Friday, January 31, 2014

FFB: Son of Fletch -- Gregory Mcdonald

A while back I mentioned running across three books by Gregory Mcdonald in a thrift shop. Two of them were about a young man named Skylar, and I commented on them here and here.  The third book was Son of Fletch. I read it when it came out, about 20 years ago, and as is sometimes the case, the more I reread, the more I remembered.  

I always hoped that the later books about Fletch would recapture some of the snap and excitement of the earliest ones, but they never quite did.  I can't explain why, since they still have some of the same qualities , the snappy dialogue, the interesting characters, the clever plots.  But for me something is missing.  It's like hearing the cover version of a favorite song.  Same words, same melody, but it's not the same.  Maybe it's just me.

In this one, a young man shows up at Fletch's house and claims he's Fletch's son, whose name is Jack Faoni.  He also claims that he's just escaped from a  nearby prison, along with three other men, all of them very bad.  His own crime was trying to shoot a cop.  Or so he says.  After all, if he's Fletch's son, he might have his father's disregard for the truth.

Fletch goes along for the ride (literally and figuratively) and finds himself mixed up with a bunch of neo-nazi racists, and as so often happens in Mcdonald's books, things turn very dark.  There's always an interesting contrast between the light and breezy style of the books and some of the content, and that adds to their interest.

If you've never read Fletch and Confess, Fletch, you're missing some of mysterydom's great pleasures.  Son of Fletch is okay, and I enjoyed reading it again, but I wish I'd read one of the earlier ones instead.  What some enterprising filmmaker should do is get Chevy Chase to play Fletch again and some whippersnapper to play Jack.


George said...

I loved the first couple FLETCH books, too. Gregory McDonald's later books weren't so much fun.

Todd Mason said...

Though I liked FLETCH WON and FLETCH, TOO better than some that had come earlier, such as CARIOCA FLETCH, I still have yet to read SON OF FLETCH.

Unknown said...

I thought CARIOCA FLETCH was the low point. This one's a little better but nothing you need to worry about reading.