Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday's Film Adaption: North Dallas Forty by Peter Gent

A classic novel about a week inside a pro football team.

On the field, the men who play football are gladiators, titans, and every other kind of clichรฉ. But when they leave the locker room they are only men. Peter Gent’s classic novel looks at the seedy underbelly of the pro game, chronicling eight days in the life of Phil Elliott, an aging receiver for the Texas team. Running on a mixture of painkillers and cortisone as he tries to keep his fading legs strong, Elliott tries to get every ounce of pleasure out of his last days of glory, living the life of sex, drugs, and football.

Adapted for the screen in 1979, this novel, written by ex-Dallas Cowboy Peter Gent, is widely considered the best football novel of all time.

Chapter One
I was freezing my ass in the back of the pickup when O.W. Meadows finally turned off the blacktop and pulled to a stop alongside an oat field. We had been driving west about forty-five minutes from Fort Worth on the old Weatherford Highway. Meadows, Seth Maxwell, and Jo Bob Williams were crowded in the cab. I had been elected to ride in the back, owing more to my smaller size, milder demeanor, and lesser status than to my desire to do so. Occasionally Seth passed me the bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon and it helped cut the cold some, but mostly I just huddled behind the back of the cab against the damp wind.

As the truck bounced to a halt, Jo Bob stumbled out laughing and fell in the ditch. He was clutching the bottle of Wild Turkey. There was about an inch of the amber fluid left. He tossed it at me.

"Here, motherfucker," he growled. "Finish off the bird-bigger and let's unload them guns."

I complied, grimacing as the heat burned my throat and boiled up into my sinuses.

It was a drizzling, cold autumn day. Everything was either gray or yellow brown. It was the kind of day I like to watch from the warmth and security of my bed. Instead, I was with three drunken madmen on a Texas dove hunt. I told myself it was for the good of the team.

"Goddam, lookit that." O.W. Meadows had scrambled from behind the wheel. He was standing in the road pissing and pointing at several mourning doves coasting lazily into the oat patch. "Jeeeeesus. Gimme my gun."

"They're out of range," I protested.

"Gimme my gun!" he screamed.

I handed him his square-backed Browning 12-gauge automatic with the gold trigger. He blazed away, the shot raining into the oats about halfway between the pickup and the doves.

"Jesus Christ," I yelled. "That fucking gun was loaded!"

Several more doves flew out of the field and away from us.

The three men scrambled to the back of the truck for their shotguns and shells and then headed into the low brown oats. I grabbed my Sears 20-gauge and followed a few yards behind, trying to load and walk at the same time.

"The wet'll keep 'em down," Jo Bob said. "All we gotta do is put the phantom stalk on 'em and they'll start comin' in with their hands up."

"As soon as they know we're here," Meadows added, "I 'spect they'll just surrender."

A field lark jumped about ten yards in front and headed away from us. Meadows' Browning and Jo Bob's Winchester over-and-under roared simultaneously, and the tiny speckled bird exploded into feathers.

"Still got the ol' eye," Jo Bob laughed. Meadows slid another shell into the bottom of the Browning.

Seth Maxwell looked back at me and grinned. I had come on the hunt at Maxwell's insistence. He thought it would be good therapy. I had been on the same football team with Jo Bob and Meadows for several years and, at best, we had reached an uneasy truce. They disliked me and I was terrified of them. Naked in the locker room they were awesome enough, but drunk and armed, walking through a Parker County oat field, they were specters. I was depending on Maxwell to protect me from severe physical harm. There was no protection against emotional damage. That was an occupational hazard.

Jo Bob and Meadows moved a few yards ahead of Maxwell. Jo Bob picked up the shambles that had been the field lark and threw it back in my direction. I ducked; the gore fell several feet short. The two giant linemen, walking side by side, shotguns over their arms, were an anxious sight and I wanted only to please them. The problem was to figure out how. Maxwell dropped back and fell in step with me.

"Hey poot," he asked, "what's the trouble?"

I eyed him curiously. "This is like a long weekend in the DMZ."

