8. Your favourite quotes from books.
This is really hard for me because I’m not the kind of person who remembers quotes and can repeat them word for word on command. I go to a film and when other people come out quoting the film I just have to nod and agree because I can never remember what anyone’s said. Still I’ll crack on and try to think up some quotes I love. Excuse me while I go and flick through the books currently on my shelves…
Also I have a page of this blog dedicated to some of my favourite quotes so I’ve done my best not to replicate them.
I’m sure this isn’t a great surprise to anyone but an honourable mention is going to have to go to the master of the simile: Markus Zusak. The man is a descriptive genius and here are some of favourite pieces of evidence:
- All I can feel in my hand is the gun. The warm, soft metal merging with my skin. It’s in the trunk of the cab now, cold again and stony, feigning innocence.
- I savor that voice for a moment. It tastes like strawberry on my lips.
- The grass on her front lawn is gold./My feet crunch over it, like the sound of someone biting into toast.
Those were all from I Am The Messenger and before I turn this post into another list of brilliance and hero worship I’m moving on…
- We came on the wind of the carnival. A warm wind for February laden with the hot, greasy scents of frying pancakes and sausages and powdery-sweet waffles cooked on the hotplate right there by the roadside, with the confetti sleeting down collars and cuffs and rolling in the gutters like an idiot antidote to winter. Joanne Harris.
This is the opening paragraph to Chocolat and already you can see what a magical story you’re in for. My mouth starts to salivate and I can taste the excitement ahead of me. A fantastic example of how to hook a reader with the first line.
- Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough. Harper Lee.
Quite neatly summing up the message carried in To Kill A Mockingbird, this quote from towards the end of the book demonstrates how much Scout has grown over the course of the narrative, how she has finally learned to consider other people’s point of view and how she has learnt the importance of being the ‘bigger man’.
- Here and there Buck met Southland dogs, but they were mostly the wild wolf husky breed. Every night, regularly at night, at twelve, at three, they lifted a nocturnal song, a weird and eerie chant, in which it was Buck’s delight to join. Jack London.
This passage marks a turning point in Buck, the hero of The Call of the Wild; the point where he begins to embrace his wild side and begins to feel his true nature emerging. But I love it because it evokes images of the Arctic wastelands and the spookiness of nights where the only sound is the howl of the wolf.
I’m going to finish with a note of levity and for this I must turn to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series. A knight of stout heart, insurmountable courage and a legendary way with words: Sir Cadogan. Who himself represents the humour of JK Rowling’s writing and the way she embraces the English language.
- ‘A quest!’ The knight’s rage seemed to vanish instantly . He clanked to his feet and shouted, ‘Come follow me, dear friends and we shall find our goal or else, shall perish bravely in the charge!’/He gave the sword another fruitless tug, tried and failed to mount the fat pony, and cried, ‘On foot then good sirs and gentle lady! On! On!’/And he ran, clanking loudly, into the left-hand side of the frame and out of sight.