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rjbs (4671)

rjbs
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I'm a Perl coder living in Bethlehem, PA and working Philadelphia. I'm a philosopher and theologan by training, but I was shocked to learn upon my graduation that these skills don't have many associated careers. Now I write code.

Journal of rjbs (4671)

Monday October 22, 2007
05:05 PM

another series down: fletch

[ #34734 ]

Earlier this week, I read the final of the Fletch books. (Actually, I read the final Son of Fletch book. The distinction isn't that important.) I'm looking forward to reading the Flynn series, which is something of a spin-off.

There were eleven Fletch and Son of Fletch books, all of which I enjoyed. Some of them were better than others, and some were more plausible than others, but I enjoyed them all. (The two Son of Fletch books were, I think, the weakest. They just seemed too over the top.)

In looking for some information about Fletch, though now I forget what, I found "the Official Gregory Mcdonald website." (Strangely, it seems that his name is usually written Mcdonald and not McDonald. I have no idea why.)

Anyway, the website really bugs me. It says it's official, but I'm not sure what that means. It's hard to tell whether it's actually written by anyone associated with Mcdonald. The mystery books page does its best to turn each of his fairly subtle, character-driven novels into an overly-simplified morality tale. From Confess, Fletch, the "inference" drawn is: "The art market, maintained by the elite, is not better than it should be." From Fletch and the Man Who, "Democracy cannot work if the press exploits too deeply politicians' private lives."

I am not sure whether I should be saddened that a fan has so lamely summarized these books, or saddened that the author thinks of them this way himself. The most ludicrous summary is of Son of Fletch, which deals with the dysfunctional family of a multi-billionaire and their immediate and unbelievable self-destruction after his death.

Comment: Written during the collapse of (Communist) USSR, this has proven to be a highly prophetic novel. Inference: When dictatorial authority collapses, mutual and self-destruction is likely among its previous subjects.

While I can buy that this novel, published in '93, was informed by the collapse of the USSR, it seems silly to take it as allegory or to call it prophetic.

I'm taking a very small break from novels to catch up on some technical reading -- I have some books to review -- and then I'll probably read Flynn. From this book about the eccentric detective introduced in Confess, Fletch, I will be able to infer that "Perception can beat procedure." Who could've guessed?

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  • I would agree that the fletch books are surprisingly enjoyable. I've never read anything else by the McDonald but he seems to be a pretty good storyteller.