Jim Thompson · 192 pages
Rating: (6.5K votes)
“I looked at her, with her hair spilled out on the pillows and the warmth of her body warming mine. And I thought, god-dang, if this ain't a heck of a way to be in bed with a pretty woman. The two of you arguing about murder, and threatening each other, when you're supposed to be in love and you could be doing something pretty nice. And then I thought, well, maybe it ain't so strange after all. Maybe it's like this with most people, everyone doing pretty much the same thing except in a different way. And all the time they're holding heaven in their hands.”
“I ain't saying you're a liar, because that wouldn't be polite. But I'll tell you this, ma'am. If I loved liars, I'd hug you to death.”
“I'd been chasing females all my life, not paying no mind to the fact that whatever's got tail at one end has teeth at the other, and now I was getting chomped.”
“Practically every fella that breaks the law has a danged good reason, to his own way of thinking, which makes every case exceptional, not just one or two. Take you, for example.”
“People looking for easy answers to big problems. People that blame the Jews or colored folks for all the bad things that happen to ‘em. People that can’t realize that a heck of a lot of things are bound to go wrong in a world as big as this one. And if there is any answer to why it’s that way – and there ain’t always – why, it’s probably not just one answer by itself, but thousands of answers.
But that’s the way my daddy was – like those people. They buy some books by a fella that don’t know a god-danged thing more than they do (or he wouldn’t be having to write books). And that’s supposed to set ‘em straight about everything. Or they buy themselves a bottle of pills. Or they say the whole trouble is with other folks, and the only thing to do is to get rid of ‘em. Or they claim we got to war with another country.”
“It had soaked in on him at last, the spot he was in. Soaked clear through a quart of booze until it hit him where he lived and rubbed the place raw.”
“a heck of a lot of things are bound to go wrong in a world as big as this one. And if there's an answer to why it's that way - and there ain't always - why, it's probably not just one answer by itself, but thousands of answers.”
“what else is there to do but laugh and joke...how else can you bear up under the unbearable?”
“you might think it wasn't real nice to kick a dying man, and maybe it wasn't, but I'd been wanting to kick him for a long time, and it just never had seemed safe till now”
“Maybe it don’t seem to make sense for a fella to be doing things for a reason that he don’t know about. But I reckon I’ve been doing it most of my life.”
“I yawned and I stretched. I sure was needing some sleep, but I guess I'm always in need of sleep like I'm always in need of food. Because my labors were mighty ones--ol' Hercules didn't know what hard work was--and what is there to do but eat and sleep? And when you're eatin' and sleepin' you don't have to fret about things you can't do nothing about. And what else is there to do but laugh an' joke...how else can you bear up under the unbearable?”
“if I wasn't a decent woman I'd heist a leg and pee in your ear until it washed out that stinking pile of crap you call brains.”
“I got a pole and fishing line from under my bed. I came back out of the bedroom and called to Myra, asking her if she could pack me up a lunch because I was going fishing. And I guess you know what she told me. So I left. There weren’t many people on the street that late at night, almost nine o’clock, but practically everybody that was up asked me if I was going fishing. I said, why, no, I wasn’t, and where did they ever get an idea like that? “Well, how come you’re carryin’ a fish pole and line, then?” this one fella said. “How come you’re doin’ that if you ain’t goin’ fishin’.” “Oh, I got that to scratch my butt with,” I said. “Just in case I’m up a tree somewheres, an’ I can’t reach myself from the ground.” “But, looky here now—” He hesitated, frowning. “That don’t make no sense.”
“But you could,” Ken said. “You could. We got a fella over in the jail right now for pleasurin’ a pig.” “Well, I’ll be dogged,” I said, because I’d heard of things like that but I never had known of no actual cases. “What kind of charges you makin’ against him?” Buck said maybe they could charge him with rape. Ken gave him a kind of blank look and said no, they might not be able to make that kind of charge stick. “After all, he might claim he had the pig’s consent, and then where would we be?”
“It looked like I’d sold my pottage for a mess of afterbirth, as the saying is. I’d been chasing females all my life, not paying no mind to the fact that whatever’s got tail at one end has teeth at the other, and now I was getting chomped on.”
“That’s what she keeps you around for, to diddle her fiddle. Because you’re low-hung and she’s high-strung!”
“Well, anyway, by the time it got ready to vote, it looked like a fella wouldn’t be able to have no fun at all anymore, if my opponents were elected. About all a fella would be able to do, without getting arrested, was to drink sody-pop and maybe kiss his wife. And no one liked the idea very much, the wives included.”
“Small wins are exactly what they sound like, and are part of how keystone habits create widespread changes. A huge body of research has shown that small wins have enormous power, an influence disproportionate to the accomplishments of the victories themselves. “Small wins are a steady application of a small advantage,” one Cornell professor wrote in 1984. “Once a small win has been accomplished, forces are set in motion that favor another small win.”4.14 Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.”
“Tal vez sea la propia simplicidad del asunto lo que nos conduce al error.”
“A poet is different. A poet transforms the world with Such small hands.”
“But of all the animals, man holds the fate of the world in his hands.”
“Here you go, dear."" The corners of Mrs. Colbert's mouth curled up. "You like meat, don't you?"
Emily blinked. Was it her, or did that statement seem...loaded? She checked Issac for his reaction, but he was innocently selecting a roll from a wicker basket. "Uh, thanks." Emily said, pulling the platter toward her. She did like meat. The kind you, um, eat.”
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.