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.”
“Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.”
“One of the supreme paradoxes of baseball, and all sports, is that the harder you try to throw a pitch or hit a ball or accomplish something, the smaller your chances are for success. You get the best results not when you apply superhuman effort but when you let the game flow organically and allow yourself to be fully present. You'll often hear scouts say of a great prospect, "The game comes slow to him." It mean the prospect is skilled and poised enough to let the game unfold in its own time, paying no attention to the angst or urgency or doubt, funnelling all awareness to the athletic task at hand.”
“It's laughable, looking back, to see the processes I went through, pretending to make a reasoned decision. No choice is ever made on the basis of logic; the logic is fabricated around the impulse, the initial desire which is innate and incontrovertible. All the time, I knew where I was going, the elements of my fulfillment or ruin were always present; I only had to work my way into that seam of desire and find the hidden vein of dross or gold. It's not a question of predestination, it's just that free will and destiny are illusions, false opposites, consolations. In the end, they are one and the same: a single process. You choose what you choose and it could not have been otherwise: the choice is destiny. It was there all along, but any alternative you might have considered is an absurd diversion, because it is in your nature to make one choice rather than another. That is identity. To speak of freedom or destiny is absurd because it suggests there is something outside yourself, directing your life, where really it is of the essence: identity, the craftwork of the soul.”
“Judges live with shadows behind them.”
“But we’ll get to the bottom of it,” Tsunami promised. “We’ll find the dragon who set that bomb, and then I will tear off his wings and hang him from the eastern peak of Jade Mountain”
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