24+ quotes from Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo

Quotes from Nobody's Fool

Richard Russo ·  549 pages

Rating: (21.6K votes)


“I'm about to fuck up, he thought clearly, and his next thought was, but I don't have to. This was followed closely by a third thought, the last of this familiar sequence, which was, but I'm going to anyway.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“For fairness and loyalty, however important to the head, were issues that could seldom be squared in the human heart, at the deepest depths of which lay the mystery of affection, of love, which you either felt or you didn't, pure as instinct, which seized you, not the other way around, making a mockery of words like "should" and "ought". The human heart, where compromise could not be struck, not ever. Where transgressions exacted a terrible price. Where tangled black limbs fell. Where the boom got lowered.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“It was a scary thought. A man could be surrounded by poetry reading and not know it.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“An imperfect human heart, perfectly shattered, was her conclusion. A condition so common as to be virtually universal, rendering issues of right and wrong almost incidental.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“I must be losing patience with my fellow humans," Miss Beryl went on. "Anymore I'm all for executing people who are mean to children. I used to favor just cutting off their feet. Now I want to rid the world of them completely. If this keeps up I'll be voting Republican soon.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“Everybody looked at Sully suspiciously. A rumor that he had burned up in the blaze had been circulating, and people had quickly adjusted to the idea of profound human tragedy. They were reluctant to give it up, Sully could tell. He smiled apologetically at the crowd.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“We wear the chains we forge in life,”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“Miss Beryl: Doesn't it bother you that you haven't done more with the life God gave you?
Sully: Not often. Now and then.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“Throughout his life a case study underachiever, Sully—people still remarked—was nobody’s fool, a phrase that Sully no doubt appreciated without ever sensing its literal application—that at sixty, he was divorced from his own wife, carrying on halfheartedly with another man’s, estranged from his son, devoid of self-knowledge, badly crippled and virtually unemployable—all of which he stubbornly confused with independence.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“No, Sully'd decided long ago to abstain from all but the most general forms of regret. He allowed himself the vague wish that things had turned out differently, without blaming himself that they hadn't, any more than he'd blamed himself when his 1-2-3 triple never ran like it should at least once. It didn't pay to second-guess every one of life's decisions, to pretend to wisdom about the past from the safety of the present, the way so many people did when they got older.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“Since her retirement from teaching Miss Beryl's health had in many respects greatly improved, despite her advancing years. An eighth-grade classroom was an excellent place to snag whatever was in the air in the way of illness. Also depression, which, Miss Beryl believed, in conjunction with guilt, opened the door to illness. Miss Beryl didn't know any teachers who weren't habitually guilty and depressed--guilty they hadn't accomplished more with their students, depressed that very little more was possible.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“Perfect silence. This in response to Sully's key being turned in the ignition of the pickup.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“Hell, at twenty, he’d been ready to junk everything and start over too. But now, at sixty, he was less willing to throw things away that could be patched together and kept running for a few more months. He wanted to keep going forward, not stop and turn around and analyze the validity of decisions made and courses charted long ago.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“probably horse doo had a name in french also, but that didn't mean god intended for you to eat it.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“One of the unfortunate side effects of teaching for forty years was that the task was so monumental, even in recollection, that it sometimes seemed you’d tried to teach everyone on the planet. What Miss Beryl looked for in each adult face was the evidence of some failed lesson in some distant yesterday that might predict incompetence today.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“The nurse who came in to take her blood was the same one who’d taken her blood pressure earlier, and she slapped the flesh on Miss Beryl’s arm with some annoyance, as if she’d have preferred it to assume some other shape. Miss Beryl knew just how the woman felt.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“Also her perfume, which mingled with the crisp air off the lake below, creating an intoxicating mixture of damp earth and leaves and water and girl. Not woman, in Sully’s opinion. Girl.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“Maybe sheetrocking wasn't one of Sully's favorite jobs, but like most physical labor, there was a rhythm to it that you could find if you cared to look, and once you found this rhythm it'd get you through a morning. Rhythm was what Sully had counted on over the long years - that and the wisdom to understand that no job, no matter how thankless or stupid or backbreaking, could not be gotten through. The clock moved if you let it.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“No, Sully'd decided long ago to abstain from all but the most general forms of regret. He allowed himself the vague wish that things had turned out differently, without blaming himself that they hadn't, any more than he'd blamed himself when his 1-2-3 triple never ran like it should at least once. It didn't pay to second-guess every one of life's decisions, to pretend to wisdom about the past from the safety of the present, the way so many people did when they got older. As if, given a second chance to live their lives, they'd be smarter. Sully didn't know too many people who got noticeably smarter over the course of a lifetime. Some made fewer mistakes, but in Sully's opinion that was because they couldn't go quite so fast. They had less energy, no more virtue; fewer opportunities to screw up, not more wisdom. It was Sully's policy to stick by his mistakes....”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“You want a poke in the eye with a sharp stick?” Sully offered. “You don’t have a stick,” Will pointed out.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“The best she was able to do was to reflect that people invariably exhibited the very worst side of their flawed natures when invited to put their thoughts into writing, especially when the invitation was sanctioned hit-and-run posing as democracy in action. Here”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“I know,” Peter said, zipping Will’s jacket. The little boy, who had apparently had his throat zipped into his zipper at some point, always put his mittened hand beneath his chin to prevent it from happening again. Sully”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“Like many men addicted to sports, Clive Sr. was also a religious man and one who’d been raised to accept life’s mysteries—the Blessed Trinity, for one instance, a woman’s reasoning, for another.”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


“They turned down the narrow alley that led to the Woohvorth’s”
― Richard Russo, quote from Nobody's Fool


About the author

Richard Russo
Born place: in Johnstown, New York, The United States
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“You’re crying.”
“I’m not.”
“Right,” he said mildly. “I suppose you got rained on.”
― Kristin Cashore, quote from Bitterblue


“War is not a natural state. It is an imposition, and a damned unhealthy one. With its rules, we willingly yield our humanity.”
― Steven Erikson, quote from Memories of Ice


“One touches and, in the act of touching, one's touched.”
― Aldous Huxley, quote from Island


“Now and again, one could detect in a childless woman of a certain age the various characteristics of all the children she had never issued. Her body was haunted by the ghost of souls who hadn't lived yet. Premature ghosts. Half-ghosts. X's without Y's. Y's without X's. They applied at her womb and were denied, but, meant for her and no one else, they wouldn't go away. Like tiny ectoplasmic gophers, they hunkered in her tear ducts. They shone through her sighs. Often to her chagrin, they would soften the voice she used in the marketplace. When she spilled wine, it was their playful antics that jostled the glass. They called out her name in the bath or when she passed real children in the street. The spirit babies were everywhere her companions, and everywhere they left her lonesome - yet they no more bore her resentment than a seed resents uneaten fruit. Like pet gnats, like phosphorescence, like sighs on a string, they would follow her into eternity.”
― Tom Robbins, quote from Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates


“The simple truth hit Shiva: if the entire society was conscious of its duties, nobody would need to fight for their individual rights. Since everybody’s rights would be automatically taken care of through someone else’s duties. Lord Ram was a genius!”
― Amish Tripathi, quote from The Immortals of Meluha


Interesting books

First Person
(348)
First Person
by Vladimir Putin
The Wheel of Osheim
(8.3K)
The Wheel of Osheim
by Mark Lawrence
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
(20.3K)
The Girl Who Drank t...
by Kelly Barnhill
Everything on a Waffle
(9.5K)
Everything on a Waff...
by Polly Horvath
Crown of Souls
(203)
Crown of Souls
by Ronie Kendig
The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night
(60.5K)

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.