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fave quote from a book?

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Showing 51-75 of 79 posts in this discussion
Posted on 29 Apr 2010, 17:18:58 BST
booksdingle says:
the only quote from a book I remember is the first line of Pride & Prejudice!

Posted on 4 May 2010, 10:18:13 BST
VCBF (Val) says:
Not a favourite, but an interesting quote which follows on from the "Trainspotting" theme:
"I have certainly known more men destroyed by the desire to have wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots." (William Butler Yeats, in his autobiography).

Posted on 4 May 2010, 15:32:12 BST
I've got two from Prozac nation - whilst it isn't my favourite book a lot of it rings true.

""Insanity is knowing that what you're doing is completely idiotic, but still, somehow, you just can't stop it.""


I'm the girl who is lost in space, the girl who is disappearing always, forever fading away and receding farther and farther into the background. Just like the Cheshire cat, someday I will suddenly leave, but the artificial warmth of my smile, that phony, clownish curve, the kind you see on miserably sad people and villains in Disney movies, will remain behind as an ironic remnant. I am the girl you see in the photograph from some party someplace or some picnic in the park, the one who is in fact soon to be gone. When you look at the picture again, I want to assure you, I will no longer be there. I will be erased from history, like a traitor in the Soviet Union. Because with every day that goes by, I feel myself becoming more and more invisible...

Also from Terry Pratchett

"Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it."

Their depressing but so poignant.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2010, 17:38:26 BST
"Behind the mania is a moment shared and understood"

From More Things Should Be Thought Out Thus:

More Things Should Be Thought Out Thus: A Story of Many Stories, and Many Stories About One Story: 1

Posted on 4 May 2010, 19:24:18 BST
Last edited by the author on 4 May 2010, 19:25:39 BST
Ethereal says:
V. Woolf's essay On Being Ill:
"Considering how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed, what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to view, what precipices and lawns sprinkled with bright flowers a little rise of temperature reveals, what ancient and obdurate oaks are uprooted in us by the act of sicknesss, how we go down into the pit of death and feel the waters of annihilation close above our heads and wake thinking to find ourselves in the presence of the angels and the harpers when we have a tooth out and come to the surface in the dentist's arm-chair and confuse his "Rinse the mouth - rinse the mouth" with the greeting of the Deity stooping from the floor of Heaven to welcome us - when we think of this, as we are so frequently forced to think of it, it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the prime themes of literature."
The humour and mastery of that opening sentence!

Posted on 4 May 2010, 19:45:41 BST
Sou'Wester says:
Not so much a quote but there is one paragraph in "Catch 22" which always made me laugh. Chapter 9 refer's to Major Major Major Major's father (please don't ask for an explanation of that name - read the book!) a farmer. This is just an extract: "His speciality was alfalfa, and he made a good thing out of not growing any. The government paid him well for every bushel of alfalfa he did not grow ....... and he spent every penny he didn't earn on new land to increase the amount of alfalfa he did not produce". It all seemed ridiculously funny years ago when I first read it and then along came the UK Government's "Set Aside" farming programme and there it was in reality!

Posted on 4 May 2010, 20:05:38 BST
VCBF (Val) says:
Mrs J B: I hadn't read this before, excellent!

SWR: It was reality in the USA at the time, although not normally described to such comic effect. I think it was intended to maintain the price by stopping over production. The current UK initiative is to maintain wildlife habitat, but there was an ECAP initiative as well, which was more similar to the USA one.

Posted on 18 May 2010, 00:14:34 BST
jacob marley was dead....

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2013, 18:26:32 GMT
Last edited by the author on 6 Feb 2013, 18:27:24 GMT
emc says:
3 years later, but I'm reading this now. In reply to Mr. G. A. I. Dewar, Lemon is short for Lemon Curd - Bird (Woman). Was unaware that manto was short for mantovani. Good to know!

Posted on 7 Feb 2013, 16:59:33 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Feb 2013, 17:00:22 GMT
Sombrio says:
"Why me?

-That is a very Earthling question to ask, Mr. Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber?


-Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .KURT VONNEGUT

Posted on 10 Feb 2013, 23:52:35 GMT
Roma says:
Galileo by Bertolt Brecht

Unhappy the land that has no heroes.

Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes.

Murder in the Cathedral

The last temptation is the greatest treason
To do the right act for the wrong reason.

A Man for All Seasons

What does it profit a man if he loses hs soul for the word
But for Wales,Richard

Apologies for probably misremembering quotes.

Posted on 11 Feb 2013, 10:23:44 GMT
Sombrio says:
"Well, what I like best....", and then he had to stop and think,... because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were. But he didn't know what it was called.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . from "The Tao of Pooh"

Posted on 12 Feb 2013, 00:55:02 GMT
Chris says:
"and in her trial and agony, he had nothing more to offer than a savage delighting in the wounds he gave for they were the balm he needed for his own"
From Finger of Saturn by Victor Canning.
I really enjoyed the whole book, but I remember that bit leaping out at me. It shone a light on my own past behaviour.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013, 09:42:26 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Feb 2013, 09:43:37 GMT
Sombrio says:
Gradually the magic of the island settled over us gently and clingingly as pollen. Each day had a tranquility, a timelessness, about it, so that you wished it would never end. But then the dark skin of night would peel off and there would be a fresh day waiting for us, glossy and colourful as a child's transfer and with the same twinge of unreality.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gerald Durrell, (writing about his childhood in Corfu)



