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Fletch (Fletch #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  3,327 ratings  ·  193 reviews

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
Paperback, 197 pages
Published March 12th 2002 by Vintage (first published 1974)
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Community Reviews

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Treasure of the Rubbermaids 5: The Underhill Account

The on-going discoveries of priceless books and comics found in a stack of Rubbermaid containers previously stored and forgotten at my parent’s house and untouched for almost 20 years. Thanks to my father dumping them back on me, I now spend my spare time unearthing lost treasures from their plastic depths.

I don’t know what it is in the DNA of American males that makes so many of us quote movies incessantly. There are certain friends of mine th
Cathy DuPont
Dear Friends:

I read 141 books last year, however, regretfully, I did not meet my challenge. Thus far this year, I've read nine books including this book, Fletch, published in 1974.

Out of all those books, this might be the most entertaining of them all.

It had the elements I enjoy so much in reading books: a mystery; great character development; a very likable protag who has a multitude of personal issues particularly two ex-wives who he owes alimony; a respected investigative journalist who is
The Chevy Chase comedy was based on this novel and it's not the funny wisecracking story from the film. Sure it follows the same basic plot but the tone is a lot darker. It's set in the mid-seventies with Fletch a Vietnam vet working as a reporter in L.A.
The opening is brilliant pulling you straight in with Fletch being offered $20,000 to kill Alan Stanwyk the offer being made by Stanwyk himself. So Fletch sets about investigating this strange deal whilst at the same time continuing his current
I recently caught the classic Chevy Chase movie version of "Fletch" on cable, which served to remind me that I'd never actually read the original source material.

So, I rushed off to my local library and checked out "Fletch."

The novel itself is pretty much the same basic plot as the film, though there are some differences.

The big difference is how dialogue driven the novel is. Gregory Macdonald tells the story with minimal descriptive paragraphs and instead allows the reader to discover things
"Fletch" is a quick read and completely satisfying as a mystery. Gregory Mcdonald skillfully juggles the novel's multiple plots and threads the two main ones together at the end without straining credulity. Even 35 years after its publication, "Fletch" still feels original: its main character is a newspaper reporter rather than the typical cop or private investigator, and the book never loses its sense of fun, a quality so often lacking in detective novels. Mcdonald's writing style is suitably t ...more
Jan 15, 2014 Col rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013, m

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 Flet
Recommended for: Pulp Fiction lovers (not the movie); fans of clever and irreverent main characters; people not offended by old-fashioned patriarchal attitudes.

All I knew with regards to this book before reading was the movie that was based on it. While reading, my respect for Chevy Chase's charm and comedic talents was refreshed. The book is very different from the movie.

In the film, Fletch is essentially the same character-- he's womanizing, reckless, and clever. But in the book the classic ma
I just reread Fletch after probably 20 years of not reading it. I have read other titles by Gregory McDonald in that period, but Fletch had gathered dust on my shelves for 20 years. Big mistake on my part.

Coming back after 20 years, this book still stands as one of the best mysteries ever written, period. End of story.

