“What do we like here, gentlemen?”
Sanchez spoke up first. “Pretty much everything, boss. Best writer of dialogue since Plato. Slang you never even heard of. Keep expecting the page to stand up and wander off somewheres, make a pass at your wife, order a bacon sandwich. I mean—yeah, no, the guy can screenwrite, sure, little and big screen both. But what I didn’t know? What you forget every time ’cause he blows three-four years between books writing shit like Shaft and the talking parts of Michael Jackson videos? Pure literature, baby. The fucking merits. Does this full-on virtuoso Zola spiel, nineteenth-century-style social-realist novelist-as-reporter thing, X-ray of the city: sleeping arrangements of illegal Chinese immigrants, inventory of a teenage girl’s room in the projects, every object in a Lower East Side post-murder sidewalk shrine. Dude could look you up and down for three seconds, tell you everything you got in your pockets—everything you ever had in your pockets, everything your kids got in their pockets. Everything you wish you had in your pockets instead.”
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