The Counselor. View PDF. book | Fiction | US & Canada → Vintage (Ed. LuAnn A new screenplay written by the acclaimed and bestselling author of The. THE COUNSELOR - Cormac McCarthy aracer.mobi The counselor's condominium bedroom. .. The script says: Injection Is Nice But I'd Rather Be Blown. I suspect that part of the reason might be that The Counselor is a published screenplay, rather than a novel. It has staggered publication dates.
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Editorial Reviews. From Booklist. Most of us would have preferred a novel, but when it comes to the acclaimed author of The Road and Blood Meridian, we'll. your services. This includes script consulting, script editing, the selling/trading of scripts, and more. . COUNSELOR - Cormac aracer.mobi In The Counselor, Michael Fassbender cameos as a counselor who never counsels or does much of anything really.
The Counselor is a curiously passive character: The book opens with a bed scene where the Counselor and his girlfriend, Laura, are talking dirty. Later, Reiner — a contact of the Counselor — describes in forensic detail an incident where his girlfriend, Malkina , had sex with his car. There are detailed discussions about the particular type of assassination favoured by certain Mexican drug cartels.
For the most part, these particular horrors happen off screen: As this is a screenplay, McCarthy explores his familiar ideas of violence and morality through dialogue, rather than description, which makes The Counselor a frequently uncomfortable, pretty unsettling read. A lot? I think three thousand is a lot. These people are another species, Counselor. You might want to think about that as well.
They will rip out your liver and eat it in front of your dog. But what unfolds here is especially appalling stuff. Another key McCarthy preoccupation lies in subverting codes and conventions — much as he re-evaluated the Western in Blood Meridian and the Border Trilogy , you could argue that The Counselor is basically a particularly brutal satire on crime movies.
I think it would be remiss of me to go into too much detail about what happens to them, but they represent diametrical points of view: Laura, a Catholic, the most innocent character in the story; Malkina, a femme fatale of unusual tastes.
Follow me on Twitter MichaelBonner. Visit our dedicated features section, with plenty of our best long pieces archived there. You bad boys. I carry a baggie full around with me. Night, you wake up? You got a dish of these on the table by the bed and you just reach and pop a couple. You got your glass of water there. Last time I lost twenty-seven pounds in thirty days. These diets you read about? Pointing I know this works. Of course like anything else you got to use your head.
Time before I woke up in the hospital. You just got to keep your mind on business. Like anything else. But you want to lose weight? This is it. You got everything you need in here.
All your vitamins and minerals. The woman turns to the clerk and he gives her back her credit card. The other clerk has finished bagging up her groceries. The boy pushes his bag of dog food forward. What happened? Did you have a systematic reaction or what? I was sitting in the street licking my balls and a car hit me.
You take care now. You hear? A large room giving onto a patio with a swimming pool. There are about twenty people in the room and on the patio—including a number of good-looking young women. There are tables and chaise lounges out at the pool and naked girls splashing in the water. On the outer patio there is a cabana and a car with a bartender mixing drinks and a large black weight-lifter beside him at an outdoor stainless steel grill cooking steaks and ribs.
In the room itself are tables and sofas. There are two waitresses on roller-skates taking drinks and food to people, one in a bikini and the other in panties and t-shirt. One of the cheetahs is stretched out on a sofa and the other is crossing the room. The waitress pulls up at the bar and orders two Budweisers. Her t-shirt, worn braless, bears a cartoon of a dragster with enormous wheels and a huge GMC supercharger mounted on the engine.
The script says: The bartender opens the cooler and takes out two longneck bottles and calls out Pilsener! On the wall there is an enormous screen, which continually flashes color photos taken of people at parties here. The counselor passes through the room and comes to a door where he pushes three buttons on a keypad.
He waits. There is a click and he pushes the door open and enters and turns and shuts the door. The room is modern and elegant. A bank of computers and electronic equipment along one wall. An elegant desk of figured hardwood and stainless steel. Reiner is sitting on the edge of the desk talking to Malkina, who stands between his knees. She turns and smiles at the counselor and Reiner greets him.
She is tall, dark, and very attractive. She smiles again at the counselor as she passes him. She goes out and closes the door and Reiner gets off of the desk and turns his leather swivel-chair and sits in it and motions the counselor to a leather sofa at the end of the desk and at right angles to it.
The counselor comes over and sits down. That sounds about right. Nice lady. And your lady? Yeah what. Jesus, Counselor. Yeah, well. I always liked smart women. Nodding toward the electronic wall. Do you know what all that stuff is? Which worries me even more. You never told me what happened with you and the lovely Clarissa. Miss Clarissa. Of the extraordinary body. She was living with a friend of mine. She used to go around with no bra.