McDonald's snappy dialogue is the best in the business. He reveals character and so much more just through dialogue. Writer, director, and producer Kevin Smith say he learned to
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
Intricately plotted, clever and funny (and considerably darker than the movie). I also appreciated how dialog-driven the plot is.
David Mattson
Feb 27, 2015 David Mattson added it
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to David by: Actually, the movie "Fletch" recommended the book.
Of course, Hollywood doesn't get it right. Each time that I watched the movie, "Fletch"; there is a credit to the book from which the movie comes. Actually, I have had this book in my library for quite some time. Only about a month ago (January 2015), I pulled the book out and read it through. I am not sure why these things happen, but the names of the secondary characters are different. The "Chief of Police" in the movie is "Chief Carlin (Sp?), in the book his name is "Chief Cummings." The movi ...more
You've got to like Fletch, the edgy, hard-boiled news reporter. This story uses lots of twists but our man Fletch is on top of them all. Clipped dialogue has flashes of humor. Great entertainment. The author Gregory Mcdonald who won back-to-back Edgars recently passed away. Bottom line: I'll read deeper into the series.
Jeff Anderson
As fresh as it ever was, Fletch is on helluva fast and fun read. I first came across these books in my Air Force days in the mid-eighties. Having gotten an e-book of the first book I turned to this after finishing Walter Lord's account of Dunkirk for some lighter reading. What a joy this is. McDonald's prose just flows along a rapidly moving story. I remember the first paperback I bought of this had the title on the cover and the opening lines from the story there as well. Great hook. Lots of di ...more
Eric Rosenfield
I've never seen the movie because fuck Chevy Chase, but like some of the other reviewers I was surprised at how much darkness there is in the book. Also, Fletch is a total shithead who treats the people around him like crap and has sex with a 15-year-old drug addict as part of his investigation (he's kind of taking care of her too, but the way the whole situation is handled is super creepy and you wish he'd actually try to get her some help instead of just letting her be part of his cover, espec ...more
Janet Aileen
This book is rated one of the top 100 mysteries if all time by the Crime Writers of America. I can see why. It is clean, concise, clever, and funny. A gem of a book.
Joe Szilvagyi
I saw the movie when it was new in the theater a long time ago so I didn't remember many details. The impact of the movie is that I read every line of dialogue as if it were coming from Chevy's mouth (well... at least Fletch's dialogue).

This was the perfect book to read while sitting by the pool on vacation. The story moved at a good pace while asking questions that weren't always obvious. One of the things I really liked was how this story firmly placed itself in the 70s. The story would be rad
Phil Williams
One of the interesting things about Gregory McDonald books is his writing style. 90% of the story is told through dialogue. Entire chapters are nothing but a description-less conversation between two characters, yet the reader is never left out.

I like the character Fletch quite a bit as his is a very good investigative reporter, but also a smart-ass towards not only his two ex-wives, his editor, his boss, but also to the police and others in authority who could destroy him. But Fletch doesn't c
A well conceived and executed mystery. I love it when a story comes together this well. Especially when the author gives you all the clues as you go along. Its a real skill to give the reader all the info to put together the mystery along the way and still have a satisfying ending.

An oldie but a goodie. If you are going to enjoy the book its is important to remember it was written in 1975. The blatant misogyny and inappropriate work place behavior is jarring and the freedom with with people sha
Sara Stroud
The only thing better than the book is the movie.
Πάνω σε αυτό το βιβλίο βασίζεται και η κωμική ταινία μυστηρίου με τον ίδιο τίτλο, με πρωταγωνιστή τον Chevy Chase. Σίγουρα είναι το καλύτερο αστυνομικό μυθιστόρημα που διάβασα φέτος, μαζί με το "Απόδραση στο Μαϊάμι" του Έλμορ Λέοναρντ και το "Φυγή" του Τζιμ Τόμσον, και σίγουρα είναι από τα καλύτερα αστυνομικά που έχω διαβάσει γενικά.

Πως έχει σε γενικές γραμμές η ιστορία: Ο Ίρβιν Φλέτσερ είναι ένας αστυνομικός ρεπόρτερ με ανορθόδοξες μεθόδους. Στην ιστορία αυτή, διαμένει στην παραλία, ώστε να βρ
If the rest of the novels in the Fletch series are anything like the first, I'm really surprised they were only able to wring two film versions (and one of them god-awful, at that) out of the franchise. If you've seen the Chevy Chase classic, you know the drill: mystery yarns featuring the quick-witted and faster talking investigative reporter, I.M. Fletcher.

In the introductory volume, we meet Fletch as he's in the midst of doing a story on the drug trade at the beach. He's twice divorced and u
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 m
Howard McEwen
Oh, this was so much better than the pre-conception I had gotten from the Chevy Chase flick. So much better.

