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Fave one liner from a book?

360 replies

judgejudyandexecutioner · 02/05/2013 15:45

"It's lipless mouth quivered and slathered"
War of the Worlds - H G Wells

OP posts:
MrsCosmopilite · 06/05/2013 15:17
FoxyRevenger · 06/05/2013 15:37

His sense of her as someone of not quite serious adult size was integral to the way her loved her.

On Green Dolphin Street, Sebastian Faulks.

KittenofDoom · 06/05/2013 16:05

Not a one-liner, but since people have disregarded that almost from the start of the thread, here's a small paragraph that I like:

Do any of us, except in our dreams, truly expect to be reunited with our hearts? deepest loves, even when they leave us only for minutes, and on the most mundane of errands? No, not at all. Each time they go from our sight we in our secret hearts count them as dead. Having been given so much, we reason, how could we expect not to be brought as low as Lucifer for the staggering presumption of our love?

Stephen King, The Dark Tower

LookingThroughTheFog · 06/05/2013 18:15

Love all of these; especially the ones in books I haven't read. I must try Forester again.

I'll add this one for those who love the bishop in Les Miserables:

'He did not seek to assume the mantel of Elijah, to shed light on the future upon the mysty turmoil of events or resolve the prevailing light into a single flame; there was in him nothing of the prophet or the ystic. He was a simple soul who loved, and that was all.'

And as a description of friends from the ABC society:

'Enjolras was the leader, Combeferre the guide and Courfeyrac the centre. The others shed more light, but he shed more warmth.'

And this from Marius' diary which I first read as an impressionable teen and it stuck with me:

'There are thoughts which are prayers. There are some moment when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees.'

LaGuardia · 06/05/2013 19:47

I think I'll buy the flowers myself.

Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woofl

Jux · 06/05/2013 20:39

Ah, what a trifle is a heart
If once into love's hands it come.

The inimitable John Donne, The Broken Heart.

Also - on a brighter note! - Charles Stross but I can't remember which book Blush

"Gene Police! You! out of the pool."

Imscarlet · 06/05/2013 21:53

I'm sure this one has been mentioned, I will go back and read the whole thread, but this is my absolute favourite:

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."

Kerouac - On the road

storynanny · 06/05/2013 23:02

From a Jilly Cooper novel, but not sure I've got it exactly right, it obviously has a charachter in it .
"Blood is thicker than wa(l)ter, actually nothing is thicker than Walter"

storynanny · 06/05/2013 23:03

*character called Walter, pressed without proof reading!

tribpot · 06/05/2013 23:10

I think it's a dog! (Walter)

chateauferret · 06/05/2013 23:35

Wer am meisten liebt ist der Unterlegene und muß leiden.

Thomas Mann, Tonio Kröger. "Whichever loves the more is the inferior and has to suffer".

HappyJoyful · 07/05/2013 09:55

Not very 'high brow' but I love both the opening and closing lines of The Outsiders..

When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home

Stay Gold Ponyboy

vladthedisorganised · 07/05/2013 12:16

From memory so not sure it's completely accurate, but:
"They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I?ve been doing all my life after people who interest me.." (On the Road)

It's such a visual quotation; and reminds me faintly of DH.

WillSantaComeAgain · 07/05/2013 13:46

"Grief is the price we pay for love"
[A quote from the memorial service for British victims of 9/11), more than a line from a book, but used by Sir Christopher Myers (British Ambassador to the USA at the time) and quoted in his autobiography and therefore counts by my reckoning. ]

"It isn't possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal"
[Mr Emerson speaking to Miss Honeychurch just before she realises who she loves at the end of Room with a View.]

"No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how." [swoon]
[Rhett to Scarlett in Gone with the Wind. ]

And to lower the tone completely, just because it sticks in my head at this time every year:
"First of May, First of May,
Outdoor fucking starts today.
But as usual it do rain
So we fucks off indoors again".
[Rupert to Cameron in Rivals, Jilly Cooper]

rosabud · 07/05/2013 13:57

From one of the Horrid Henry collections, when the lovely Henry is looking to enlarge his part in the school nativity play:

"Is there any room at the inn?"
"Yes," replied Henry, "Come in, we've got satellite TV and everything."

JethroTull · 07/05/2013 14:10

'But this road doesn't go anywhere' I told him. 'That doesn't matter'. 'What does?' I asked after a little while. 'Just that we're on it dude'.
Less Than Zero - Brett Easton Ellis.

storynanny · 07/05/2013 14:11

Tribpot, yes now I remember, Walter is a dog, what a good memory you have!

DearlyDepartedMrsFinch · 07/05/2013 16:43

He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

DearlyDepartedMrsFinch · 07/05/2013 17:20

Anything with the power to make you laugh over thirty years later isn?t a waste of time. I think something like that is very close to immortality.

Stephen King, can't remember which book.

DearlyDepartedMrsFinch · 07/05/2013 17:22

Why do old men wake so early? Is it to have one longer day?

Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

leekandbaconrolypoly · 07/05/2013 19:01

And the rest of the world thinks we are all total nutters, but they can go and talk to their backsides for all I care. Because they are all just fruit loops who don't know what it is to believe in something which is hard to see, or to keep looking for something which is totally hard to find.

Pobby and Dingan

talkingnonsense · 08/05/2013 07:02

Stdg, I never met anyone else who had even read the Land Of Green Ginger, let alone quoted from it! It is one of my favourite funny books. An off to reread it.

JulesJules · 08/05/2013 08:59

I've read The Land of Green Ginger! Fab book.

Reading this thread prompted me to look it up on Amazon, and disappointingly, the current edition seems to have been edited for PC reasons. Many reviewers v unimpressed.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 08/05/2013 11:39

I can still remember the whole of the spell that releases the magician -

Pi R squared sideways,
The cube root of zero.
Manganese potash and mushrooms on toast.
Leaf of the lily, and I, Abu Ali,
Turn you back into the man you miss most.

I bought a new edition of the book and was very disappointed to find the spell had been edited out - but I have managed to find an older edition that hasn't been buggered around with. They are out there - don't despair, JulesJules.

Jux · 08/05/2013 15:19

I've read The Land of Green Ginger too. It's one of my faves from my youth. It was brilliant reading it to dd when she was about 6 and we used Boomalakka Wee as an exclamation when we didn't know what to say for years after! She's reread it countless times since. Another is The Phantom Tollbooth.

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