- Audio CD: 1 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio and Blackstone Audio; Unabridged edition (19 February 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1508282277
- ISBN-13: 978-1508282273
- Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 1.3 x 14.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 159 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Who Killed the Fonz? Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
James Boice deftly mixes the broad comedy of the TV series with classic noir elements, resulting in an unexpectedly emotional roller coaster ride that's more than a novelty.-- "Andrew Shaffer, New York Times bestselling author"
As a kind of wish-fulfillment fantasy about going back to your hometown as a fading success and finding a way to restore old ties, the novel is almost shamelessly entertaining.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Readers yearning for simpler times will enjoy this trip down memory lane.-- "Publishers Weekly"
Wildly inventive and entertaining.-- "Booklist"
Fans of the long-running Happy Days will appreciate the familiarity and nostalgia of a story that captures the spirit and atmosphere of the show.-- "Library Journal"
About the Author
James Boice was born in California in 1982, raised in northern Virginia, and currently lives near Boston. He is the author of MVP and Who Killed The Fonz?
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Truthfully, the book is a mixed bag. It is not dark enough to qualify for noir and too serious to qualify as a cozy. It would seem a fun concept - the plot is fairly solid, if incredibly predictable. The "shocking" conclusion will not really shock anyone, particularly since there is such a limited array of suspects that could possibly be behind the murder and cover-up. Most will probably pinpoint the culprit shortly after their introduction in the story. Too much time is spent establishing Richie as a Hollywood bigwig on the skids and having him pouting and depressed about the state of his life and losing track of his friends.
Also, the author seems to know some of the highlights of Happy Days, but does not have much of a grasp of the characters. While I can accept that people change, I do not believe that all of the characters from the series would ostensibly fall out of touch immediately following Joanie and Chachi's wedding (the series finale), even the ones still living in the same city. Plus the author makes several blunders. The jumping the shark moment happened on a trip to Hollywood and not in Lake Michigan, the original Arnold's burned down, etc., but there are enough of them to wonder why an editor at least did not catch them.
Character-wise, the author does not do much better. Richie lives in Hollywood with Lori Beth, with his mother Marion living in a detached house out back. We are told in Chapter 1 that Howard Cunningham died in his sleep during a visit at Richie's, which kind of puts a damper on the book from the start since his outlook would have been welcome. We are told that not only did Fonzi not come to Howard's funeral, but that he did not even call to express condolences to the Cunninghams. This is not believable, nor is it credible that Lori Beth and Marion (who was basically Fonzi's mother figure) decide to forego attending Fonzi's funeral because they are busy. Huh?
He also just does not include or writes characters out without much sense. While Lori Beth and Marion are basically sidelined, Joanie and Chachi have moved into the family home, but are conveniently away in Tahiti and apparently do not feel Fonzi's death cause to return. Some of the later characters such as cousin Roger and the ubiquitous Jenny Piccolo are not mentioned at all. Al makes a brief appearance at the funeral to lament the loss of the good old days and his customers to the Bennigans across the street. The wake seems to be made up solely of Richie, Al, Potsie and Ralph, along with a gaggle of nameless ex-girlfriends. And getting over the friction between Potsie/Ralph and Richie seems to take too long.
I am uncertain the wisdom of making the book Richie-centric. The show itself lasted quite a while after Richie's departure and became more of an ensemble piece, so I think Boise could have spread the wealth out among the other characters and had them actually help more in solving the mystery. Plus, Richie spouts things that are inconceivable. It would be unlikely that Richie would vaguely remember Laverne DeFazio (who was more Fonzi's girl) and forget Shirley Feeney (who he was paired with several times, including a near forced marriage on a farm). And Richie would have never confused Shirley with Pinky Tuscadero. For all of the girlfriends showing up, it seems odd that neither Laverne or Shirley make an appearance. If Fonzi had true loves on the series at all, it would have been Pinky or Ashley Pfisterer, neither of whom show up and the latter gets nary a mention.
Not sure whether this is the start of a series or a one-off. I assume the latter since the conclusion does not really scream sequel or leave much open and Richie seems content to return to Hollywood to realize his dream project (which sounds like a bore to be frank). If Boise does have a second novel in mind, then he needs to round up the majority of the characters and have them be active players rather than cameos, brief mentions or bystanders. As it is, the book seems a tad flat to me.