These full nipples in her blouse. Or t-shirt. Doomed from the start, of course. She knew it before I did. In the end it was jealousy that undid us. She was getting more pussy than I was.
Smiling Is that true? She finally left me for a negress. Good-looking black woman. Had a boyfriend played for the Oilers. Nice chap. We met once for drinks at this club in Dallas to discuss our mutual plight.
He was taking it rather poorly, I have to say. Dating another woman by then too, but he was heartsick all the same.
So is this place secure? Although I have to say that I always did think a law degree was a license to steal. The counselor shrugs. I mean you. Women like you.
You know what they like about you? Yeah, right. They can sniff out the moral dilemma. The paradox. Moral dilemma. They can smell it. Not sure why. You think about it. You want to know if a guy has issues watch the way women react to him. Men are attracted to flawed women too of course, but their illusion is that they can fix them. They just want to be entertained. The truth about women is you can do anything to them except bore them.
Maybe not. And you? Vis a vi your inamorata. Moral dilemmas. Such as whether to waste somebody or not. Or have them wasted. You ever been faced with a decision like that? One time deal. But a few. What usually happens is that after a couple of ideas they know more than you do and they set up shop across the street. Not well. So would that be a moral issue? Not for me. Or for your associates. Yeah well. They have a real aversion to mixing business with pleasure.
Do you know what a bolito is? A bolo is one of those skinny neckties. Or is it one of those things you throw? It had this small electric motor with this rather incredible compound gear that retrieves a steel cable. No one ever sees you. Pulling the cable activates the motor and the noose starts to tighten and it continues to tighten until it goes to zero. Three, four minutes.
Five maybe. It depends on your collar size. Mostly wretched excess of course. Or reason to. It just keeps running until the noose closes completely and then it self-destructs. The wire cuts through the carotid arteries and sprays blood all over the spectators and then everybody gets to go home. Probably a play on words too.
Bolito- with an e- is the Spanish word for ticket. As in yours has just been punched. It would have to go between the vertebrae. Always take the head off. The gear is a worm drive with a gain built into it. Or a reduction, actually. It keeps getting stronger and slower. To compensate for the compression of the tissues. You know how I like gadgets. A friend of mine bought one. In Calexico. Stolen out of Country Property.
They are. This one was used. Why does no one see him? See who? The garroteer. Well, because given a choice between watching someone walk away down the street and watching someone being slowly decapitated by a device apparently engineered and patented in the halls of hell you are going to watch the latter.
You may think you should avert your gaze. They have a saying, I forget how it goes in Spanish. Mata mucho, negocios something or other. You never used to see that.
Meaning the east. You put nine Mexicans and an Arab in a room and give them each a hundred dollars and come back in eight hours who do you think is going to be holding the grand? The Arabs? Why is that?
So when are you getting out? One can hope. That you never see it coming. The smallest crumb can devour us? Dolph and I had a capital murder case one time and our guy had shot these two girls. One of them was his ex-girlfriend. He just walked up behind then and shot them in the back. It kicked up this little cloud of dust. And I turned to Dolph and I said: And he said: Yes we are.
And we are. The septic-tank truck and a pickup are parked in the chaparral. The two Mexican drivers are talking to two other men. They squat on the ground. One passes around a pack of cigarettes. Then he picks up a stick and draws a map in the dirt.
The metal door clanks upward and the green leather cyclist comes whining through on the Kawasaki ZX and brakes and does a donut on the concrete floor and stops and shuts off the bike and takes off his helmet. A Doberman runs to him and stands up and he hugs her and tousles her ears and steps off of the bike. There is a black late model Cadillac Escalade parked toward the rear of the warehouse.
He crosses the room with her leaping about him to an island in the far corner that contains a kitchen and a bed, a tin locker, a leather easy chair- taking the bag of dog food with him. He fixes her bowl of food and turns on the stereo and opens the refrigerator and takes out a frozen dinner and puts it in the microwave and opens a beer and sits, watching the dog eat.
He puts the beer on the table and stands up and takes of the leather jacket and unzips a pocket and takes out a clear plastic bag and pitches it onto the table.
It is full of hundred dollar bills. He opens a drawer and takes out a packet of marijuana and papers and sits rolling a joint. He lights it and leans back with his eyes closed. The dog finishes her dish and comes over and circles and sniffs and sneezes. He blows smoke at her and she sneezes and circles. The timing bell rings on the microwave.
He gets up and goes over and opens the door and takes out the meal. The dog sits watching. Go lie down. The counselor and Laura at a table. A young man in a T-shirt, sport coat, and jeans, with a girl, on their way out.
