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Pete Dexter quotes Showing 1-27 of 27

“I was tired in ways that had nothing to do with sleep. It occurred to me, sitting in the car with her, that I had been trying to hold too many things together that were meant to fall apart.”
Pete Dexter, The Paperboy
“Nothing looks more foolish than tradition to those who have none.”
Pete Dexter, The Paperboy
“In the beginning the stories were long and colored, but as he grew old and his eyes clouded, the stories were told in only a few words, and she came to understand that all the colors had fallen away from him, leaving only the moments. A woman who performed tricks in the air, an animal pulling a boat under water, dead children who spoke in bones. A man who loved bottles.”
Pete Dexter, Deadwood
“Sometimes," he said, "you've got to watch people a long time to see who they are.”
Pete Dexter, The Paperboy
“To see certain things, you have to be lying on your back with tears in your eyes and a scalding potato in your mouth. It's possible, I think, that you have to be hurt to see anything at all.”
Pete Dexter, The Paperboy
“Spooner noticed another, smaller Marine Corps tattoo encircling Marlin's ankle: Semper Fi Forever. Everywhere he went these days, Spponer witnessed America's crying need for more copy editors.”
Pete Dexter, Spooner
“He scart me," the girl said.

Miss Mary nodded and looked over at her in a slow, tired way. "That's your common sense talkin'," she said. "That man scare anybody got common sense.”
Pete Dexter, Paris Trout
“I had noticed, even then, that there were certain women whom other women instinctively disliked, and that these women invariably had more bait in the water than the women who disliked them.”
Pete Dexter, The Paperboy
“A newspaper story, like anything else, is more attractive from a distance, when it first comes to you, than it is when you get in close and agonize over the details. Which I presume is how Yardley got in the habit of keeping himself at a distance.”
Pete Dexter, The Paperboy
“...fill the holes with facts, not flowers.”
Pete Dexter, The Paperboy
“Not for the first time Spooner was reminded that marriage was not the straighforward assembly the instruction book led you to believe.”
Pete Dexter
“He was a newspaperman,' he said, 'but there's some people who should never leave Savannah.”
Pete Dexter, The Paperboy
“and low-life cable network producers, who have never had a thought in their heads that did not come from something else they saw on cable television, are so unthreatened by me that they feel safe stealing my stuff and claiming to have had sudden strokes of genius.”
Pete Dexter, Paper Trails: True Stories of Confusion, Mindless Violence, and Forbidden Desires, a Surprising Number of Which Are Not About Marriage
“It is now 55 years since my last book report, which is a long time to live with a guilty conscience. So here it is: In the spring of 1956 I wrote a highly favorable review of the Bible without reading a word of it, and it was the last A I ever got in English. Why it has taken so long to come clean I'm not sure, except I have always been extremely sensitive about my academic reputation.”
Pete Dexter
“No one mentions that now, and I suppose no one is inclined to bring it up, particularly not my father, who in other matters loves those things most that he can no longer touch or see, things washed clean of flaws and ambiguity by the years he has held them in his memory, reshaping them as he brings them out, again and again, telling his stories until finally the stories, and the things in them, are as perfect and sharp as the edge of the knife he keeps in his pocket.”
Pete Dexter, The Paperboy
“...without moving a muscle in his face, slips away; retreats, I think, to that sheltered place where his stories are kept. Perhaps we all have our places.”
Pete Dexter, The Paperboy
“From my own experience, I can tell you that there are mornings when you sit down at the typewriter and knock out three pages in forty-five minutes, and you look at yourself in the toaster over breakfast and your head’s all misshapen and pointy, and you say, “Son, you were born with talent.”
Pete Dexter, Paper Trails: True Stories of Confusion, Mindless Violence, and Forbidden Desires, a Surprising Number of Which Are Not About Marriage
“now. “There is”
Pete Dexter, Paris Trout: A Novel
“Charley wondered how it happened that men of the cloth always seemed to misunderstand the ways of the Lord. If you wanted protection you had to ask for money or love, and He would give you protection instead. Prayer was a study in misdirection...”
Pete Dexter, Deadwood
“The boy shot Wild Bill's horse at dusk, while Bill was off in the bushes to relieve himself”
Pete Dexter, Deadwood
“All in all, he felt more milked than loved.”
Pete Dexter, Deadwood
“Cautious human beings do not presume to write history on a day's notice. They are aware of the damage mistakes can cause. My father believed that mistakes could always be corrected in the next edition.”
Pete Dexter, The Paperboy
“...he told a story about the days when he was a reporter himself and how he had gotten so close to story that he finally couldn't write it...When I stared at something long enough, the lines blurred and I could no longer see it for what it was. One thing became another.”
Pete Dexter, The Paperboy
“And the justice in this world is that you don’t have to break legs because somebody’s broken yours.”
Pete Dexter, Paper Trails: True Stories of Confusion, Mindless Violence, and Forbidden Desires, a Surprising Number of Which Are Not About Marriage
“...David Mich is the Hollywood genius who produced and wrote much of the HBO series Deadwood. Mr. Milch's story was an interesting one to me, at least as it emerged from maybe half a dozen profiles written about him back when Deadwood was in its heyday, and it goes like this: Mr. Milch had pined to do a western ever since he was an important writer on an
Emmy-winning network cop series and could just as easily have been a novelist, if I remember the story correctly, and after years of research and reading everything available on the old west decided to focus his talents on the town of Deadwood in the 1870s. But hold your horses, Tex. As Mr. Milch explained it, he didn't read everything after all, he read everything except the novel Deadwood, and was not only able on his own to come up with the same setting and feel and characters that populated the novel, but somehow intuited a footnote-in-history sort of character named Charlie Utter into pretty much the same human being who is the central character of the novel. Except Mr. Milch gave him an English accent, and if that's not Hollywood genius I don't know what is. ...
--Acknowledgments”
Pete Dexter, Spooner
“When a writer tells you his novel has received mixed reviews, it means that after his book was trashed and his heart broken in every newspaper and magazine in America, the weekend critic at the Pekin Daily Times said it was a heart-pounding race to the finish.”
Pete Dexter, Spooner
“- Charley Utter & Wild Bill Hickock approach Deadwood…

… following the Whitewood Creek, & where things widened enough for a town sign, that was Deadwood.

“How's it look to you?” Bill said.

“Like something out of the Bible,” Charley said.

“What part of the Bible?” Bill said, when they were alone again.

“Where God got angry” Charley said.”
Pete Dexter


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