Posts Tagged ‘The Tutor’



May 29th, 2020 Posted 12:17 pm

Played tennis this morning! First time back on the court since all this. Felt normal! I’ve written quite a bit about tennis – for example, in The Tutor and A Perfect Crime – and in Chet and Bernie, too. Here’s the tennis lesson from Thereby Hangs A Tail:

The tall blond guy took a ball from the bucket and hit it to Ganz. Ganz wore white shorts, had skinny legs like sticks. He swung his racquet and hit the ball back. The tall guy let it go by, took out another ball. “Brush up, Shermie, brush up. Spin on the ball, always spin on the ball.” He hit the ball over the net. Ganz swung, this time missing the ball completely. “Brush up but through, up but through, up but through,” said the tall guy, sending over another ball. Brush? I knew brushes, saw none around. Maybe tennis was tougher than it looked, but I didn’t worry about that because a ball came bouncing over in our direction – we were now beside the court – and I snatched it out of the air, and who wouldn’t have, the ball being right there practically saying, “Catch me.” And then – this part was a bit harder to understand – I was on the court, racing toward the net. Up and over: not much of a challenge, tennis nets turning out not to be very high, but still it felt so great, being airborne and all, that I kind of twisted around still up there, if you see what I mean, and landed facing back at the net, and the next thing I knew I was jumping over it again, from the other direction, and, yes! doing the spin move once more, and when I landed this time, somehow with two balls in my mouth now – how had that happened? – I –



The Tutor


March 17th, 2019 Posted 7:54 am

One of the week’s big stories reminded us of this book, so since on Sundays we’ve been doing beginnings of all the Peter Abrahams novels including those under the Spence pen name, why not look in on Scott and Linda, the parents in THE TUTOR (2002), just before the hiring of the tutor:

“There’s always Amherst or someplace like that,” Scott said.

“Amherst? Are you dreaming? Forget Amherst. You can forget Trinity, for God’s sake.”

“Forget Trinity?”

“Forget NYU, forget BC, forget BU, even. Don’t you get it? The SAT ranks every kid in the nation. Seventy-fifth percentile means there are hundreds of thousands ahead of him, maybe millions. The good schools can fill their classes without going anywhere near Brandon. We screwed up.”

[“His prose is elegant by any literary standard.” – L.A. Times]


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Posted in Chet The Dog



March 3rd, 2019 Posted 7:12 am

On Sunday we’ve been doing beginnings – all the Peter Abrahams novels, including those written under the Spencer Quinn pen name. Here, from 1998, A PERFECT CRIME. (Tennis plays a role in this one, as it does in THE TUTOR.)

[“Roger Cullingwood, one of the villains in Peter Abrahams’ ninth suspense novel, is a “throwback.” He believes in aristocracy, both inherited and earned. He has a mansion on Boston’s Beacon Hill, a summa cum laude degree from Harvard and an IQ of 181….Roger has lost his job as a securities analyst and can’t get another, for reasons that are mysterious to him but clear to us: He lacks the normal complement of human feelings, except for jealousy and pride….Only when A Perfect Crime is over do we see how Abrahams, a plotter even more skilled than Roger, has manipulated us. We don’t mind too much, because in this case the conventions of the genre have packaged not only the expected thrills but that always unexpected bonus: good writing.” – The Los Angeles Times]

Thursday, the best day of the week – the day of all days that Francie was predisposed to say yes. But here in the artist’s studio, with its view of the Dorchester gas tank superimposed on the harbor beyond, she couldn’t bring herself to do it. The problem was she hated the paintings.




August 21st, 2018 Posted 8:58 am

Yesterday a reader commented on the tennis in A PERFECT CRIME ( A quick think reminded us that tennis is also important in THE TUTOR. Also, in THEREBY HANGS A TAIL, the 2nd Chet and Bernie novel, doesn’t Chet encounter a tennis lesson and … offer his own kind of instruction, is maybe how to put it? Since the U.S. Open starts today, we’ll feature a few tennis scenes over the next two and a half weeks. Are there some tennis scenes – anywhere in the work of Peter Abrahams a.k.a. Spencer Quinn – that we’re missing?


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