Every year, in the depths of this grey and drizzly north-west England winter, I re-read "My Family and Other Animals." For me Durrell's story is a mental version of one those 'daylight lamps' people in northern climates use to prevent Seasonally Affected Disorder, (or whatever S.A.D. stands for. Actually the acronym says it all on its own). If you haven't yet read his book,.... go to your chemist, or GP (you can get in on prescription under the NHS). Without fail, it will transport you to a truly magical land.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013, 13:05:23 GMT
S. Plain says:
It the word that once used to mean gay partner usually male

Posted on 12 Feb 2013, 16:07:04 GMT
Allosaurus says:
Almost nothing can better the opening of Pride and Prejudice, but that aside, two of my favourites both come, oddly, from the Narnia books:
"There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it." (Opening line of Voyage of the Dawn Treader)
"Aravis also had many quarrels (and I'm afraid, even fights) with Cor, but they always made it up again; so that years later, when they were grown up they were so used to quarreling and making it up again that they got married, so as to go on doing it more conveniently." (The Horse and his Boy)

Posted on 12 Feb 2013, 16:21:00 GMT
"The bitch is dead now." - James Bond in Casino Royale. Although the James Bond series is generally regarded as 'lightweight', Ian Fleming often managed to build more into his characters than is immediately apparent. When James Bond makes this remark, he is talking about Vesper Lynd, the girl that he could have sailed into the sunset with, giving up the empty life he has for a fulfilling relationship - or at least in the naivety of dreams to escape his own banal existence. Even with the context of the books, this seems unlikely, but the vehemence of his remark is significant as it emphasises the extent of his former feelings for her and the betrayal he felt for himself rather than for his country. This may be an odd quote but it has always stuck with me.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013, 22:31:51 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Feb 2013, 22:32:28 GMT
"et tu brute." the thought that someone could be so pissed that his friend had eaten his sandwich that he would knife him in the back.

Posted on 13 Feb 2013, 10:28:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Feb 2013, 10:30:12 GMT
Sombrio says:
In some of Bill Bryson's scientific quotes taken from "A Short History of Nearly Everything", even though he is trying to take a step away from his well-known and much-loved comic side,.... his basic nature still cannot repress itself from popping out alongside all the fascinating technical information :


(1) "It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you."


(2) In Einstein's famous equation, E=mc², (as you will recall from schooldays), E in the equation stands for energy, m for mass and c² for the speed of light squared.

In simplest terms, what the equation says is that mass and energy have an equivalence. They are two forms of the same thing: energy is liberated matter; matter is energy waiting to happen. Since c² , (the speed of light times itself) is a truly enormous number, what the equation is saying is that there is a huge amount - a really huge amount - of energy bound up in every material thing.

You may not feel outstandingly robust, but if you are an average-sized adult you will contain within your modest frame no less than 7 X 1018 joules of potential energy - enough to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs,... assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2013, 10:32:54 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 13 Feb 2013, 10:37:01 GMT]

Posted on 13 Feb 2013, 10:56:20 GMT
Mimo Gooch says:
'I've been cordially invited to join the visceral realists. I accepted, of course. There was no initiation ceremony. It was better that way.'
'I'm not really sure what visceral realism is.'

I love this opening line from Roberto Bolano's The Savage Detective. It's a little hint of the quirkiness of the book, and the honesty of the 17 year old narrator.
I have found it quite a difficult read, but one so rich, that I return constantly to dip in.

Posted on 13 Feb 2013, 19:27:37 GMT
"If love could die with death this life wouldn't be so hard". Andrew Vachss.-author.

Posted on 16 Feb 2013, 17:43:33 GMT
"This is me, Ana. All of me...and I'm all yours. What do I have to do to make you realize that? To make you see that I want you any way I can get you. That I love you."
― E.L. James, Fifty Shades Darker

Posted on 17 Feb 2013, 11:02:27 GMT
Last edited by the author on 17 Feb 2013, 11:03:56 GMT
Sombrio says:
These are some thoughts that Kurt Vonnegut wrote in one of his very last novels, "God Bless You Dr Kevorkian". He was still writing well into his seventies. (Would that we could all have minds this sharp when we come to that stage in our life.) Reading his last books simply confirmed the unadulterated respect and admiration that I have long held for Vonnegut. Perhaps this extract below will strike others here with the same impact that it did me when I first came across it :



OK, now let's have some fun. Let's talk about sex. Let's talk about women. Freud said he didn't know what women wanted. I know what women want. They want a whole lot of people to talk to. What do they want to talk about ? They want to talk about everything.

What do men want ? They want a lot of pals, and they wish people wouldn't get so mad at them.

Why are so many people getting divorced today ? It's because most of them don't have extended families anymore. It used to be that when a man and a woman got married, the bride got a lot more people to talk to about everything. The groom got a lot more pals to tell dumb jokes to.

A few Americans, but very few, still have extended families. The Navahos. The Kennedys.

But most of us, if we get married nowadays, are just one more person for the other person. The groom gets one more pal, but it's a woman. The woman gets one more person to talk to about everything, but it's a man.

When a couple has an argument, they may think it's about money or power or sex, or how to raise the kids, or whatever. What they're really saying to each other, though, without realising it, is this :

"You are not enough people !"

Posted on 17 Feb 2013, 21:31:25 GMT
J Gamblin says:
''One day you'll die and i'll come to you funeral in a red dress''. Film quote, not book quote but i still love it.
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Initial post:  18 Apr 2010
Latest post:  24 Feb 2013

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