“All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."
REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.
"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"
YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
"So we can believe the big ones?"
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
"They're not the same at all!"
YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.
"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"
MY POINT EXACTLY.”
“Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.”
“Getting 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.”
“HUMAN BEINGS MAKE LIFE SO INTERESTING. DO YOU KNOW, THAT IN A UNIVERSE SO FULL OF WONDERS, THEY HAVE MANAGED TO INVENT BOREDOM. (Death)”
“Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.”
“Real children do not go hoppity skip unless they are on drugs.”
“Everything starts somewhere, though many physicists disagree. But people have always been dimly aware of the problem with the start of things. They wonder how the snowplough driver gets to work, or how the makers of dictionaries look up the spelling of words.”
“Some things are fairly obvious when it's a seven-foot skeleton with a scythe telling you them”
“She'd become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do.
And she'd taken to it well. She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find
herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella.”
“Mister Teatime had a truly brilliant mind, but it was brilliant like a fractured mirror, all marvellous facets and rainbows but, ultimately, also something that was broken.”
“And then Jack chopped down what was the world's last beanstalk, adding murder and ecological terrorism to the theft, enticement, and trespass charges already mentioned, and all the giant's children didn't have a daddy anymore. But he got away with it and lived happily ever after, without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done...which proves that you can be excused for just about anything if you are a hero, because no one asks inconvenient questions.”
“There is always time for another last minute”
“Susan says, don't get afraid, get angry.”
“The phrase 'Someone ought to do something' was not, by itself, a helpful one. People who used it never added the rider 'and that someone is me'.”
“Hello, inner child, I'm the inner babysitter!”
“WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF YOU HADN'T SAVED HIM?
"Yes! The sun would have risen just the same, yes?"
"Oh, come on. You can't expect me to believe that. It's an astronomical fact."
THE SUN WOULD NOT HAVE RISEN.
"Really? Then what would have happened, pray?"
A MERE BALL OF FLAMING GAS WOULD HAVE ILLUMINATED THE WORLD.”
“This is very similar to the suggestion put forward by the Quirmian philosopher Ventre, who said, "Possibly the gods exist, and possibly they do not. So why not believe in them in any case? If it's all true you'll go to a lovely place when you die, and if it isn't then you've lost nothing, right?" When he died he woke up in a circle of gods holding nasty-looking sticks and one of them said, "We're going to show you what we think of Mr Clever Dick in these parts...”
“DO I DETECT A NOTE OF UNSEASONAL GRUMPINESS? said Death. NO SUGAR PIGGYWIGGY FOR YOU, ALBERT.”
“The philosopher Didactylos has summed up an alternative hypothesis as "Things just happen. What the hell".”
“They always gives me bath salts," complained Nobby. "And bath soap and bubble bath and herbal bath lumps and tons of bath stuff and I can't think why, 'cos it's not as if I hardly ever has a bath. You'd think they'd take the hint, wouldn't you?”
“IT'S THE EXPRESSION ON THEIR LITTLE FACES I LIKE, said the Hogfather.
"You mean sort of fear and awe and not knowing whether to laugh or cry or wet their pants?"
YES. NOW THAT IS WHAT I CALL BELIEF.”
“It's amazing how good governments are, given their track records in almost every other field, at hushing up things like alien encounters. One reason may be that the aliens themselves are too embarrassed to talk about it.
It's not known why most of the space-going races of the universe want to undertake rummaging in Earthling underwear as a prelude to formal contact. But representatives of several hundred races have taken to hanging out, unsuspected by one another, in rural corners of the planet and, as a result of this, keep on abducting other would-be abductees. Some have been in fact abducted while waiting to carry out an abduction on a couple of aliens trying to abduct the aliens who were, as a result of misunderstood instructions, trying to form cattle into circles and mutilate crops.
The planet Earth is now banned to all alien races until they can compare notes and find out how many, if any, real humans they have actually got. It is gloomily suspected that there is only one - who is big, hairy, and has very large feet.
The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.”
“Take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder and sieve it through the finest sieve and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. and yet... and yet you act as if there is some ideal order in the world, as if there is some... some rightness in the universe by which it may be judged.”
“It was nice to hear the voices of little children at play, provided you took care to be far enough away not to hear what they were actually saying.”
“YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
"So we can believe the big ones?"
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.”
“As far as Death was aware, the sole reason for any human association with pigs and lambs was as a prelude to chops and sausages. Quite why they should dress up for children’s wallpaper as well was a mystery. Hello, little folk, this is what you’re going to eat… He felt that if only he could find the key to it, he’d know a lot more about human beings.”
“The senior wizards of Unseen University stood and looked at the door.
There was no doubt that whoever had shut it wanted it to stay shut. Dozens of nails secured it to the door frame. Planks had been nailed right across. And finally it had, up until this morning, been hidden by a bookcase that had been put in front of it.
'And there's the sign, Ridcully,' said the Dean. 'You have read it, I assume. You know? The sign which says "Do not, under any circumstances, open this door"?'
'Of course I've read it,' said Ridcully. 'Why d'yer think I want it opened?'
'Er ... why?' said the Lecturer in Recent Runes.
'To see why they wanted it shut, of course.'
This exchange contains almost all you need to know about human civilization. At least, those bits of it that are now under the sea, fenced off or still smoking.”
“Credulous: having views about the world, the universe and humanity's place in it that are shared only by very unsophisticated people and the most intelligent and advanced mathematicians and physicists.”
“The cities, the roads, the countryside, the people I meet - they all begin to blur. I tell myself I am searching for something. But more and more, it feels like I am wandering, waiting for something to happen to me, something that will change everything, something that my whole life has been leading up to.”
“I think there is only one. Oh, there are gods everywhere, in the hollow hills, in the wind and the sea, in the very grass we walk on and the air we breathe, and in the bloodstained shadows where men like Belasius wait for them. But I believe there must be one who is God Himself, like the great sea, and all the rest of us, small gods and men and all, like rivers, we all come to Him in the end.”
“Is it life?" he answered, "I would rather be without it," he said, "for there is queer small utility in it. You cannot eat it or drink it or smoke it in your pipe, it does not keep the rain out and it is a poor armful in the dark if you strip it and take it to bed with you after a night of porter when you are shivering with the red passion. It is a great mistake and a thing better done without, like bed-jars and foreign bacon.”
“I can't be friends with a man who blows hot and cold with the same breath.”
“Tonight we’re going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man.”
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