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Quotes 2007

"...you're insane?"
"Sure, everyone is. If you think anyone is sane you just don't know enough about them. The key -- and this is very relevant in our case -- is to find someone whose insanity dovetails with your own. Like us."
Christopher Moore, The Stupidest Angel


"Life is messy. Would that every puzzle piece fell into place, every word was kind, every accident happy, but such is not the case. Life is messy. People, generally, suck."
Christopher Moore, The Stupidest Angel


"People aren't always afraid of what they don't know; sometimes they just blank the strangeness out and go on with their lives, living only in as much of the world as they can deal with."
Hal Duncan, Vellum: The Book of All Hours


"... ye realize that the eedjits with the big ideas are just as fookin bad as the rest of them. Fookin wars and revolutions, they're all the same. Just different ways for men to kill each other."
Hal Duncan, Vellum: The Book of All Hours


"Voices of souls, ancestors, family and friends, enemies and demons, ghosts inside the head, the ghosts in the machine. You telling me you don't hear your own little internal narrative when you're thinking to yourself? You've never had an argument with a friend that didn't carry on in your head afterward? You've never lain in bed and thought to yourself in someone else's voice, to get a different perspective, someone else's attitude? We all hear voices ... Most people just keep them turned down real low."
Hal Duncan, Vellum: The Book of All Hours


"Marriage is something we make from available materials. In a sense it's improvised, it's almost offhand. Maybe this is why we know so little about it. It's too inspired and quicksilver a thing to be clearly understood. Two people make a blur."
Don DeLillo, The Names


"I think it's only in a crisis that Americans see other people. It has to be an American crisis, of course. If two countries fight that do not supply the Americans with some precious commodity, then the education of the public does not take place. But when the dictator falls, when the oil is threatened, then you turn on the television and they tell you where the country is, what the language is, how to pronounce the names of the leaders, what the religion is all about, and maybe you can cut out recipes in the newspaper of Persian dishes. I will tell you. The whole world takes an interest in this curious way Americans educate themselves. TV. Look, this is Iran, this is Iraq. Let us pronounce the word correctly. E-ron. E-ronians. This is a Sunni, this is a Shi'ite. Very good. Next year we do the Philippine Islands, okay?"
Don DeLillo, The Names


"Hell is the place we don't know we're in." I wasn't sure how to take the remark. Was he saying that he and I were in hell or that everyone else was? Everyone in rooms, houses, chairs with armrests. Is hell a lack of awareness? Once you know you're there, is this your escape? Or is hell the one place in the world we don't see for what it is, the one place we can never know? Is that what he meant? Is hell what we say to each other or what we can't say, what is beyond our reach?
Don DeLillo, The Names


"Nothing in human nature is incredible. Some things are harder to believe than others, but that is all."
Patricia Wentworth, The Chinese Shawl


"...there are roughly two sorts of informed people, aren't there? People who start off right by observing the pitfalls and the mistakes and going round them, and the people who fall into them and get out and know they're there because of that. They both come to the same conclusions but they don't have quite the same point of view."
Margery Allingham, Dancers In Mourning


"Love or money can conceal every other disturbing occurrence to be met with in civil life, but sudden death is inviolate. A body is the one thing that cannot be explained away."
Margery Allingham, Dancers In Mourning


"Clothes aren't important. The real problem is what's inside them."
Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman


"I sometimes think that people's hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what's at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface once in a while."
Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman


"They tell us that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, but I don't believe that. ... Oh, the fear is there, all right. It comes to us in many different forms, at different times, and overwhelms us. But the most frightening thing we can do at such times is to turn our backs on it, to close our eyes. For then we take the most precious thing inside us and surrender it to something else."
Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman


"Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it."
Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman


"Never doubt our emotions rule us, and no matter what we do, or say, or resolve, a single feeling can knock us down like a sword to the heart."
Kim Stanley Robinson, Sixty Days And Counting


"One can always just walk away. ... Things you don't like, things you think are wrong, you can always just walk away. You will be happier."
Kim Stanley Robinson, Sixty Days And Counting


"Religious and political absolutes; there's your two prime cases of injustice..."
Mary Gentle, A Sundial in a Grave: 1610


"Sometimes it is better not to know what is possible ... better to wait, and discover what is."
Mary Gentle, A Sundial in a Grave: 1610


