John Ajvide Lindqvist · 513 pages
Rating: (71.2K votes)
“Real love is to offer your life at the feet of another.”
“Are you OLD?"
"No. I'm only twelve. But I've been that for a long time.”
“There was no one to be seen so she gave in freely to her sobs as she made her way home, pressed her arms against her stomach; the pain lodged in there like an ill-tempered foetus.
Let a person in and he hurts you.
There was a reason why she kept her relationships brief. Don't let them in. Once they're inside they have more potential to hurt you. Comfort yourself. You can live with the anguish as long as it only involves yourself. As long as there is no hope.”
“Closed his mouth. Then pressed a kiss on Oskar's lips. For a few seconds Oskar saw through Eli's eyes. And what he saw was... himself. Only much better, more handsome, stronger than what he thought of himself. Seen with love.”
“Keep your relationships brief. Don’t let them in. Once they’re inside they have more potential to hurt you. Comfort yourself. You can live with the anguish as long as it only involves yourself. As long as there is no hope.”
“-there was something in her, something that was...pure horror. Everything you were supposed to watch out for. Heights, fire, shards of glass, snakes, Everything that his mom tried so hard to keep him safe from.”
“He had put his hand up in class, a declaration of existence, a claim that he knew something. And that was forbidden to him. They could give a number of reasons for why they had to torment him; he was too fat, too ugly, too disgusting. But the real problem was simply that he existed, and every reminder of his existence was a crime.”
“What he was scared of was not that maybe she was a creature who survived by drinking other people's blood. No, it was that she might push him away.”
“No respect for beauty – that was characteristic of today’s society. The works of the great masters were at most employed as ironic references, or used in advertising. Michelangelo’s ‘The Creation of Adam’, where you see a pair of jeans in place of the spark.
The whole point of the picture, at least as he saw it, was that these two monumental bodies each came to an end in two index fingers that almost, but not quite, touched. There was a space between them a millimetre or so wide. And in this space – life. The sculptural size and richness of detail of this picture was simply a frame, a backdrop, to emphasise the crucial void in its centre. The point of emptiness that contained everything.
And in its place a person had superimposed a pair of jeans.”
“They stood there for a while, not saying anything. Then Eli said: 'Do you want to come in?'
Oskar didn't reply. Eli pulled on her T-shirt, lifted her hands, let them fall.
'I'm never going to hurt you.'
'I know that.'
'What are you thinking about?'
'That T-shirt. Is it from the trash room?'
'Have you washed it?'
Eli didn't answer.
'You're a little gross, you know that?'
'I can change, if you like.'
'Good. Do that.”
“He felt like normal. Filled with anxiety, dread, sure. But even that wasn't unusual...”
“Which circle did Dante himself go to after death...”
“A lot of screams for so little wool, said the man who sheared the pig”
“But then, it's probably different when you're young.”
“He glanced at the sheep photograph and nodded to himself. In his present state it did not seem strange to him that the police were apprehending sheep.”
“Sorry I broke your music machine.”
“Children. There was no particular gurney for children and few things made Benke feel as uncomfortable as seeing the empty spaces left over on the trolley when he was transporting the body of a child; the little figure under the white cover, pushed up against the headboard. The lower half empty, the sheet smooth. That flat sheet was death itself.”
“Just as the moon brought out the wolf in a werewolf, so alcohol brought this creature out of his dad.”
“Deja entrar el día la luz y suelta mi vida.”
“Let the right one in Let the old dreams die Let the wrong ones go They cannot do What you want them to do —Morrissey, “Let the Right One Slip In”
“There was silence on the other end. The static crackle from one hundred kilometres of telephone lines. Crows sitting on them, shivering, while people's conversations darted past under their feet.”
“In the lift up to Larry's apartment on the sixth floor he [Lacke] started to cry. Not quietly, no; he wailed like a kid, but worse, more. When Larry opened the lift door and pushed him out onto the landing the cry deepened, started to reverberate against the concrete walls. Lacke's scream of primal, bottomless sorrow filled te stairwell from top to bottom, streamed through the letter slots, keyholes, transformed the high rise into one big tomb erected in the memory of love, hope.”
“A broom that was almost never used was leaned up against the wall. He took it and started to sweep. Dust flew up his nose. When he had been sweeping for a while he realised he had no dustpan. He swept the pile of dust under the couch. Better to have a little shit in the corners than a clean hell. He flipped through the pages of a porno, put it back. Wound his scarf around his neck until his head felt like it was about to explode, released it. Got up and took a few steps on the rug. Sank to his knees, prayed to god.”
“A little boy was tugging on his pant leg.
'Teacher, I have to pee.'
Avila woke from his skating dreams and looked around, pointed to some trees by the shore that grew out over the water; the bare network of branches fell like a shielding curtain toward the ice.
'You can pee there.'
The boy squinted at the trees.
'On the ice?'
'Yes? What is wrong with that? Makes new ice. Yellow.”
“No one thought of anything but themselves. My happiness, my future was the only thing you heard. Real love is to offer your life at the feet of another, and that’s what people today are incapable of.”
“What he was scared of was not that maybe she was a creature who survived by drinking other people’s blood. No – it was that she might push him away.”
“His little bloody rag of a person didn't look as if it could ever get up again, much less hurt anyone. It was only a child. A wounded child.
Like seeing someone you love wasting away with cancer, and then being shown a cancer cell through a microscope. Nothing. That? That did this? That little thing? Destroy my heart.”
“Eli snorted, her eyes narrowed.
— Because I am like you.
— What do you mean like me? I..
Eli thrust her hand through the air as if she was holding a knife, said:
— What are you looking at, idiot? Want to die, or something? — Stabbed the air with empty hand. — That what happens if you look at me.
Oskar rubbed his lips together, dampening them.
— What are you saying?
— It's not me that's saying it. It's you. That was the first thing I heard you say. Down on the playground.
Oskar remembered. The tree. The knife. How he had held up the blade of the knife like a mirror, seen Eli for the first time.”
“The lawyer with the briefcase can steal more money than the man with the gun.”
“I thought that Mr. Clutter was a very nice gentleman. I thought so right up to the moment that I cut his throat.”
“At times he felt that he had almost rather not be in love with her, for it brought him no peace. What was the use of it, if it was only going to be painful?”
“He should not be here, " said the fish in the pot. " he should not be here when your mother is not.”
“Harry looked around; there was Ginny running toward him; she had a hard blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him. And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her. After several long moments, or it might have been half an hour-or possibly several sunlit days- they broke apart.”
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