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Fletch  By  cover art

Fletch

By: Gregory Mcdonald
Narrated by: Dan John Miller
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Publisher's Summary

The acidly funny first book starring the subversive sleuth in one of the most successful mystery series of all time. Fletch is an investigative reporter whose methods are a little unorthodox. Currently he's living on the beach.

He's taking more than a little flak 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.

©1974 Gregory Mcdonald (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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What listeners say about Fletch

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Fletch is Literally a Psychopath

I don't know if this was something the writer did on purpose but it's almost as if he decided to take the trope of the smart-alec
private detective (I know Fletch is a newspaper reporter but in this story that amounts to the same thing) and take it to such an extreme that the protagonist is literally a monster just to see if anyone would notice, or if this is just bad writing, but either way, Fletch is really just a completely terrible person. For all intents and purposes he is the villain of this tale.

Through the course of this very short book he:

* Murders a cat
* Has sex with a 15-year-old (and no, this was not OK in the 70s)
* Brags about this
* Allows this 15-year-old to die and hides her body, making no effort whatsoever to help her
* A lesser crime, but calls female boss the b word (sorry for these G-movie isms but I don't know if Audible will allow mild profanity in a review) multiple times and makes it clear that he is a sexist pig
* Lies to and is incredibly rude to every person he talks to with a single exception

-- spoilers but you've probably seen the movie --

* The one person he is respectful to is the father of the man he is plotting to murder and rob
* What's that? Fletch doesn't plot to murder and rob any one! But no, he really does. He clearly manipulates events so that the Sherriff will kill Stanwick so he can steal the money Stanwick embezzled and abscond to Brazil.
* And in the book, unlike the movie, Stanwick is carefully portrayed as a generally good-hearted and loyal man doing a single bad deed he has found a way to justify to himself.

There is an awful lot wrong with this book that I don't have time to cover, like the fact that every woman just shamelessly throws herself at Fletch. Also, important point here. Unlike the movie this book is not particularly funny. The way they turned this turkey into that affable Chevy Chase vehicle is nothing short of genius.

13 people found this helpful

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Outrageous and very funny!

A very funny and interest plot. I did not know what to expect but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I laughed out loud frequently. Fletch is a wonderful and irreverent character. I am so glad they added these books to audible, I look forward to listening to them all. I remember seeing the Chevy Chase movie which doesn’t do this book justice. I’d love to see this book made into a movie, again.

11 people found this helpful

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Fantastic!

I’ve seen the movies and now I’ve read the book and feel they were very true - or close enough. It’s also fascinating what has and hasn’t changed from the 70s.

My narrator was decent - my only quibble being that occasionally the book would switch viewpoints or there’d be reading a sentence (in the story) and there wasn’t even a momentary pause. That leads to confusion and a slight final shift or just a fraction of a pause would be my preference.

Still a job well done. Looking VERY forward to the next one in the series!

7 people found this helpful

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Movie was better

Downloaded based on movie. Book fletch is much crueler and less funny. Book character is someone who needs punched in the face.

3 people found this helpful

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If only...

If only the narrator could have captured Chevy Chases version of Fletch's humor this would have been perfect.

3 people found this helpful

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The book is better than the movie!

Isn't always the way? I loved the Chevy Chase movie "Fletch" when I was a kid, at the time I was 11yrs old in 1985. I had no clue it was based on this book. While both are similar in plot I think I liked the novel better than the movie. Keeping in mind that this book was originally written in 1974, so there are things in this book that wouldn't necessarily be socially acceptable today. Fletch is an amazing investigative reporter & a little sleazy in certain areas of his life. Very much like in the movie he takes on a variety of identities to get to the bottom of Stanwyk's proposal, but unlike the movie it's done mostly on the phone. The ending is also different, but I enjoyed the books ending better than the "Hollywood" ending.

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Wow

This book is truly terrible. I read the other reviews trying to figure out what people see in it. Fletcher is truly a garbage human being who is proud of treating women like trash and proud of sleeping with a drug addicted 15 year old. Just… wow.

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  • BJ
  • 06-24-20

Much better than the movie

I saw the movie years ago, and when a friend recently spoke so glowingly of the book, I knew there must have been a lot of "adapting" going on for the movie. After listening the the audiobook, I can see the glow myself. The narrator was great and the story was cynically funny without trying too hard and a bit of mystery without becoming a thriller, and for me this makes an excellent combination. I will read more of Gregory Mcdonald's books and listen to more of Dan Thomas Miller's narrations.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Plot, Reprehensible Character

The plot of this semi-classic mystery is intriguing and intricate. I spotted one likely plot twist midway, but the rest kept me guessing. The narrator is marvelous.

