Posts Tagged ‘Bette Davis’

Oscar Night


February 9th, 2020 Posted 7:36 am

Normally on Sundays we take a look at the beginning of a Peter Abrahams novel including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker, but since it’s Oscar night, how about this little snippet from A Fistful of Collars, the Chet and Bernie novel where a movie star plays a big real-life role? Bernie is talking to Nixon Panero, owner of Nixon’s Championship Autobody, but also movie buff.

“That’s a whole scene?” Bernie said. “A guy tosses in his sleep?”

“All depends on how it’s handled,” Nixon said. “Film’s a director’s medium – gotta keep that in mind. Take the cigarette lighting scene in Now Voyager – what would that look like on the page? Zip. But on the screen … well, there are some things you never forget.”


Chetspeak on Sunday


December 8th, 2013 Posted 9:55 am

“Had much experience with mushrooms, Bernie?” he said.

“Nope,” said Bernie.

Whoa. Nope? Had he forgotten that huge and tasty mushroom we’d found in the woods on the Big Bear Case? And didn’t Bernie love to throw little white mushrooms on the barbecue when we grilled burgers? Which I hoped would be happening again real soon. I could just about smell them! In fact, with a little more effort, I actually … yes! I smelled burgers. I’d made myself smell burgers when there were none around – wow! What a life. Had something just been bothering me? Whatever it was: poof!

“Once on shrooms,” Nixon was saying, “ – this was down in Mexico, bad idea as it turned out, but that came later – I was sitting by this campfire and all of a sudden I rose up out of the flames.” Nixon opened his eyes. “Not me, but this vision, you see what I mean.”

“Gotcha,” said Bernie.

“Only I was in black-and-white,” Nixon. “Shimmering. Is that a word?”

“Think so.”

“I was shimmering,” Nixon said. “There was me, this real person, and then me, this unreal person – but cool, you know? – at the same time.” Nixon shrugged and went silent.

“That’s what Bette Davis had?” Bernie said. “Real and unreal at the same time?”

– from A Fistful of Collars

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