain bins are great things, and this book was too good a bargain to pass up.

I. M. Fletcher, "Fletch" to his friends, is a reporter chasing a drug story on the beaches of California. Here, he is approached by Alan Stanwyck, wealthy businessman, about doing a favor. It seems Stanwyck is dying of cancer, and wants Fletch to kill him at the end of the week. Fletch, intrigued, agrees. He naturally investigates Stanwyck while juggling the drug story, dealing with an editor he has no respect for (rightfully so), and dodging his ex-wives' (yes, wives plural) lawyers.

Let's face it, the real draw here is the dialogue. Kevin Smith is among many people who have said they learned how to write great dialogue from Gregory McDonald. And it's not hard to see why, as McDonald has a gift it. He simply lets his characters talk. There are no adjectives, adverbs, "he said," "she said" in his pages of speaking. He simply chooses his words (or his characters do), and everything is left to the reader to "see" and "hear"--tone, body language, etc. And it keeps the reader turning the page, hoping not to get caught in the crossfire as Fletch trades barbs with whatever "lesser" being he is forced to deal with as he pursues both stories.

Which isn't to say the plot is lacking. It's quite gripping. Actually the two disparate plot-lines are gripping, as Fletch moves in and out of his investigations, using solid detective work and a great deal of duplicity to get answers. Unlike the film, the two stories Fletch chases don't come together in any meaningful way, but the chase is in and of itself fun.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Chris MB on September 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
A while back I heard director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy) comment that his dream project would be a new version of Fletch, shot the way the book was written. I wasn't quite sure what he meant so when I saw copies of the Fletch novels in my local bookstore, I couldn't resist. Admittedly, while the novel and the movie have quite a few things in common, the novel is far superior.
The plot of both the movie and the book are essentially the same but the genius of the novel is the crisp, concise dialog. Mcdonald relies not on narrative but dialog to convey the majority of the characterization and action. With Fletch, he crafts a dialog-driven, witty and unconventional mystery.
For those who enjoy mysteries or simply want to read a wonderfully written book, Fletch is a must.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on August 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Fletch" the novel is much darker than the Chevy Chase movie it subsequently became. Yes, the title character is working undercover on the beaches of L.A. when a millionaire asks him to kill him. But the story goes in a much different (and more believable) direction. The book also has far more tension than the movie as well as a much grittier edge. Recommended especially for fans of private detective fiction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John J. Rinck on February 16, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even if you didn't like the movie (for the record, it's my favorite of all time), you still will enjoy the book. I read the book with curiosity as to how closely the movie followed it, but even Fletch Newbies will be thoroughly engaged by this mystery. Irwin M. Fletcher, reporter, has been working on a story to uncover the source of drugs on The Beach, when he is suddenly propositioned by a well-to-do businessman, who asks Fletch to kill him! What does Fletch do? What he always does, and that is to take matters into his own hands and try to find out why, while also trying to meet his deadline on The Beach story. This is a true first class mystery!
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