"we all do get the feeling that we'd like to walk out, don't we? I mean we all feel at times an insane impulse to vanish, to abandon the great rattling caravan we're driving and walk off down the road with nothing but our own weight to carry. It's not always a question of concrete responsibilities; it's ambitions and conventions and especially affections which seem to get too much at moments. One often feels one'd like to ditch them all and just walk away."
Margery Allingham, The Fashion In Shrouds


"Infatuation is one of those slightly comic illnesses which are at once so undignified and so painful that a nice-minded world does its best to ignore their existence altogether, referring to them only under provocation and then with apology, but, like its more material brother, this boil on the neck of the spirit can hardly be forgotten either by the sufferer or anyone else in the vicinity. The malady is ludicrous, sad, excruciating and, above all, instantly diagnosable."
Margery Allingham, The Fashion In Shrouds


"Class is like sex or the electric light supply, not worth thinking about as long as yours is all right but embarrassingly inconvenient if there's anything wrong with it."
Margery Allingham, The Fashion In Shrouds


"There are times when saying the least you can is the best thing to do..."
William Gibson, Spook Country


"Anti-buzz ... Definition by absence."
William Gibson, Spook Country


"Names are just a label. They're nothing -- like clothes, to be changed. Individuality is what counts. That goes on."
Patricia Wentworth, Pilgrim's Rest


"There were always those people, usually the efficient, painstaking ones -- who felt that they could contain any situation by taking the appropriate action. This was all very fine and large until one entered a no man's land -- a no man's land like murder or severe illness -- where the appropriate action was not clear and often did no good at all."
Catherine Aird, Passing Strange


"Obstinacy is an impediment to free exercise of thought. It paralyses the intelligence. Conclusions based upon preconceived ideas are valueless. It is only the open mind that really thinks. I endeavor to keep my mind open."
Patricia Wentworth, Latter End


"In life, danger lies not in not knowing, but in revealing that you do: It is always good to have a sense of the music before the dance begins."
Arturo Perez-Reverte, Purity Of Blood


"...I was taught a useful lesson about how appearances trump truth, and how villains hide their vices behind masks of piety, honor, and decency. And that to denounce evildoers without proof, attack them without weapons, trust blindly in reason or justice, is often the fastest road toward one's own perdition, while scoundrels who use influence or money as a shield remain untouched."
Arturo Perez-Reverte, Purity Of Blood


"...I learned that there is nothing more despicable or more dangerous than the malevolent individual who goes to sleep every night with a clear conscience. That is true evil. Especially when paired with ignorance, superstition, stupidity, or power, all of which often travel together."
Arturo Perez-Reverte, Purity Of Blood


"I wonder if childhood is ever really happy. Just as well, perhaps. To be blissfully happy so young would leave one always seeking to recapture the unobtainable. Like those people who were happiest at school or university. Always going back. No reunion ever missed. It always seemed to me rather pathetic."
PD James, The Lighthouse


"McCullagh's Law of Politics: As the certainty that legislation violates the U.S. Constitution increases, so does the probability of predictions that severe harm or death will come to Americans if the proposal is not swiftly enacted."
Declan McCullagh, The Iconoclast, McCullagh's Law: When politicians invoke the do-this-or-Americans-will-die argument


"Shopping for houses is amazing. People who would never invite you into their homes under any circumstances open their doors wide, allow you to peer into their closets, pass judgment on their wallpaper, ask pointed questions about their gutters."
Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler's Wife


"Such journeys have convinced me that it is not always possible to restore one's boundaries after they have been blurred and made permeable by a relationship: try as we might, we cannot reconstitute ourselves as the autonomous beings we previously imagined ourselves to be. Something of us is now outside and something of the outside is now within us."
Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist


"The young are always mysterious ... Even when one feels that one can be reasonably sure of everyone else, they alone remain an enigma."
Margery Allingham, More Work For The Undertaker


"The way we love ... is as much a conditioned processas any other human activity. It was only the popular songs that made it sound romantic, a question of losing your heart to the right person."
June Thomson, The Habit Of Loving


"In a thousand little ways freedom is melting away, and nobody gives a damn."
John Twelve Hawks, The Dark River


"Friendship is as necessary as food and water."
John Twelve Hawks, The Dark River


"'Happy' is such an overused word it's almost lost its meaning. Happiness exists, of course, but it's a moment that passes."
John Twelve Hawks, The Dark River


"If privacy had a gravestone it might read: 'Don't Worry. This Was for Your Own Good."
John Twelve Hawks, The Dark River


"It's better to be lonely by yourself than to be lonely with somebody else."
Patricia Wentworth, Miss Silver Comes To Stay