Ransom Riggs · 352 pages
Rating: (755.2K votes)
“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.”
“We cling to our fairy tales until the price for believing in them becomes too high.”
“When someone won't let you in, eventually you stop knocking.”
“Stars, too, were time travelers. How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize we were alone? I had always known the sky was full of mysteries—but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was.”
“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was. Likewise, I never imagined that home might be something I would miss.”
“...so one day my mother sat me down and explained that I couldn't become an explorer because everything in the world had already been discovered. I'd been born in the wrong century, and I felt cheated.”
“Sometimes it's better not to look back.”
“I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.”
“..what an unchallenging life it would be if we always got things right on the first go.”
“Forgive me. I continue to underestimate the breadth of your ignorance.”
“I slammed out of the [house] and started walking, heading nowhere in particular. Sometimes you just need to go through a door.”
“...slow and drunk is no match for fast and scared shitless.”
“To have endured horrors, to have seen the worst of humanity and have your life made unrecognizable by it, to come out of all that honorable and brave— that was magical.”
“Sometimes you just need to go through a door.”
“How many times have I told you? Polite persons do not take supper in the nude.”
“I did love her, of course, but mostly because loving your mom is mandatory, not because she was someone I think I'd like very much if I met her walking down the street.”
“But these weren't the kind of monsters that had tentacles and rotting skin, the kind a seven-year-old might be able to wrap his mind around--they were monsters with human faces, in crisp uniforms, marching in lockstep, so banal you don't recognize them for what they are until it's too late.”
“I'd been born in the wrong century, and I felt cheated.”
“She moved to pinch me again but I blocked her hand. I'm no expert on girls, but when one tries to pinch you four times, I'm pretty sure that's flirting.”
“Millard! Who's the prime minister?"
"Winston Churchill," he said. "Have you gone daft?"
"What's the capital of Burma?"
"Lord, I've no idea. Rangoon?"
"Good! When's your birthday?"
"Will you quit shouting and let me bleed in peace!”
“I didn’t know what to call it, what was happening between us, but I liked it. It felt silly and fragile and good.”
“I don't mean to be rude' I said, 'but what are you people?'
'We're peculiar,' he replied, sounding a bit puzzled. 'Aren't you?;
'I don't know. I don't think so'
'That's a shame.”
“Their memory was something tangible and heavy, and I would carry it with me.”
“It's easy to say you don't care about money when you have plenty of it.”
“If you must fail," he said grandly, "fail spectacularly!”
“That's quite a performance you gave earlier [...] I'm sure the theater lost a fine actor when you chose to devote yourself to murder and cannibalism.”
“Because we weren’t like other people. We were peculiar.”
“Oh, all sorts of ways,” he said. “There was a girl who could fly, a boy who had bees living inside him, a brother and sister who could lift boulders over their heads.”
“I thought about how my great-grandparents had starved to death. I thought about their wasted bodies being fed to incinerators because people they didn’t know hated them. I thought about how the children who lived in this house had been burned up and blown apart because a pilot who didn’t care pushed a button. I thought about how my grandfather’s family had been taken from him and how because of that my dad grew up feeling like he didn’t have a dad. And how I had acute stress and nightmares and was sitting alone in a falling down house and crying hot stupid tears all over my shirt. All because of a seventy year old hurt that had somehow been passed down to me like some poisonous heirloom.”
“Will you quit shouting and let me bleed in peace!”
“If I never went home, what exactly would I be missing? I pictured my cold cavernous house, my friendless town full of bad memories, the utterly unremarkable life that had been mapped out for me. It had never once occurred to me, I realized, to refuse it.”
“It's you and me against the world.”
“ESAELP GNITTIPS ON
This mysterious decree would incite me to defy it and spit on the ground at once, but because the police were stationed two steps away in front of the Governor's Mansion, I'd just stare at it uneasily instead. Now I began to fear that spit would suddenly climb out of my throat and land on the ground without my even willing it. But as I knew, spitting was mostly a habit of grown-ups of the same stock as those brainless, weak-willed, insolent children who were always being punished by my teacher. Yes, we would sometimes see people spitting on the streets, or hawking up phlegm because they had no tissues, but this didn't happen often enough to merit a decree of this severity, even outside the Governor's Manson. Later on, when I read about the Chinese spitting pots and discovered how commonplace spitting was in other parts of the world, I asked myself why they'd gone to such lengths to discourage spitting in Istanbul, where it had never been popular.”
“Mr. Tiny nodded, then started forward. "Enough of the chitchat, boys. I have work to do and I must be quick. Time is precious. A volcano's due to erupt on a small tropical island tomorrow. Everybody within a ten-mile radius will be roasted alive. I want to be there -- it sounds like great fun.”
“ABNER Marsh had a mind that was not unlike his body. It was big all around, ample in size and capacity, and he crammed all sorts of things into it. It was strong as well; when Abner Marsh took something in his hand it did not easily slip away, and when he took something in his head it was not easily forgotten. He was a powerful man with a powerful brain, but body and mind shared one other trait as well: they were deliberate. Some might even say slow. Marsh did not run, he did not dance, he did not scamper or slide along; he walked with a straightforward dignified gait that nonetheless got him where he wanted to go. So it was with his mind. Abner Marsh was not quick in word or thought, but he was far from stupid; he chewed over things thoroughly, but at his own pace.”
“He says no one but myself can help me out of it, that I must use my will and self-control and not let any silly fancies run away with me.”
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