They stop and he pulls back from the girl ad smiles at the counselor. The counselor leans back and studies him. Is this your lady? It is. How are you, Mam? Me and the counselor go back a ways. We do. You okay with everything, Counselor? Addressing Laura See there? Come on, Tony. How long you know this guy, Petunia? Long enough. Long enough? How long is that, long enough? Maybe you should listen to your lady friend. Is that what you do, Counselor? Pretty much.
Does he keep you entertained? TONY Because you look to me like you might get bored easy. For instance. Let me try this one on you. See if you can tell me what this is. This is pretty good. He pulls up his T-shirt and places his hands palm down on either side of his navel and moves the skin of his stomach up and down alternately six or eight times very quickly and then spreads them to show his navel.
Then he does it again. TONY You get it? Laura has turned away with her eyes closed. TONY Let me show you again. He repeats the performance.
Laura bows her head, her eyes closed. The counselor pushes back his chair and stands. Hell, Counselor. Keep your seat. The problem is that his thin skin makes it okay in his eyes for you to wind up under the hus.
He holds up his hands. Malkina and Laura are at a table having lunch. You have got to be kidding me No. Let me see it. Laura holds out her hand. Take it off. Laura takes off the ring and hands it across the table to her. Malkina looks at the ring, turns it, holds it up to the light. She hands it back.
Maybe a three point eight. Nice stone. Asscher cut. Putting the ring back on Thank you. Good color. Probably an F or a G. So have you set a date? I want to get married in the Church. Which he says is all right.
He has to take this course. Or we do. Smiling No.
A bit nervous. Are you a church lady? What about Confession? Well, maybe not so much. Does the priest ask you about sex?
He touched me, Father. Where, my child? In the back seat, Father. So you can go to Communion. What if a non-Catholic went in to confess? What would he do? Why would you?
Would he listen? But anybody could just wander into the booth, right? The confessional? I suppose. So what do you say? You confess your sins. Yes, but what do you say? You get in there and what? Do you tell him who you are? You say: Bless me Father for I have sinned. Heartily sorry, you say. Or them. Whatever they are. Do them again. Shaking her head Mmm. I can see. Just rattling your cage. What a world. You think the world is strange. I meant yours.
The counselor comes in and stands at the door accustoming his eyes to the darkness. A man at a table in the corner raises one hand and the counselor crosses the room and pulls back a chair and sits. Nice-looking and well dressed.
There are a few customers at the bar. At the far end a young man is playing the pinball machine. How are you? Is this a place where you hang? Never been here in my life.
So how did you pick it? He is leaning back in the chair, looking. Here she comes. The waitress arrives at the table and puts down paper napkins. Let me have a Heinekens. Make it two. The waitress moves away. Westray sits back in his chair and studies the counselor.
What do you do with the money? What do I do or what does one do? Mine goes off shore. We can talk if you like. Let me make a call. What else? Net net? Net net. Pure uncut. It sells for about fifty bucks an ounce in Columbia and the street price in Dallas can be as high as two grand. If the whole deal were to go tits up in a ditch the papers would put the street value at a hundred mil.
Maybe a bit more. You have to get cash in dollars into Mexico and then they have t get it out again. You have to use US banks. This means you have to have a corporation. And to do that you have to have someone on the inside. Of course not. We just pay the points. The other options of course is cash. Which is even a bigger problem. For all the obvious reasons. The biggest issue is not that your guy is going to fall I love with a pole dancer and go south with three million of your ducats.
Here we go.
The waitress arrives and sets down the bottles and glasses. The counselor takes a clip of bills from his front pocket and puts a ten-dollar bill on the tray and she reaches into her apron for change. Bad times are good times for guys like us. What we deal with are start-up companies. I think you can figure that one out.
Does any of this give you pause? Does it you? Do you know how many people were killed in Juarez last year? I think three thousand is a lot. If you go back a few years, before the drug wards, who was being killed then?
In Juarez. Young factory girls. The girls who work in the maquilas. Young and attractive. Who was doing this? No one knows. No one knows? Come on, Counselor. Hundreds of young girls.
Thousands, most likely. Follow the money. Who knows. For fun. Snuff films. Those will start turning up. I think they have kidnappers on full retainer. Where is this going? You tell me. Murder as a national pastime. People as a group can love or hate or admire or malign. This arson is a serious crime. And so is this. What about you? I can vanish. In a heartbeat. With my money. Can you?
The counselor sits looking out across the room. Outside the bar. Law business must be good. Looking around. Nice neighborhood I picked.
