The Quote Blog
“And it was exactly like having flu that time because I wanted it to stop, like you can just pul the plug of a computer out of the wall if it crashes, because I wanted to go to sleep so that I wouldn’t have to think because the only thing I could think was how much it hurt because there was no room for anything else in my head, but I couldn’t go to sleep and I just had to sit there and there was nothing to do except wait and to hurt.” 177
“Father told Mrs. Gascoyne that I was going to take A-level further maths next year and she said ‘OK.’
And I am going to pass it and get an A grade. And in two years’ time I am going to take A-level physics and get an A grade.
And then, when I’ve done that, I am going to go to university in another town. And it doesn’t have to be London because I don’t like London and there are universities in lots of places and not all of them are in big cities. And I can live in a flat with a garden and a proper toilet. And I can take Sandy and my books and my computer.
And then I will get a First Class Honors degree and I will become a scientist.
And I know I can do this because I went to London on my own, and because I solved the mystery of Who Killed Wellington? and I found my mother and I was brave and I wrote a book and that means I can do anything.” 220
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine
"When the silence and the aloneness press down and around me, crushing me, carving through me like ice, I need to speak aloud sometimes, if only for proof of life." 51
"Eyelids are really just flesh curtains. Your eyes are always 'on,' always looking; when you close them, you're watching the thin, veined skin of your inner eyelid rather than staring our at the world. It's not a comfortable thought. In fact, if I think about it for long enough, I'd probably want to pluck out my own eyes, to stop looking, to stop seeing all the time. The things I've seen cannot be unseen. The things I've done cannot be undone."
"These days, loneliness is the new cancer - a shameful, embarrassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way. A fearful, incurable thing, so horrifying that you dare not mention it; other people don't want to hear the word spoken aloud for fear that they might too be afflicted." 227
"I bought some cat food for Glen on the way home. The thing about Glen is that, despite her offhand manner, she loves me. I know she's only a cat. But it's still love; animals, people. It's unconditional, and it's both the easiest and the hardest thing in the world." 286
"He wasn't mad. He just didn't have any socks on." 294
"Three words, Ignis aurum probat. 'Fire tests gold.' The rest of the phrase: '...and adversity tests the brave.' How true."
"I'd tried to cope alone for far too long, and it hadn't done me any good at all. Sometimes you simply needed someone kind to sit with you while you dealt with things." 319
" 'In the end, what matters is this: I survived.' I gave him a very small smile. 'I survived, Raymond!' I said, knowing that I was both lucky and unlucky, and grateful for it." 324
"But I was beginning to understand something about normality. Normality wasn't normal. It couldn't be. If normality were normal, everybody could leave it alone. They could sit back and let normality manifest itself. But people - and especially doctors - had doubts about normality. They weren't sure normality was up to the job. And they felt inclined to give it a boost." 446
"I was young, and, despite dread, full of animal spirits; it was impossible for me to take a dark view too long." 449
"Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind." 479
"Even the air seemed on fire, subtly aflame with energy as it does when you are young, when the synapses are firing wildly and death is far away." 489
The Handmaid's Tale
"Many of the Wives have such gardens, it's something for them to order and maintain and care for."
"The threshold of a new house is a lonely place."
"I stand on the corner, pretending I am a tree."
"There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it."
"We have learned to see the world in gasps."
"Ordinary, said Aunt Lydia, is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary."
"The night is mine, my own time, to do with as I will, as long as I am quiet."
"We thought we had such problems. How were we to know we were happy?"
"The stains on the mattress. Like dried flower petals. Not recent. Old love; there's no other kind of love in this room now."
"Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it."
"We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories."
"Each twinge, each murmur of slight pain, ripples of sloughed-off matter, swellings and diminishings of tissue, the droolings of flesh, these are signs, these are the things I need to know about. Each month I watch for blood, fearfully, for when it comes it means failiure. I have failed once again to fulfill the expectations of others, which have become my own."
"We lean towards him a little, iron filings to his magnet."
"I am like a room where things once happened and now nothing does, except the pollen of the weeds that grow up outside the window, blowing in as dust across the floor."
"The body is so easily damaged, so easily disposed of, water and chemicals is all it is, hardly more to it than a jellyfish, drying on the sand."
"In reduced circumstances you have to believe all kinds of things."
"It comforts me to dress him warmly."
"It's this message, which may never arrive, that keeps me alive. I believe in the message."
"Sanity is a valuable possession; I hoard it the way people once hoarded money. I save it, so I will have enough, when the time comes."
"I move the eggcup a little, so it's now in the watery sunlight that comes through the window and falls, brightening, waning, brightening again, on the tray."
"I think that this is what God must look like: an egg. The life of the moon may not be on the surface but inside. The egg is glowing now, as if it had an energy of its own. To look at the egg gives me an intense pleasure. The sun goes and the egg fades."
"The minimalist life. Pleasure is an egg. Blessings that can be counted, on the fingers of one hand. But possibly this is how I am expected to react. If I have an egg, what more can I want?"
"A man is just a woman's strategy for making other women."
"If I ever get out of here -
Let's stop there. I intend to get out of here. It can't last forever. Others have thought such things, in bad times before this, and they were always right, they did get out one way or another, and it didn't last forever. Although for them it my have lasted all the forever they had."
"I feel like cotton candy; sugar and air. Squeeze me and I'd turn into a small sickly damp wad of weeping pinky-red."
"Well. Then we had the irises, rising beautiful and cool on their tall stalks, like blown glass, like pastel water momentarily frozen in a splash, light blue, light mauve, and the darker ones, velvet and purple, black cat's ears in the sun, indigo shadow, and the bleeding hearts, so female in shape it was a surprise they'd not long since been rooted out."
" . . . this heaviness, as if I'm a melon on a stem, this liquid ripeness."
"They get sick a lot, these Wives of the Commanders. It adds interest to their lives."
"To him I am not merely empty."
"No mother is ever, completely, a child's idea of what a mother should be, and I suppose it works the other way around as well."
" . . . he's stepped off the path, onto the lawn, to breathe in the humid air which stinks of flowers, of pulpy growth, of pollen thrown into the wind in handfuls, like oyster spawn into the sea."
"Kick in the door, and what did I tell you? Caught in the act, sinfully Scrabbling. Quick, eat those words."
"How can she bear to touch the wool, in this heat? But possibly her skin's gone numb; possibly she feels nothing, like one formerly scalded."
"Better never means better for everyone, he says. It always means worse, for some."
"But people will do anything rather than admit that their lives have no meaning. No use, that is. No plot."