My feed

to access all these features

This forum is the home of Mumsnet classic threads.

MNHQ have commented on this thread

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:
Trixidoll · 04/05/2013 15:19

'Reader, I ate him'

Brilliant one line chapter from Glen Duncan's The Last Werewolf

SoniaGluck · 04/05/2013 15:26

SciFiFan I adore that bit from Gaudy Night.

One of my favourite lines is Beatrice in Much Ado:

" I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves
me. "

seeker · 04/05/2013 15:28

I think Gaudy Night might be my favourite book.

ArtemisCake · 04/05/2013 16:00

We are made from bits of stars - the Crow Road Iain Banks

NotTreadingGrapes · 04/05/2013 16:20

If you have to go away again, at least try to remember how we were tonight.

GG Marquez

NotTreadingGrapes · 04/05/2013 16:21

I'll hold you up and say it was all you, I'll lay you down and say it was all me.

John Le Carre.

thegreylady · 04/05/2013 16:32

One of the sexiest moments in' literature' is when Harriet calls Peter 'My Lord' in Busman's Honeymoon.

thegreylady · 04/05/2013 16:35

Seeker and co I love the Marlowe books too -all of them and Rowan's dry humour is superb.I am very fortunate in owning all the books including The Marlowes and the Traitor which is very hard to find now.

Badvoc · 04/05/2013 17:01

What are the Marlowe books please?

thegreylady · 04/05/2013 17:16

They are books by Antonia Forest.They are mainly a family saga/school story st just about [vaguely] post war and they involve the family dynamics as well as adventures.I would guess they are aimed at and would be enjoyed by dc[girls mostly] aged from 10 upwards.
Chronologically the first one [if you discount the historical The Players Boy] is The Marlowes and the Traitor then The thuggery Affair and Falconers Lure.There are four set mainly in school Autumn Term, The Cricket Term,The Attic Term and End of Term and some very interesting ones set at home Peter's Room, The Readymade Family, The Thursday Kidnapping and Fly Away Home which was the last one.
I may have muddled the order a little but they are head and shoulders above most stories for girls bot in content and quality of writing.
The Marlowes are a Naval family and the father and the eldest child [Giles] are rarely at home.The next oldest is Karen,then Rowan,Ann,Peter and finally identical twin girls Nicola [usually the central character] and Lawrence [Lawrie].

Blessyou · 04/05/2013 17:26

Mr. Bennet: Well, Lizzy, from this day henceforth it seems you must be a stranger to one of your parents... Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins... and I will never see you again if you do.

Pride and Prejudice

Mrdarcyswife · 04/05/2013 17:27

Since my absolute fave (I write this sitting in the kitchen sink), has already been mentioned it'll have to be "better drowned than duffers" from swallows and amazons.

DorisShutt · 04/05/2013 17:46

An education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.
(Terry Pratchett, Hogfather)


The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.
(Terry Pratchett, Hogfather)

PlentyOfFreeTime · 04/05/2013 17:50

Mr Bennet again:

?For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn??

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

shufflehopstep · 04/05/2013 18:05

"This must be a most inconvenient sitting room for the evening, in summer; the windows are full west." Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Pride and Prejudice. Often used when out and about with my parents. And countless ones by Mr Bennett - many of them already mentioned above.

Also another couple of Douglas Adams ones.
?What's so unpleasant about being drunk?"
"Ask a glass of water!?


"Life! Don't talk to me about life.?

KatyDid02 · 04/05/2013 18:18

"Her name is Ruth really but Uncle Jim says pirates are ruthless"
Name that book Grin

AgnesBligg · 04/05/2013 18:19

'It affected my attitude towards society. Before I had been vaguely conscious of something rotten somewhere, prison crystallised this. The old whore society really lifted up her skirts and the stench was pretty foul.?
Joe Orton quote, I think it must be from 'Prick up your Ears' biography.

TreeLuLa · 04/05/2013 18:23

From "THe country CHild" by Alison Uttely, which we reat at age 11 at a vair posh girl's school
"She buried her face in her muff in ecstasy"

I thought nothing of it until I re-read it age 28 Shock

FunnyLittleFrog · 04/05/2013 18:23

'She walked rapidly in the thin June sunshine towards the worst horror of all'

Brighton Rock.

ReturnofSaturn · 04/05/2013 18:39

?Though sympathy alone can't alter facts, it can help to make them more bearable.?
From Dracula

FloraFox · 04/05/2013 18:40

"it was Captain Holly of the Sandleford Owsla" from Watership Down. So exciting when I was 7.

LadyPeterWimsey · 04/05/2013 18:44

Lots of mine have been taken

In particular, Harriet realising she has fallen in love with Peter. But also the Austen and Douglas Adams ones. And the reading/breathing one from To Kill A Mockingbird.

So, another one from Gaudy Night:

It was quite true that the spontaneous affections of Reggie Pomfret had, somehow, made it easier to believe that Peter?s own feelings might be something more than an artist?s tenderness for his own achievement. But it was indecent of Peter to reach that conclusion so rapidly. She resented the way in which he walked in and out of her mind as if it were his own flat.

NotTreadingGrapes I never meet anyone who's read The Little Drummer Girl, but I think it might be my favourite Le Carre.

tumbletumble · 04/05/2013 18:58

KatyDid - Swallows and Amazons!

FunnyLittleFrog - that is one of my favourites too - chilling!

RebeccaMumsnet · 04/05/2013 18:59

Hi all,

We've moved this thread over to classics now - thanks to those who reported for the suggestion.

hackmum · 04/05/2013 19:03

A particular favourite is PG Wodehouse: "I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled."

But so glad to see all the quotes from P&P. The woman was a genius, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. One rarely quoted line from P&P, but one which I love, is when Charlotte Lucas's father speaks to Mr Darcy at the Netherfield ball and says (quoting from memory) "Dancing is the hallmark of a civilised society" and Darcy replies, "And of the most primitive. Every savage can dance." For me it sums up the book and possibly all of her books, and come to think of it, possibly every book, because it highlights the tension between our animal passions and the social imperative to suppress them.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.