Early life[ edit ] Mcdonald was born in Shrewsbury , Massachusetts. He was educated at Harvard, paying his own way by operating yachts. Career[ edit ] He worked as a teacher before becoming a journalist for the Boston Globe in the late s. He finally left his newspaper position to become a novelist full-time with the publication of Fletch. Fletch novels[ edit ] In , the first novel in the Fletch series was adapted into a movie with Chevy Chase playing the irreverent investigative reporter.
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Shelves: crime-mystery , humor , r , rubbermaid-treasure 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 parents 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 dont 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 that I can have entire conversations with that consist of nothing but repeating lines from films like Animal House, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and a hundred others.
One of the all-time richest veins of movie quotes is Fletch. After the movie came out in my friends and I watched it dozens of times on video and my fifteen year old self was delighted to learn that there was a whole series of books that the movie was based on.
I found a movie tie-in copy that made me giggle with glee at the prospect of getting whole books of more Fletch stories. However, the book and the movie have some serious differences that threw me for a loop. Very rarely, a movie may make some changes that improve the story. Yet both ended up being remarkably good. Weird, huh? The main plot of both remains the same. Irwin Fletcher is a smart ass investigative reporter who has gone undercover as a junkie to find the source of a drug epidemic at the beach.
In his role as an addict Fletch is approached by a wealthy man named Alan Stanwyk who makes him an incredible offer. The offer to kill him comes with a large sum of money and an elaborate escape plan. Fletch plays along and agrees to kill Stanwyk. Then he embarks on a clandestine investigation to find out if the man really is dying of cancer while still trying to figure out the source of the drugs on the beach as his editor demands that he print what he already knows.
Sounds like the movie, right? Yes and no. While this remains one of his best movies Chase was essentially doing what he always did - acting like Chevy Chase.
The running gag of him pretending to be various people lets him act like an idiot while still being the smug guy who is playing everyone. This Fletch is also a Vietnam vet with more problems than the Chevy Chase version. His fights with his incompetent editor are more serious and not playful, and the alimony of two failed marriages is a real problem and not just a joke. And to be blunt, the book version of Fletch is kind of a prick. Granted, many of them are assholes, but book Fletch is a bit nastier than Chevy Fletch.
And this Fletch does things like shack up with a fifteen year runaway prostitute. The book also ends differently with a much darker twist than the movie version did. All in all, it seems like Hollywood took a good mystery with some funny lines and a dark undercurrent to it, including a flawed main character, then they sanded off the rough edges and brought in Chevy Chase who did what worked for him rather than making an effort to portray it as written in the book.