RE: RARA-AVIS: Gregory MacDonald and Mark Twain: Taboada

From: Todd Mason (
Date: 31 May 2002

Some Fletch novels were better than others, but it was more than a decade ago that I sat down and finally read the entire sequence as it then existed
(up through FLETCH, TOO, in order of release), and rather enjoyed them
(thought FLETCH WON and CONFESS, FLETCH, which spawned the Flynn series, the best, CARIOCA FLETCH the weakest if also a good travelogue). Don't know what I might make of them now...have yet to read SON OF FLETCH.

Caught some of MARK TWAIN, thought it better than the usual run of Burns docs, too. Did you catch his "lost" story, an attempt at a round-robin stunt, published in THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY only a century and a third late, and a not-bad criminous/fantastic spoof? TM

-----Original Message----- From: Mario Taboada [mailto:]

Man, when I finally did try a Fletch book, I was bitterly disappointed. The author was trying really hard to be funny, but it fell flat on me (to be more precise, it sounded impossibly silly). I've never read another since. Somebody must buy this series: Salvation Army stores are full of the paperbacks. They say that humor is the hardest, and they're right. Besides, it doesn't age well (Twain and a few others excepted).

By the way, did anyone else catch the Ken Burns biographical program on Mark Twain? I thought it was well done, particularly because it treated Twain's financial problems and his ultimate loneliness and bitterness in some detail. I think Burns chose not to speculate on Twain's adoption of female grandchildren (such speculation appeared in a biography which, I recall, was thoroughly trashed by Vidal in the NYRB).

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