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Fletch Paperback – March 12, 2002
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“A top-rate thriller told in stripped down language that races to a climax.” --The Washington Post
From the Inside Flap
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.
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.
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Every character in a McDonald story is fundamentally flawed, usually in interesting and humorous ways, especially his "heroes". I. M. Fletcher is no exception. He's snarky, lazy, and completely irresponsible, but that's what makes him so fun... He's really only good at one thing, investigative reporting, but he's extremely good at that. He also happens to be probably the luckiest character ever produced in fiction. Things like beautiful women and suitcases full of money just seem to fall into his lap... Literally.
Fletch was the first book written in the Fletch series and arguably the best. The series isn't written in chronological order and, for the most part, the books can be read in any order (although I recommended reading Fletch, Too immediately after Fletch Won or you'll miss a few inside jokes.)
The only real issue is price. Another instance of the publisher setting the ebook price higher than the new hardback price. The books are old enough that you can find a used paperback for less than a dollar.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very enjoyable. I read other reviews which stated the book expanded the technique for the genre and I fully agree. one of the great dialogists. highly recommend. Read morePublished 3 months ago by mark
Fast exciting read. If you've seen the movie you'll notice some places it was changed since the book. Still thoroughly interesting even though I'd seen the movie 100 times. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Aaron E. Mandelbaum
If you have seen the movie with Chevy chase it is easy to picture him as fletch. Was a quick and fun read.Published 11 months ago by J. Brandner
I love the Fletch series books - read them when I was younger, purchased these for my son.Published 15 months ago by Lisa Wood
Loved the book. Different than the movie. Made me miss the movie. Worth reading for sure, made me laugh a lot!Published 15 months ago by Stephen
Usually people read the book then see the movie I am the opposite. The book as it usually is is much beter. Great read and I plan on reading the whole seriesPublished 16 months ago by Carlton D. Ballinger
Somehow never read this back in the day. It is funny, clever, a good read that mostly has stood the test of time. Read morePublished 20 months ago by M. Weigand