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Fletch by Gregory Mcdonald
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Synopsis/blurb......

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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My take.........

This book was originally published back in the mid-70’s and won McDonald an Edgar Award for best first novel in 1975. (The second in the series, Confess, Fletch won him a second Edgar.)

An interesting mystery, written at a time when 200 pages was probably the norm for the genre. (Don’t you long for those days?) Enough time to develop the main character and get a decent feel for the rest of the cast and create an intriguing plot.

Irwin Fletcher, intrepid investigative journalist is masquerading as a beach bum, trying to get a story of the drug’s trade being plied on the small town (name escapes me!) beach. He’s approached by a man and offered $20k to kill him.

Fletcher decides to accept the offer and has a week to uncover the raison d’etre for the mystery man’s deathwish. In the meantime, his bosses are impatient at the lack of progress on his drug’s investigation and he walks a fine line regarding his job longetivity. In the background he’s also juggling law suits and court appearances regarding the non-payment of alimony to his two ex-wives, both of whom are still in love with him.

Great fun had here, as Fletcher juggles all the balls to get the scoop on the drugs and after an unorthodox inquiry finally discovers millionaire Stanwyck’s motives for hiring out his own murder.

Fletcher is the obvious star, generally likeable, though you can call me a prude if you like, I wasn’t a particular fan of his actions when dealing with his former wives......a little bit too dismissive and blasé for my liking, but probably all the more realistic for having these warts.

I will definitely be reading more from McDonald, though when I’m not too sure. My copy of this is an omnibus edition and contains the first 3 Fletcher books. McDonald wrote 9 in total, as well as a couple of son of Fletch books and a 4 book Flynn series, which apparently is a spin-off featuring a cop we encounter further down the road with our man Irwin Fletcher.

Full list of the books is as follows, thanks to Fantastic Fiction:

Fletch
1. Fletch (1974)
2. Confess, Fletch (1976)
3. Fletch's Fortune (1979)
4. Fletch and the Widow Bradley (1981)
5. Fletch's Moxie (1982)
6. Fletch and the Man Who (1983)
7. Carioca Fletch (1984)
8. Fletch Won (1985)
9. Fletch Too (1986)
Flynn
1. Flynn (1978)
2. The Buck Passes Flynn (1981)
3. Flynn's in (1984)
4. Flynn's World (1999)
Son of Fletch
1. Son of Fletch (1993)
2. Fletch Reflected (1994

I can’t recall ever seeing either of the films based on Gregory McDonald’s Fletch character, but I can say I have now read the first in the series. Is it heresy to say, I’m not a great fan of Chevy Chase? I did enjoy a few of the Vacation movies, but that’s pretty much it as far as he is concerned. I would now be interested in watching the film of this though.

I have all of the original series of books on my shelves, all acquired cheaply after a friend sent me the omnibus edition, telling me to check Fletch out. Great advice! (Sometimes it pays to take a chance when book buying, re the other 6 I have!)

4 from 5 and a great way to round off a brilliant year’s reading!

As mentioned above, my copy was gifted to me by a friend. Cheers to Cathy in Florida! ( )
1 vote col2910 | Apr 17, 2014 |
Entertainment Weekly just wrote about Fletch (the movie), raving about how it is totally this cult classic and everyone loves it so much. I don't remember loving the movie--probably because A) I read the books first and B) I don't crush on Chevy Chase--though now I'm willing to watch it again just out of curiosity. But what I *really* wanted to do after reading the article was read the books again!

OK, I finished it quick. This is even more fun to read now than it was when I discovered it 20-odd years ago. No cell phones, no laptops, just a portable tape deck and a typewriter in a suitcase, and a dash to a landline in critical moments. And it's still a total crash-course in writing dialog: seems like 90% of the story is moved forward in conversation, not exposition. ( )
  MelissaZD | Jan 1, 2014 |
How have I missed this before? Oh, they are all criminally out of print...
It's a 1970s California, but the hero's quips and intellectual jousting would be well at home in Dashiell Hammett's 1930s. And of course there is still police corruption and beautiful rich women are still seducing the tarnished hero. The difference is, that Fletch can wrangle more enjoyment out of life than his predecessors, and may even find a way out of Hotel California... ( )
  randoymwords | Sep 27, 2011 |
investigative reporter, drugs, murder, mystery ( )
  ssomme | Aug 21, 2009 |
The movie is MUCH better than this book. MUCH! ( )
  beebowallace | Dec 16, 2008 |
Showing 5 of 5
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People/Characters
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Susie, Judy and Lew Clapp
First words
"What's your name?"
Quotations
"What's your name?"
"Fletch."
"What's your full name?"
"Irwin. Irwin Fletcher. People call me Fletch."
"Irwin Fletcher, I have a proposition to make to you. I will give you a thousand dollars for just listening to it. If you decide to reject the proposition, you take the thousand dollars, go away, and never tell anyone we talked. Fair enough?"
"Is it criminal? I mean, what you want me to do?"
"Of course."
"Fair enough. For a thousand bucks I can listen. What do you want me to do?"
"I want you to murder me."...
Fletch said, "Sure."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375713549, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:15 -0400)

When a wealthy California industrialist tells apparent beach bum I.M. Fletcher that he wants to be murdered, the undercover journalist investigates the businessman's private life.

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