A selection of my favourite quotes from the literary world. Some I like because the imagery is beautiful and some because they’re funny (either intentionally or not)
- …my supper was awaiting me, in a forlorn manner, at one extremity of a lonesome mahogany wilderness of dining table.
Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White
- “I’m not going to be murdered” said Harry. “That’s the spirit dear” replied his mirror.
JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Footsteps crease the grass behind us. My heart seizes up. I see shadow. The Doorman keeps eating – a beautiful individual but a useless guard dog.
Markus Zusak, I Am The Messenger. To be honest I could quote pretty much all of this book, the writing is so incredible.
- There’s music in my head and it’s the colour of red and black. It’s the morning after. The morning after the Ace of Hearts. I feel it like a hangover.
Markus Zusak, I Am The Messenger. I’m limiting myself to two. Read this book.
- “You watch this door,” he muttered, “It’s about to open again, I can tell from the intolerable air of smugness it suddenly generates.” With an ingratiating little whine the door slid open again and Marvin stomped through.
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
- I felt as a simple smelt must feel when a silver salmon glides by.
Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha
- She might have slept even longer, but hunger wouldn’t allow it. She roared with a vast emptiness from the top of her throat all the way down to her knees. And in the middle it hurt, actually hurt.
Stephen King The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
- Even if you’re well bundled up, it is bold to cross the Himalayas with only the help of a homemade map of the world and a compass.
Jonas Jonasson The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
- “You remember my old nurse…. Is she still alive? Yes, in her own fashion.”
- Sándor Márai Embers
- ‘I missed her absence more than her presence.’
Louise Doughty Whatever You Love I liked this quote because it sums up how you can grieve for someone who hasn’t been a part of your life for a while.
- There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed.
“It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.
Joseph Heller, Catch-22
- Places do not lose their identity, however far one travels. It is the heart that begins to erode over time. The face in the hotel mirror seems blurred some mornings, as if by too many casual looks. By ten the sheets will be laundered, the carpet swept. The names on the hotel registers change as we pass. We leave no trace as we pass on. Ghostlike, we cast no shadow.
Joanne Harris, Chocolat
- It was ten o’clock. Their quarters were filled with counterfeit sleep.
Stephen King The Shining
- Yesterday’s misery had become nostalgic fondness.
Hugh Howey Dust
- ‘She’s BLINDING THE GUESTS COMING FOR DINNER!’
‘Well that’s one way to avoid having to dust, I suppose.’
Gregory Maguire Wicked
- But Mr Hale resolved that he would not be disturbed by any such nonsensical idea; so he lay awake, determining not to think about it.
Elizabeth Gaskell North and South
- Life is so unfinished compared to books and movies! Like a fucking salad.
Richard Bachmann (Stephen King) The Regulators