Alan Bradley · 315 pages
Rating: (21.8K votes)
“One of the marks of a truly great mind, I had discovered, is the ability to feign stupidity on demand.”
“What are we going to do, Dogger?'
It seemed a reasonable question. After all he had been through, surely Dogger knew something of hopeless situations.
'We shall wait upon tomorrow,' he said.
'But--what if tomorrow is worse than today?'
'Then we shall wait upon the day after tomorrow.'
'And so forth?' I asked.
'And so forth,' Dogger said.”
“Feely had the knack of being able to screw one side of her face into a witchlike horror while keeping the other as sweet and demure as any maiden from Tennyson. It was perhaps, the one thing I envied her.”
“If stupidity were theoretical physics, then I would be Albert Einstein.”
“We might as well face it: Death is a bore. It is even harder on the survivors than on the deceased, who at least don’t have to worry about when to sit and when to stand, or when to permit a pale smile and when to glance tragically away.”
“Although it seems shocking to say so, grief is a funny thing. On the one hand, you're numb, yet on the other, something inside is trying desperately to claw its way back to normal: to pull a funny face, to leap out like a jack-in-the-box, to say "Smile, damn you, smile!”
“One of the things I love about myself is my ability to remain open to suggestion.”
“I suddenly realized that there's something about singing hymns with a large group of people that sharpens the senses remarkably. I stored this observation away for later use; it was a jolly good thing to know for anyone practicing the art of detection.”
“Was he being what Daffy called “ironical”? She had once told me that the word meant the use of veiled sarcasm: the dagger under the silk. “The smiler with the knife!” she had hissed in a horrible voice.”
“Foolishness in a grown man, no matter how lighthearted, is disgusting.”
“In the old legends, anyone who willingly took up the Earth upon their shoulders was doomed to carry it forever: a curse, it seemed, with no way out.”
“Kill him." Dr. Kissing repeated my words in a flat, matter-of-fact voice. "Just so. But 'kill,' as you will have observed, like 'spy' and 'stop,' is really just one more of those short but exceedingly troublesome words.”
“…it is a well-known fact that more than two men shut up together in an enclosed space for more than an hour constitute a hazard to society. If unpleasantness is to be avoided, they must be made to go outdoors and work off their animal spirits.”
“I don't care' is the last bit of baggage to be tossed overboard in a losing argument.”
“In ordinary circumstances, I would have responded to such a command by sending up a reply that would have given Undine's mother a perm that would be truly everlasting, but I restrained myself.”
“I'm very sorry about your mother, Flavia. I can't even begin to imagine how you must feel." At least the man had the sense to admit it.”
“To my mind, if Nature had wanted us to have bright red fingertips, She would have caused us to be born with our blood on the outside.”
“the de Luce coat of arms: per bend sinister sable and argent, two lucies haurient counterchanged. The crest, the moon in her detriment, and the motto “Dare Lucem.” “The moon in her detriment” was a moon eclipsed, and the “lucies,” of course, were silver and black luces, or pikes, a double pun on the name de Luce. “Haurient” meant simply that the pikes were standing on their fishy tails.”
“Life’s like that, too,” Aunt Felicity continued. “Too much push, and bang through the bottom one goes. Still, if one doesn’t paddle, one doesn’t get anywhere.”
“the freedom of it all—the sense of having left one’s body, but not one’s mind, behind. Unless you happened to be a bird, the body was of little use up here: You could not run or jump as you did on the ground, but only observe. In a strange way, being an aviator was like being a departed soul: You could look down upon the Earth without actually being present, see all without being seen. It was easy enough to see why God, having called the dry land “Earth” and the gathering together of the waters “the Seas,” saw that it was good.”
“Why don’t they embed the dead in blocks of plate glass and bury them in crypts beneath transparent floors? In that way, the deceased would easily be able to see God for themselves, and He to see them,”
“It was easy enough to see why God, having called the dry land "Earth" and the gathering together of the waters "the Seas," saw that it was good.
I could picture the Old Fellow lifting up the horizon like the lid of a stewing pot and peeking in with one red eye to admire His Creation: to see how it was coming along.
It was good!”
“These (all the poor Remains of State) Adorn the Rich, or praise the Great; Who while on Earth in Fame they live, Are senseless of the Fame they give. Thomas”
“What are we going to do, Dogger?” It seemed a reasonable question. After all he had been through, surely Dogger knew something of hopeless situations. “We shall wait upon tomorrow,” he said. “But—what if tomorrow is worse than today?” “Then we shall wait upon the day after tomorrow.” “And so forth?” I asked. “And so forth,” Dogger said.”
“Officially, the program was for the peaceful development of nuclear energy. The entire world knew this to be a lie, for the simple fact that Iran was blessed with massive oil and gas reserves. Economically, it made no sense to spend billions developing a nuclear program when cheap oil and gas were abundantly available. What they needed were refineries.”
“An armchair is always an armchair, to the modern child, never a ship, never a desert island. The pattern on the wall are patterns; not characters whose faces change at dusk... The trouble is, the children have no imagination. They are sweet, and have carefree, honest eyes; but they have not any magic in their day. The magic has all gone...”
“To many people, free will is a license to rebel not against what is unjust or hard in life but against what is best for them and true.”
“If you are once sure what you do want, you find that everything else goes down before it like grass under a roller—(all other interests, your own and other people’s. I had”
“I like my women in a few wisps of drapery: then I can hope for a chance to remove the wisps.”
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.