Set, like Chander’s tales, in Southern California, Flech is a hard boiled novel with the ethos of the 70s. Like Chander, Fletch moves through the social strata of Los Angeles easily – junkie, CEO, corrupt cop, the country club set. The author replaced the gum shoe with an investigative reporter (so 70s) but otherwise it’s the same world.

It’s an incredibly plotted novel (something Chander c
Mark Soone
First, up untill yesterday I did not even know that this book existed....I was at one of my favorite local hotspots (Yes, it was the library...I know I am boring), disappointed that I could not locate Mosaic by Gayle to relieve my depression I discovered a book 2 shelves away by the name of Fletch...being a huge Chevy chase fan (I don't know why), and a product of the 70's I fondly remembered a movie that I have seen so many times I can recite half of it. I was like, wow, I didn't eve ...more
Chris Schaffer
Good read. I like the movie adaptation. If they had made the movie straight off of the book I think the story wouldn't have been as interesting and fun and I think Fletch would have come off as a jerk. Key differences:
Book - Stanwyk's parents are in Pennsylvania; Movie - Utah

Book - A lot of time on Fletch's personal life with interactions with several divorce lawyers and convos with ex wives; Movie - Fletch's personal life isn't delved into that much besides some interaction with a divorce lawye
One can't help but associate Fletch with Chevy Chase however the novels are a very different style of humor. If you're a fan of mysteries, detective stories and quick-witted, sarcastic dialog, you'll love the Fletch novels. Mcdonald typically uses the same formula for all the Fletch mysteries, which involves two seemingly unrelated events that somehow come together in the end - a formula that consistently works very well in every book. By the 8th or 9th book, you'll be wracking your brain trying ...more
For the past (almost) 30 years, my only knowledge of this series was the Chevy Chase movie that I loved (the second one, not so much). I was surprised at the MAJOR differences between the funny movie and the much more serious mystery novel. Part of the enjoyment was seeing those differences. I'm anticipating reading more in the series.
This is a re-read, as a prelude to working my way through the rest of the series. Great, even if slightly dated. Two mysteries, and every sub-plot, knitted together like a sweater. It deserved the Edgar.

If only they hadn't made a crap movie from it. Oh well...maybe they'll remake it one day, and keep the spirit.
I didn't see much mystery here. When every character in a book is a giant blabbermouth the plot becomes transparent pretty quickly. Nevertheless, Fletch was an entertaining read and I did enjoy it. It moves along at a good clip and held my interest throughout. Save this one for your summer reading.
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Fletch - best reading order 7 68 Jan 20, 2015 11:52AM  
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  • Brigadoon (Vocal Score)
  • A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays
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  • Novels, 1930-1942: Dance Night / Come Back to Sorrento / Turn, Magic Wheel / Angels on Toast / A Time to Be Born
  • Gidget (Gidget series, #1)
  • George W. Bushisms: The Slate Book of Accidental Wit and Wisdom of Our 43rd President
  • Lisa And David
  • Moliere: A Biography
  • The Art of Fiction
  • My Lai 4; a Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath
  • My Life As Author And Editor
  • Extravagance
  • The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion
  • The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age
  • Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals
  • The  Official Fahrenheit 9/11 Reader
  • Fat Land

Other Books in the Series

Fletch (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Confess, Fletch (Fletch, #2)
  • Fletch's Fortune (Fletch, #3)
  • Fletch and the Widow Bradley
  • Fletch's Moxie (Fletch, #5)
  • Fletch and the Man Who (Fletch, #6)
  • Carioca Fletch (Fletch, #7)
  • Fletch Won (Fletch, #8)
  • Fletch, Too (Fletch, #9)
  • Son of Fletch (Fletch, #10 - Son Of Fletch, #1)
  • Fletch Reflected (Fletch, #11- Son Of Fletch, #2)
Confess, Fletch (Fletch, #2) Fletch Won (Fletch, #8) Fletch's Fortune (Fletch, #3) Fletch, Too (Fletch, #9) Fletch and the Widow Bradley

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