Monday, December 29, 2008

More good lines to ease you into the new year, and a chance to win a book

I quoted one good line from Liam O'Flaherty's The Assassin yesterday. Here's another, this one more typical of the novel:

"(W)hen man feels weak and timid, it is then that he broods lovingly over misery, sin, death and the violent salvation of upheaval."
And lo, it transpires that Declan Burke took the working title of his big new Irish crime-fiction project from O'Flaherty's very next paragraph.

Yesterday's line was funny; today's is chilling. I'll wrap up the roundup up of good lines with one of each type from Adrian McKinty's Fifty Grand, and then later this week, a gem from Bill James.

First, McKinty:

"Listen to me, buddy, I can make you rich. I can get you money. A lot of money. Millions. Do you understand? Millions of dollars. Goddamnit! Why don't you understand, what's the matter with you? Millions of dollars? Do you speak English? Do you understand the goddamn English language?"

I do. It was my major.

Damn it. The other line you get when I can find the note where I wrote down what page it's on.

What good lines have you come across in your recent reading?

U.S. readers, you still have one chance to win a copy of Jo Nesbø's The Redbreast if you can answer this question correctly:

The novel's opening chapters include an amusingly vapid radio interview with a U.S. president just arrived in Norway for a major international summit conference. In what city did this real-life conference take place? What two other world leaders also attended?

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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Blogger Loren Eaton said...

From Dicken's A Christmas Carol:

"Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

"Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail."

December 29, 2008  
Blogger Loren Eaton said...

Ahem. That should be Dickens'. Curses.

December 29, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Excellent. Dickens not only had an eye for cliches, but he gave the matter careful thought. That makes him a kindred spirit (or a daunting ancestor) to those of us who do the same today. Many thanks.

December 29, 2008  

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