"Relax." Maxwell soothed with the manner that made him one of professional football's better leaders. "Ain't nobody gonna get hurt."

"Mention that to the scalp hunters," I suggested.

"Just stay behind 'em," he instructed. "That's what I always do."

"That's comforting."

Our conversation was cut off by the roar of shotguns. Jo Bob and Meadows had brought down three doves between them.

"I got a double," Jo Bob hollered.

"Double my ass," Meadows argued. "I shot two of them birds myself. That leaves you only one. And I think he died of fright." Meadows howled with laughter.

"Bullshit," Jo Bob argued, breaking his gun and jamming in two more shells. He reached down and picked up the first bird, which was still flopping, its wing shattered. Jo Bob caught the bird's head between his thumb and forefinger and jerked it off. The wings flapped spasmodically and then the beheaded dove went limp. Jo Bob tossed the head back at me. I caught it and threw it back at him; it left my hand covered with blood. I wiped my palm on my Levi's but the blood had quickly coagulated and I couldn't rub it all off. When I clenched my fist the skin stuck together.

Meadows moved ahead and picked up another of the birds. It too was still alive.

"Here," Meadows said, tossing the cripple at Jo Bob. "Pop its head. I'll find the other." The wounded bird sailed through the air like a baseball. At the top of the arc it suddenly came alive and began to fly toward us.

"Son of a bitch," Meadows screamed, raising his gun, aiming at the bird.

"Hold it, O.W.," Maxwell yelled, already ducking.

We hit the ground as the Browning roared twice more and the bird fell out of the sky, dropping next to me. I pounced on the dove like a loose fumble for fear it would start to crawl toward me and Meadows would open up again.

We continued on through the oat field, getting five doves. Maxwell and I scored one apiece. Jo Bob shot two more doves and demolished an owl asleep in a tree along the fence line. Meadows hit two doves, finding only one, and produced another bottle of Wild Turkey. When we reached the opposite edge of the field we stood around taking pulls out of the bottle and considering our next move. Finally we decided to hike about a mile to a cattle tank, where Meadows said there were some duck blinds. At least we could sit and drink out of the wind.

At the tank, we slipped up on five careless mallards. Jo Bob and Meadows killed four before the ducks got off the water. Maxwell brought down the fifth when it circled back over the tank, looking for its pals.

"Did you see that?" Meadows laughed. "I got two with one shot."

"Shit," Maxwell argued. "You shot 'em on the water."

"Did not," Meadows said, grinning and holding his arms askew, his left foot off the ground.

"They had one foot up." He broke into peals of laughter.

"How do we get 'em?" I asked.

"You can swim after 'em for all I care," Jo Bob said. "I don't want 'em. Just have to clean 'em. Besides, I don't have a duck stamp."

The pond was about five acres in all, with small blinds on each side. Maxwell and I positioned on one side, Jo Bob and Meadows on the other.

"What am I doing here?" I said, after a cold, silent wait. The lonesome sounds of the wind picking up and the water lapping against the side of the blind were depressing.

"Calm down," Maxwell said. "It'll do you good."

I watched a hawk drift overhead, its wings outstretched, soaring on the currents of the barren west Texas sky.

The two shotguns on the other side roared. I scanned the sky. It was empty. The guns boomed again and something rattled on the outside of our blind.

"Jesus Christ," I yelled. "They're shooting at us."

We dropped to the floor of the blind as the two men blazed away from the other side of the tank. Pellets rained off the side of the blind. After every shot, I could hear Jo Bob laughing like a loon.

"Goddammit, Jo Bob," Maxwell screamed. "You two cocksuckers better cut the shit or I swear to God I'll have your asses." The shooting stopped, but Meadows and Jo Bob continued to giggle.

I peered over the side of the blind. The ambushed mallards floated limply in the water. A dying green head flapped weakly. Jo Bob and Meadows both shot it again. After a half hour of empty sky, we moved back through the oat field to the truck. I got two more doves as we reached the road. Maxwell had bagged one just as we left the tank. That made a total of eleven.

