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Mumsnet classics

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:
cuillereasoupe · 03/05/2013 13:18

I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly consider'd how much depended upon what they were then doing;?that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;?and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost;?Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,?I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that in which the reader is likely to see me.

The first line of Tristram Shandy. He starts as he means to go on Grin

CreepyCrawly · 03/05/2013 13:22

"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One doesn't love breathing"
To Kill A Mockingbird

CreepyCrawly · 03/05/2013 13:23

After a google, it's not 'doesn't its 'does not'

LastTangoInDevonshire · 03/05/2013 13:25

Don't do what you can't undo until you've considered what you can't do once you've done it.

Robin Hobb, Farseer Triology

ChutesTooNarrow · 03/05/2013 13:39

From The Seagull

'Life must be represented not as it is, or as it ought to be; but as we see it in our dreams.'

I also utterly adore the already mentioned last line of I Capture The Castle.

Saralyn · 03/05/2013 23:21

Only people of a certain disposition are frightened of being alone for the rest of their lives at twenty-six; we were of that disposition.

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

deleted203 · 03/05/2013 23:26

Can't remember which Antonia Forest book it was in, but I have used Rowan's dryly uttered, 'My grief would be controllable,' for many years now...

LatinForTelly · 03/05/2013 23:34

'Nawaz wakes gently, lifted through a gap in the way of things.'

If nobody speaks of remarkable things, by Jon McGregor

waltermittymissus · 03/05/2013 23:37

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other wayin short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only

waltermittymissus · 03/05/2013 23:40

I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago

I could just die! Cpt Wentworth, Persuasion

HeartsTrumpDiamonds · 03/05/2013 23:54

So great to hear all these Austen classics.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, etc.

Also love the last line of a Wodehouse short story:
"Oh, I'll think of a title." It's called A Bit of Luck for Mabel.

Too many others to list or remember...

waltermittymissus · 03/05/2013 23:57

?People hate as they love, unreasonably.?
― William Makepeace Thackeray

NishiNoUsagi · 04/05/2013 00:46

"Virtually everything you decide today will be wrong."

Dirk Gently's horoscope, in The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul.
I find it strangely reassuring Grin

DomesticEntrepreneur · 04/05/2013 00:58

"At one time, I would have had any number of stories, but now there is no other. This is the only story that I will ever be able to tell."
From Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Still sends a shiver down my spine, even now.
"It wasn't that he was unaware of the despair and the nobility of the human condition. It was just that, as far as he was concerned, you could stuff it."
The Librarian, the Discworld novels

Homebird8 · 04/05/2013 04:40

From Middlemarch by George Eliot: a retort by a younger sister on announcement of her sister's marriage to an unusual choice of spouse.

"Only think! at breakfast, and always."

And well remembered by me when choosing my own DH. He will be there at breakfast and always. Could I stand it? Could he? I'm not a morning person. Wink

seeker · 04/05/2013 08:11

Sowornout- I use that one all th Tim too!

My other favourite Rowanism is "just one more infant rabbit keeping her tiny end up"

But maybe you have to have read the book........

MilesAwayGirl · 04/05/2013 11:49

Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.
Hogfather, Terry Pratchett

Celticlassie · 04/05/2013 13:44

Another Shakespeare one I love - "Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

Mrsrobertduvall · 04/05/2013 13:54

"Good night you princes of Maine, kings of New England" Cider House Rules John Irving

And "Hey Boo". To kill a mockingbird ( note my username Ladybeagle)

Puddlelane · 04/05/2013 14:03

This needs to go in classics!

MissMogwi · 04/05/2013 14:31

From The Importance of Being Earnest.

Cecily and Gwendolyn arguing over the mysterious Ernest:

Cecily. "...when I see a spade I call it a spade."

Gwendolyn. "I am glad to say I have never seen a spade. It is obvious outer social spheres have been widely different."

Makes me Grin every time.

MissMogwi · 04/05/2013 14:31

*our not outer. Bloody auto correct!

fuzzpig · 04/05/2013 14:36

"kings of New England" sounds wrong to me - I'm too used to watching the futurama episode 'the cyber house rules' where the line is "kings of NEW New England" :o

YoniMeKateMumsnet · 04/05/2013 14:37

"While I was walking, I passed these two guys that were unloading the big Christmas tree off a truck. One guy kept saying to the other guy, "Hold the sonuvabitch up! Hold it up, for Chrissake!". It certainly was a gorgeous way to talk about a Christmas tree."

That bit always kills me.

YoniMeKateMumsnet · 04/05/2013 14:41

Oops should have said that's ^ from Catcher in the Rye.

And strictly speaking it's not a one liner, so....

"Come back", Atonement, Ian McEwan

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