Quotes from A Spot of Bother

Mark Haddon ·  354 pages

Rating: (29.2K votes)


“And it occurred to him that there were two parts to being a better person. One part was thinking about other people. The other part was not giving a toss what other people thought.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“What they failed to teach you at school was that the whole business of being human just got messier and more complicated as you got older. You could tell the truth, be polite, take everyone's feelings into consideration and still have to deal with other people's shit. At nine or ninety.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“You love someone, you've got to let something go.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“At twenty life was like wrestling an octopus. Every moment mattered. At thirty it was a walk in the country. Most of the time your mind was somewhere else. By the time you got to seventy, it was probably like watching snooker on the telly.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“... He had always rather liked emergencies. Other people's at any rate. They put your own problems into perspective. It was like being on a ferry. You didn't have to think about what you had to do or where you had to go for the next few hours. It was all laid out for you.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother



“He really did not care whether he survived or not, so long as it rendered him unconscious and absolved him of responsibility.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“It exasperated her sometimes. The way men could be so sure of themselves. They put words together like sheds or shelves and you could stand on them they were so solid. And those feelings which overwhelmed you in the small hours turned to smoke.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“That was what it meant, didn’t it. Being good. You didn’t have to sink wells in Burkina Faso. You didn’t have to give away your coffee table. You just had to see things from other people’s point of view. Remember they were human.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“The secret of contentment lay in ignoring many things completely.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“He’d tried celibacy. The only problem was the lack of sex.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother



“That was the problem, wasn't it? You left home. But you never did become an adult. Not really. You just fucked up in different and more complicated ways.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“At teenage parties he was always wandering into the garden, sitting on a bench in the dark . . . staring up at the constellations and pondering all those big questions about the existence of God and the nature of evil and the mystery of death, questions which seemed more important than anything else in the would until a few years passed and some real questions had been dumped into your lap, like how to earn a living, and why people fell in and out of love, and how long you could carry on smoking and then give up without getting lung cancer.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“You could say all you liked about reason and logic and common sense and imagination, but when the chips were down the one skill you needed was the ability to think about absolutely nothing whatsoever.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“It was true. There really was no limit to the ways in which you could say the wrong thing to your children. You offered an olive branch and it was the wrong olive branch at the wrong time.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“Everything seemed suspended, in some kind of balance. Obviously someone would come along and fuck it up, because that's what other people did.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother



“How often did he feel it now, this gorgeous, furtive seclusion? In the bath sometimes, maybe. Though Jean failed to understand his need for periodic isolation and regularly dragged him back to earth mid-soak by hammering on the locked door in search of bleach or dental floss.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“He had always thought of solitary diners as sad. But now that he was the solitary diner, he felt rather superior. On account of the book, mostly. Learning something while everyone else was wasting time. Like working at night.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“She idly stroked his head in the way one might stroke a dog.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“She understood now. You got married in spite of your wedding not because of it.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“Ray was disappointed by the (Millenium) wheel. Too well engineered, he said. He wanted the wind in his hair and a rusty handrail and the faint pssibility that the whole structure might collapse.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother



“The Dordogne in 1984 was the nadir. Diarrhea, moths like flying hamsters, the blowtorch heat. Awake at three in the morning on a damp and lumpy mattress. Then the storm. Like someone hammering sheets of tin. Lightning so bright it came through the pillow. In the morning sixty, seventy dead frogs turning slowly in the pool. And at the far end something larger and furrier, a cat perhaps, or the Franzetti's dog, which Katie was poking with a snorkel. (pg 53)”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“After an Indian meal they went back to Jamie's flat and Tony did at least two things to him on the sofa that no one had ever done to him before then came back and them again the following evening, and suddenly life became very good indeed.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“The secret of contentment, George felt, lay in ignoring many things completely. How anyone could work in the same office for ten years or bring up children without putting certain things to the back of their mind was beyond him.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“When he finally let the car it was because e could no longer bear his own company in such a confined space.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“School might have been shit, but at least it was simple.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother



“If he wasn’t careful he’d turn into one of those men who cared more about furniture than human beings. He’d end up living with someone else who cared more about furniture than human beings and they’d lead a life which looked perfectly normal from the outside but was, in truth, a kind of living death that left your heart looking like a raisin. Or”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“Maybe George was fooling himself. Maybe old people always fooled themselves, pretending that the world was going to hell because it was easier than admitting they were being left behind, that the future was pulling away from the beach and they were standing on their little island bidding it good riddance, knowing in their hearts that there was nothing left for them to do but sit around on the shingle waiting for the big disease to come out of the undergrowth.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“At home he was reading Pet Sematary, but reading that in public was like leaving the house in your underwear.”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“He sat on the tube knowing he was going to hell. The only way to reduce the hot forks when he got there was to ring Katie and Mum as soon as he got home. An”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother


“What he felt mostly was a relentless, grinding dread which rumbled and thundered and made the world dark, like those spaceships in science-fiction films whose battle-scorched fuselages slid onto the screen and kept on sliding onto the screen because they were, in fact, several thousand times larger than you expected when all you could see was the nose cone. The”
― Mark Haddon, quote from A Spot of Bother



About the author

Mark Haddon
Born place: in Northampton, The United Kingdom
Born date September 26, 1962
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