The second bottle of Wild Turkey was dead. We stood at the truck again trying to decide what to do next.

"Look out, Jo Bob." Meadows had slipped two dead doves from his pocket and had thrown them into the air. "Shoot 'em quick.... shoot 'em."

Jo Bob quickly shouldered his gun and fired twice, hitting one of the birds. When they struck the ground Meadows emptied his shotgun into them, blowing the birds to shreds. Jo Bob and Meadows left them where they fell and clambered onto the fenders of the truck.

The decision was made to road hunt. I was elected to drive. Maxwell sat next to me. The two assassins remained on the fenders.

As we drove slowly along the gravel road, Maxwell ferreted another bottle of bourbon from beneath the seat. We passed it back and forth. The warmth of the liquor was relaxing me. I tried to settle back and enjoy the day. It was Monday, our day off. The day before we had beaten St. Louis—through no small effort on my part. There was no reason why I shouldn't be having fun.

As I reached for the hundred-proof bourbon the booming shotguns turned my attention back to the road.

"You got him, O.W.," Jo Bob laughed, barely keeping his balance on the fender. "Right in the ass."

"Goddammit," Meadows howled, "I spoiled the meat." They both laughed insanely, beating their thighs with open hands.

A gray-striped cat was trying to pull itself off the road with its forepaws, its hindquarters shredded by a double load of number six shot. I stopped the truck and Maxwell grabbed his shotgun.

"Jesus Christ, you two." Maxwell was angry. He raised his gun and shot the tortured animal again. The force of the shot slammed the cat limply into the ground and made it skid several feet. A hind foot kicked out twice, stiffly. The animal twisted its head up and died. Maxwell looked at the dead cat, then back at his smirking teammates. He shook his head and crawled back into the cab.

"They're fucking crazy," I said.

"Naw," Maxwell disagreed. "Just tryin' to relax and have a good time."

I grabbed the bottle and took a long, stinging swig.

"Well, I can't relax as long as they got the guns."

"We'll head back to Fort Worth in a bit."

"Do I have to ride in the back again?"

Maxwell looked at me and shrugged.

I had to and by the time we reached the Big Boy Restaurant where we had left our cars, I was numb. We returned cold, tired, drunk, and empty-handed. Jo Bob had thrown the remaining doves at passing cars.

"Jo Bob, you take my car," Maxwell ordered. "I'll ride with Phil. We'll catch you at Crawford's place."

Jo Bob and Meadows looked quizzically at each other. They didn't understand Maxwell's desire to hunt or drink with me. His riding all the way back to Dallas in my car was pure bedevilment. I enjoyed their confusion.

It was late afternoon. In a last gasp the sun had burned away the gray sky and had disappeared into the Panhandle. The air had warmed some and the best part of the day remained. Being in Texas is a skin feeling, strongest this time of day. There is a softness to the twilight. The days could be overpowering in their sun-soaked brightness, not so much now since the smog, but still incredibly vibrant. This afternoon, it was the predark peace that I needed, a quiet power I had never felt in the changing gray of the Midwest or the choking paranoia of New York.

I love Texas, but she drives her people crazy. I've wondered whether it's the heat, or the money, or maybe both. A republic of outlaws loosely allied with the United States, Texas survives, and survives quite well by breaking the rules. Now there is a new generation of Texans who want to do away with the rules. The old resist violently, unable to conceive of that dream of wealth, devoid of any rules to break.

I took out my keys and bent to unlock my car, a brand-new honey-beige Buick Riviera with all the extras, an embarrassing car. Maxwell had sent me to the Buick dealer who sponsors his television show. He swore the guy would give me a great deal. I had wanted a used Opel.

In one hour, the sales manager (the dealer had been too busy to talk to me) showed me how "for practically the same money" I could own a new Riviera and all the accompanying good feelings.

A good salesman knows the purchaser is totally without sense—why else would anyone ask a salesman anything? Once you speak to a salesman you have shown your hole card. I not only spoke, but shook his head and hoped deeply that we could become friends.

