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Griffin Mill is ruthlessly ambitious, driven to control the levers of America's dream-making machinery. Griffin listens to writers pitch him stories all day, sitting in judgment on their fantasies, their lives. But now one writer to whose pitch he responded so glibly is sending him postcards: "You said you'd get back to me. You didn't. And now in the name of all writers who get pushed around by studio executives I'm going to kill you."
Squeezed between the threat to his life and the threat to his job, Griffin's deliberate and horrifying response spins him into a nightmare. Then he meets the sad and beautiful June Mercator and his obsession for her threatens to destroy them both.
With a compulsively readable narrative that offers a devastating portrait of contemporary Hollywood--the studio execs, the deal-making, the politics, the pitches--The Player is the smartest book.
Mercator. He thought she’d liked him a little, when they talked on the phone, on the first call. Yes, and she’d trickled into his mind a few times, and now he wondered what she was like. Kahane wasn’t famous, but he had the glint of someone who lived with a thick-haired prize, a woman with long arms and a wide face, who could look you in the eye and startle you with arcane knowledge. His fluency in Japanese, and the new car, suggested that if he lived in a world partly indifferent to
the D.A. and the accused woman, Griffin would happily let him assume the responsibility. “Who’s going to write it,” asked Griffin. “You?” Oakley spread his hands in a small arc of supplication. “It’s my idea.” “We should get somebody else.” “It’s his story, Griffin, come on, give him first crack,” said Civella. “It’ll cost us too much money. We’ll need a rewrite. Don’t tell me we won’t. You’re a wonderful director, Tom, but Levison won’t trust you. He’ll want someone with a little more heat
waiting for him. He could stroke her thighs. The shape would not come closer. Maybe I’m just blind with desire, he thought. I can touch but I can’t see. He knew that in her room June Mercator was playing with a projection of him. He rolled onto his stomach to tease the shape closer; he didn’t want to stare at it and frighten it away. He expected to find a postcard with his newspaper in the morning, but there was nothing. He had breakfast at the Bel Air Hotel with a director. As soon as Griffin
It would have been easy to get out of, no reason for anyone to hear about it. If they’d asked him why he’d been driving in the alley, he could have told them he was using an old shortcut, he’d thought of going to Santa Monica Boulevard, four long blocks south, but had changed his mind and turned back to Sunset. No. They wouldn’t have liked that answer. There is no good reason on earth not to run to the police when someone shoots at you unless you have something to hide. If he tried to lie, they
yes, there was a possibility. Sometimes, when he walked writers to the door, he pointed to the photographs hanging in the hallway. These were small publicity stills, behind glass, no frame, famous scenes from the movies that had built the studio. He wanted the writers to understand that his door was always open, but they had to bring him a story with crises so powerful that the future could make its images sacred. Kisses while a city burns. Desperate submariners gathered around the periscope. The