You know that Latin America starts at that bridge down there. I know you do. Sort of. But even when you live here Mexico is not real. Not really. You take care. The counselor starts across the street. Westray watches him. The counselor stops in the middle of the street and turns.
The counselor shakes his head. He turns to go. The counselor stops and turns. The beheadings and the mutilations? You have to keep up appearances. Not that their love of bloodshed is insincere. You, Counselor. No windows. A table and two chairs. The counselor is standing at the table with his briefcase, going through his documents. The door opens and a guard hands in a woman in prison uniform and closes the door behind her. She is an attractive women in her early forties. Did you bring cigarettes?
He digs into his briefcase and comes up with a carton of cigarettes and slides them across the table and she sits and starts to open the carton. Oh yeah. What size dress do you wear? What about shoes? Otra vez. What size hat? What do I need a hat for? A hat? You had me goin there for a minte. She lights a cigarette with a lighter and looks up and blows some. You goin to get me something sexy to wear?
How about a business woman? Some business. She leans back and blows a stream of smoke across the table and the counselor waves his hand back and forth to waft it away. He pulls back the chair and sits at the table.
Not if you put it that way. What did you want to tell me? Oh boy. Fort Hancock. What was he doing in Fort Hancock? He was comin to see me. He had twelve thousand dollars on him but they took that off of him.
He was comin here. Like I said. How did you find this out? He called. What else is he charged with? Some other stuff. Reckless endangerment or whatever. He said they just piled that stuff on on account of how fast he was goin. Two o six. What is that? Two o six? Are you telling me he was going two hundred and six miles an hour? In what? If you could get him his money back he could pay off the fine and get out of there. If you have more than ten thousand dollars on you it belongs to the United States Government.
Because they say so. Welcome to America. How much is the fine? Four hundred dollars. Four hundred dollars? All right what?
You will? Yes really. I owe you. How about a blowjob? Damn but you are a smart-ass. You bring it out in me. Lighten up, Ruthie. I hate that name. Vehicles of various sorts are inching along. The border patrol agent waves several cars past and stops a truck and talks to the driver, then waves him past. The septic-tank truck pulls up and the driver nods and smiles. Making an unpleasant face All right. Get that thing out of here.
You got it. The truck pulls away and out onto the highway. The driver shifts gears. He is suddenly a very serious-looking person. He is sitting in his leather chair wit a drink, talking on the phone. I just wanted to hear your voice. I really miss you. I kept waking up thinking you were there. I could smell your perfume on the sheets. I had such an enormous erection I had to get out of bed in order to turn over. In the airport parking lot. Did I know that you would do it without me?
I thought it would be exciting. Like high school. I remember asking if you were all right. Because you were gasping like an asthmatic. Of course I remember. What I said was: Here, let me help you off with your damp things.
And then I pulled down your panties. Oh my goodness. Is this phone sex? Life is being in bed with you. Everything else is just waiting. The Flying Wallendas. I love you very much. You too. Good night. He lowers the phone into his lap and leans his head back in the chair with his eyes closed. Late afternoon. It is pretty seedy. Lighting and music.
This is going to be just quick and dirty and open the doors. Two weeks. Three, max. A dance floor takes up a lot of space but when you have live music and dancing you have a very different sort of place. You try and chat up a girl at a bar?
How many guys are good at that? You got a better shot. You know Peterson, right? His mother was from Brazil. If that. This is maybe three years ago. Repeat after me: I vant to ate you poossy. And we send him off. And he goes off across the room and he picks out this really great looking girl and he stands in front of her and gives her this little bow and he says: The table gets pretty quiet and this girl looks up at him and she says: What did you say?
So of course he says it again. Little bow. Well Buster, this is your lucky night. And she takes him out to this Mercedes van in the parking lot and proceeds to fuck his brains out.
And finally it all comes out. No way is this guy lying. We look at the girl across the dance floor and she blows us this big kiss. We want all the details of course and fucking Peterson is feeding it to us in driblets. The works. And after a while Peterson gets up and he looks at us and he says: And off he goes.
He crosses the floor to this other table where this really cool looking girl is sitting by herself and he gives her the little bow and announces that he vants to ate her poossy. Anyway, to make a long story short, this guy hits Peterson so hard that he goes completely across the dance floor on his back with his arms at his sides and comes up against the wall with his head under a chair and just lies there.
Apparently dead. This guy hit him so hard that he came out of his loafers. His loafers are still standing at the table. Peterson is lying dead on the dance floor in his sockfeet with his head under a chair. The guy grabs his wife, throws some money on the table, and they split. Not a bit of it. He sits down and snaps his fingers and they order fresh drinks.