On the other side of the lot Jo Bob was getting into Maxwell's blue-on-blue Cadillac convertible.

"Say er ah babee." Maxwell fell into a black dialect, which he often did when asking for or talking about drugs. "Ah, let's have some of what you call your grassss." He hissed out the last word purposely.

"Hey man, just say grass."

"Can't babee. Gots to get in de mood. Now where's dat killer weed?"

"There's some in the glove compartment."

I picked through the cartridge tapes scattered on the floor beneath my feet. I pushed the Sir Douglas Quintet Together After Five into the deck, adjusted the eight-position steering wheel, and pulled out of the lot. Doug Sahm sang about the ill-fated love of two kids in Dallas.

"Seems her father didn't approve Of his long hair and far-out groove ..."

Maxwell lit the joint and took a long drag, making the familiar hissing sound that could only come from someone inhaling cannabis.

"So ... that there is what you call yer killer weed." Maxwell held the joint up for inspection. "Well, it ain't Cutty and water, but it'll do." He passed me the joint, and I sucked on it in short soft puffs, a habit acquired from turning on in airplanes, public restrooms, and dark back yards at straight parties. All getting pretty risky what with the current dope publicity and universal vigilance for peculiar smells.

Three years ago, on the team plane from Washington, Maxwell and I had kept sneaking to the john to smoke dope. The stewardess noticed the smell and thought the galley wiring was smoldering. There was a five-minute panic, both for those who were scared the plane was afire, and for Maxwell and me, who were terrified that it wasn't. We weren't caught but we swore a blood oath to never smoke on the team plane again. It was a promise we kept until the next road game.

The lights from the toll plaza appeared up ahead. I eased off the gas and rolled down my window. A fat man, about forty-five, in a sweat-stained gray uniform, stood at the door of the booth. One hand held out the toll ticket, the other was stuffing what appeared to be a peanut butter and lizard sandwich into his face. I slowly coasted the car through the gate, neatly picking the ticket from the outstretched hand. A name tag stenciled Billy Wayne Robinson hung from his shirt-pocket flap.

"Hey, Billy Wayne." Maxwell leaned toward the open window. "How's yer mom and them?"

The attendant looked startled, then confused, then, recognized the famous smiling face. Like a true Texas football fan he went completely berserk. Waving and trying to speak as we glided through, he spat half his sandwich on the trunk.

"Did you know that guy?"

"Naw, just a little of the ol' instant humble. I shoulda offered him some of this here maryjawana."

"Show 'em you can straddle the old generation gap," I said.

I accelerated into the main lanes of the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike, heading for Dallas at about ninety miles an hour, a high-speed island of increased awareness and stereophonic sound heading back to the future. The turnpike was twenty-eight straight miles of concrete laid on rolling hills, connecting the two cities for anyone with sixty cents and a Class A automobile. Factories, warehouses, and two medium cities smother the land the length of the highway. Back in the early sixties, five minutes past the toll gate, heading for either end, you were out in the West. That was when Braniffs planes were gray. Jack Ruby ran a burlesque house. And the School Book Depository was a place they kept schoolbooks.

"Smoke will rise
In the Dallas skies
Coming back to you
Dallas Alice ..."



"Here!" Maxwell was thrusting the joint at me. His eyes and cheeks and neck were bulging. He was trying to stifle a cough. His face was crimson. I took the joint. Maxwell exhaled, coughing and clearing his throat. He looked and sounded like a four-pack-a-day man getting out of bed in the morning.

Phillip Elliot is a wide receiver for the Dallas Bulls whose cynical outlook and strong independent streak are considered liabilities by the team''s coaches and owner. Now near the end of his career, Elliot is relying on heavy doses of painkillers to get him through the games. He is well aware of how impersonal professional football has become, but when management benches him after they have manipulated him into training a teammate, Elliot is faced with the decision of whether he should continue with his career or move on.

