Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lush Life

"I, like many chess players, am somewhat prickly when it comes to the use of chess analogies, metaphors, similes...."

So wrote T.C. a couple of weeks ago.

You can certainly count me among the many - particularly since "chess", as Morgan pointed out in the comments box to Tom's post, is usually employed as a synonym for "boring".

Today, in contrast, I offer a truly excellent use of our favourite game from Richard Price or Richard "award-winning writer on The Wire" Price as he tends to be described these days ....

"Are you Eric?"

Bracing for the next shitstorm, Eric just stared at him.

"Paulie Shaw said you might want to talk."


The culture dealer; Eric needing a moment to place the name, the conversation.

A vision then came to Eric of the Eighth Precinct detectives entraping him in a dope buy to squeeze him into cooperating; of more shit in the papers, of killing himself.

"Paulie Shaw?" the possible undercover tried again.

The Picasso shirt was a nice touch.

"I don't know you," Eric said.

"All right, whatever." He shrugged, then nodded to the menu. "Can I get a table?"

An hour later Eric brought over the coffee himself, sat down across from the Halloween Frenchman.

"So, who are you?"


Eric sat there, trying to chess this through.

Lush Life
Richard Price
Bloomsbury Publishing, 2008
[***** on the JB speed review scale]

Bonus Item:
Take the Richard Price link and jump to 21:40.


ejh said...

I'd have thought screenwriting was more like correspondence chess. You have time to change and revise everything, but before you get the go-ahead you have to run your idea past a bunch of computers...

Tom Chivers said...

I'm prickly about this one too. I simply don't understand it!

Jonathan B said...

Oh dear.

Either I didn't quote enough of the passage/I underestimated the fac that I know the characters from the whole book so it makes more sense to me ... or the reference just isn't as good as I thought

... or is it just that T.C. has some vendetta against The Wire? The truth will out!