But the whole thing was marred for me by the main hero being for the most part a truly reprehensible human being who disdains and manipulate everyone around him. If that's your cup of tea, you'll enjoy it. It isn't mine.

1 person found this helpful

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Disappointed

This was a rare occasion when the movie was much better. I realize this was written in the early 1970s, but the dialogue was awkward, almost cringe worthy. I only listen, and finished it, because it was free.

1 person found this helpful

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  • K. J. Kelly
  • 08-28-18

Humorous modern-day Sam Spade mystery

An apparent vagrant on a beach is asked to respond to a rich man's proposal - he is dying of cancer and wishes to find someone to 'off' him, for his wife to receive the insurance money. It happens that 'Fletch', who appears to be a drug pusher is actually an investigative journalist working on a piece regarding drugs on the beach.

Not allowed to leave his own story, and with ex-wives on his case for alimony, Fletch must juggle his time looking into the multimillionaire's request and background with his boss's meetings and court appearances.

Fletch is a bit of a Sam Spade, a wise-cracking jaded character, with a past of his own and an eye for a puzzle. He's an antihero. There are some other sympathetic characters and a good mystery to wallow in and follow.

The narration by Fletch works as an audiobook, as we are spoken to. It's an entertaining listen and easy to follow. The voice artist does a grand job at bringing Fletch to life and voicing several others including (ex)wives anda female boss.

There are some excellent comic scenes, usually involving Fletch and the women around him. I've not seen the films but I imagine these scenes are included, they are some of the stand-outs and very funny.

I'm not sure I'd want to read more of the series, but I did enjoy becoming familiar with Fletch. I can imagine the style and pattern of the stories continuing in the same vein.

A most enjoyable mystery, though of the 1970s, and with just slightly outdated attitudes towards women, lots of the humour hits home.

With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Evolutionary Artefact
  • 10-04-22

Intriguing. Well-written. Superbly-read

A great gumshoe yarn, brought vividly to life by Dan John Miller's narration. Sure, the protagonist is - morally at least - an anti-hero, and the book's social mores are very definitely of their time (1974). But I'd recommend anyone to give this piece of entertainingly solid fictive craftsmanship a whirl. Your inner sociopath will love you for it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • SilverSea
  • 10-03-22

Fun, quick and diverting

Not the most demanding listen, and a fairly predictable mystery, but great fun. Of its age, but not the worse for it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Steve
  • 10-03-22

Great story. Well written. Enjoyable

This was a fast moving and thoroughly entertaining story. I really enjoyed the main character. The story was full of humour, interest and unexpected twists. Really good.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr
  • 12-12-21

Occasionally amusing crime caper that hasn’t aged well

A quirky if predictable story, though I really struggled with the misogynistic tone.

Also the main protagonist Fletch may have been considered roguishly charming in 1974 but comes across as selfish, smug and sleazy, best illustrated by his regularly sleeping with a 15yr old girl being considered one of the perks of his job.

If you can get past this it’s an adequate short listen with a decent narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Steve
  • 12-02-22

Very clever and entertaining book

I enjoyed this book very much, didn't get on with it to start with, but the wit and story flows so well. You end up trying to guess what is going on, without success. Great book and I highly recommend it.

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  • Ade
  • 12-01-22

Entertaining listening

A very enjoyable and amusing book.
End end end end end end end end end

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-30-22

Very Enjoyable

Great story, characters and voice acting. Thoroughly enjoyed this read and I’m on the hum for the 2nd book now!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-29-22

Loved the old fashioned Investigation!

a bit far fetched and the criminality can make you squimish but loved it and would watch a movie on it 😀. it was so much fun following along, and the humour is lol. Now I wish there were more people reading, there were too many characters for one person to do justice.

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  • Darren
  • 11-16-22

Fantasic

Took a flyer with this on an included deal as I'd used up my credits

Great narration and hugely entertaining

D.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-03-18

great book, well read.

different to the movie but still really good. never boring glad that there are more in the series

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Fiona MCDONALD
  • 11-14-22

Classic story

Classic mystery crime story. Good twists and great suspense. A story from its time (mid-70s) with regard to technology, fashion and attitudes towards women.

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  • Amanda Vermeulen
  • 09-27-22

Misogynistic rubbish

Didn't even finish Chapter 1. Dreadful. Central character is a not very funny chauvinist who jokes about abusing how abused animals.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-17-22

Irreverent and fun

Different to the movies in the best way. Can’t wait to enjoy the whole series

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  • Noelle N.
  • 03-17-22

Great tale of fun

Loved the movie , love the character and humour. Great narration totally enjoyable must read the other books u

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ben K Lodhia
  • 01-11-22

Noir Style

Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys noir detective fiction. Brilliant character and smooth story. A must read.