Release Date: August 3, 1979
Release Time: 119 minutes

Nick Nolte as Phil Elliott
Mac Davis as Seth Maxwell
G.D. Spradlin as B.A. Strother
Dayle Haddon as Charlotte Caulder
Bo Svenson as Joe Bob Priddy
John Matuszak as O.W. Shaddock
Steve Forrest as Conrad Hunter
Dabney Coleman as Emmett Hunter
Charles Durning as Coach Johnson
Marshall Colt as Art Hartman
Savannah Smith Boucher as Joanne Rodney



Author Bio:
George Davis Peter Gent was a Michigan State University basketball player and National Football League wide receiver turned novelist.

Gent resided in Bangor, Michigan at the time of his death from a pulmonary disease on September 30, 2011,and was working on a novel.



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Voyeur by Vanessa Liebe

Title: Voyeur
Author: Vanessa Liebe
Genre: Contemporary, Erotica
Release Date: January 1, 2017
Indulge in five stories of voyeuristic erotica, where the voyeurs find themselves wet or hard and longing for something more. Will they get it?

In Good Neighbors, Mandy accidentally spies on her neighbors’ twenty-year-old son, John, sunbathing naked in the garden, and can’t resist using the moment to relieve some tension. When another opportunity to watch him presents itself, Mandy finds she is unable to turn away, but she’s not expecting a confrontation with John in the morning where she discovers just what a good neighbor he can be.

Room with a View tells the story of James, a business man staying in a hotel for a conference. He’s unprepared for his room to come with clear sight of the occupants in an apartment opposite, or the show they put on. For two nights, he has a titillating spectacle and then he is invited over to indulge in a private show involving wax play and to participate in an exhilarating threesome.

In Voyeur’s Initiation, we meet nineteen-year-old Alana, an avid voyeur who has learnt a lot about sexual diversity from watching her neighbors. She thinks she knows what she likes until she is caught red-handed watching a couple having oral sex in a changing room and takes them up on their offer to participate. Can they show her what she really needs?

Forbidden Temptation is the story of Megan and her guardian. She comes home from university to see her guardian pleasuring himself whilst thinking of her. Finally having the proof she needs that he desires her, she is determined that he gives in to temptation. When he does, it results in a delicious spanking for Megan and much more.

Skinny Dip sees Adam, a landscape gardener, becoming an unintentional voyeur to a beautiful lady taking a skinny dip, before pleasuring herself. What Adam doesn’t know is that the lady is his employer, having chosen him deliberately as she wants more from him than his gardening skills.

Alana was so absorbed and was madly stroking her clit when the man suddenly flung his head back in pleasure as he came in the woman’s mouth. She had a close-up of his handsome face and received a big shock when he opened gorgeous green eyes and looked right at her, giving her a wink.

She gulped and blushed, embarrassed at being caught spying on them, yet unable to look away from him.

“Why don’t you come and join us, sweetheart, instead of standing up there?” he said. “I saw you admiring my cock in the swimming pool earlier.”

Alana chewed her full bottom lip, wondering if she had heard correctly and whether she should indeed join them. 

The blonde meanwhile had swallowed the hunk’s cum greedily and stood up. She also looked up at Alana and smiled. “Yes, come and join us. It’s a pity to only watch.”

Alana felt nervous but she was keen to join them. They were so sexy and maybe this was the right time to let someone actually touch her body.

Author Bio:
Vanessa Liebe is the author of fun, sexy erotic romance and erotica, both contemporary and historical. She mostly writes in the Fantasy and Paranormal categories as she likes a man with bite.

Vanessa is married with three children and resides in Hampshire, South East England. When not house training her children, reading or writing, she likes to sit in the garden with a glass of rose wine.


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Curse of Stars by Donna Compositor

Title: Curse of Stars
Author: Donna Compositor
Series: Diamond Crier #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Expected Release Date: February 19, 2017
Sabi Perez is the last Diamond Crier, only she doesn’t know it. Not until a crazed ruler from another world comes to collect her priceless tears and won’t take no for an answer.

Living in New York, Sabi’s seen some nasty things, but the lengths to which her captor will go to keep his crown are things found only in the darkest nightmares. Afraid and alone, Sabi finds solace in her cellmate, Anya, and Cabal, a fellow Crier who also has powers, a rare combination that buys his favor from the ruler. Only it’s a favor he doesn’t want.

In a fit of rage, power erupts out of Sabi, the same power Cabal has, and a spark of hope ignites. Together they may have a chance at escape, something no other Crier has done. Except a ruler hellbent on draining them of every last diamond tear isn’t their only hurdle. If they escape they’ll be hunted to the ends of the earth, if they survive the trek to safety. If they stay the ruler will leech them dry. Sabi would rather die trying than lie down and die, even if that means running away into even more danger.

“. . . vividly imagined and deftly plotted dark fantasy . . .” --BookLife Prize in Fiction

Fingers dug into her arm and she was yanked to her feet. She grunted as her skin pulled under the man’s grip and she stumbled when he dragged her along the corridor.

“Where are we?” she asked, her voice echoing on the dark stone around her. A well-worn carpet laid under her feet, track marks running the length of it. “What do you want with me?”

“Normally I wouldn’t have the patience for stupidity,” he said without looking at her. “But seeing as how you haven’t lived in Raydin for more than a decade I’ll abide you this.”

“You’re so kind,” she said as she tried to jerk her arm free.

No dice. Instead the man swung her around and slammed her back into the stone. Precious air rushed out of her lungs and panic made her gasp, wheeze, scramble to bring the air back in.

“There is no escape, Sabina. Rest assured, you’re here for life. However long that may be.”

“Why?” She sneered at the immaculate face in front of her. Not a hair out of place. Not a blemish anywhere on his skin. She wanted to rake her nails across his perfection. “Why did you kill my papa? Why did you chase us out of our home?”

He smiled then, a look that crawled up his face and failed to reach his eyes. “Your home, little Crier, is here. Far south from this castle. That’s where your parents ran from the first time. Alas, they couldn’t run forever.”

Sweat broke out on her forehead. She didn’t understand, but Papa said the same thing. They weren’t from a world that had New York. They were from somewhere else. Nausea swirled in her stomach.

“I have all the powers of the stars,” he said as he brushed a piece of hair from her face. She jerked away from his touch. “Well, not all. Most. Most my family took from the Giver when they deposed him centuries ago. He was such a pacifist. It was almost too easy. All that power he just gave away to filth in this kingdom. Such a waste. We stopped that, though. We just couldn’t get diamond tears.”

Sabi’s head spun. “I don’t understand.”

The man frowned and leaned away from her. He yanked her off the wall and continued walking down the corridor. “No, I imagine you wouldn’t. We couldn’t throw a successful coup without money. Lots of money. We had it, of course, but not enough. Not enough to sustain us. With the Giver’s powers, especially diamond tears, our problem would be solved. Instead we were still at his mercy, the decrepit old man.”

No, she wanted to say. That’s not what she meant. She understood why power-hungry people wanted power and money. What she didn’t understand was this Giver, his powers. What this all had to do with her. Her back throbbed. Bruises formed knots along her spine and she already felt their ache.

“It worked out for us and for him. While he’s stored away, nice and safe, he keeps doling out diamond tears and we merely collect those with the power. If he stops, the slaughter of his people would be on him. You understand? Sabina, I asked you a question.”

Sabi choked on the answer and finally said, “Yes.” It was a lie, but this man didn’t seem like someone who was used to hearing no

Author Bio:
Donna has been writing since she was in the single digits when she first realized she needed to do something about all the thoughts in her head. After a stint with bad poetry she finally found her way to novels, mainly of the young adult fantasy variety. When she’s not cranking out more stories she works a regular 9 to 5, reads anywhere from 2 to 3 books a week, drinks copious amounts of tea, eats way too much, and makes her own beauty products because her skin turns into a sentient hive if she uses anything else. This is mostly because she lives in the desert where the air siphons water clean out of her. She lives with a man named Steve and several quadrupeds: three cats named Renfield, Sam, and Dean; and a MinPin named Malfoy.



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