Quotes from The Last Good Man

480 pages

Rating: (1.8K votes)


“I think about something I once heard on the radio. About Abraham and Isaac."
"I was afraid you'd say something like that."
"You asked."
"So what about them? I don't really know much about that kind of stuff."
"There was a pastor on the radio who said nobody should ever preach that story. Do you remember how it goes? God tells Abraham that he has to sacrifice his son to prove his faith."
"I agree with the pastor. It sounds like a sick story. Ban that shit."
"But isn't that exactly what we do? Send young men off to a war in the desert and ask them to sacrifice themselves for a belief?”
― quote from The Last Good Man


“Right now there's a commonly-held view among scientists that we know about only four percent of all the matter in the universe. Four percent!"
"So what about the other 96 percent?"
"We astrophysicists call it 'dark matter' and 'dark energy.' Maybe we should just call it ignorance. There's so much that we don't know. It's shocking how little we know. And yet we behave like little gods who think we're in control of everything. Like kids with delusions of grandeur. Isn't that what we've made ourselves into? It's as if we're trying to make ourselves believe that four percent is all there is. That everything else, all that we don't know, doesn't exist. But it does. We know it's there; we just don't understand it.”
― quote from The Last Good Man


“The biggest mistake we can make is to think that we've figured the whole thing out. The people I know who are the greatest skeptics, who are least certain about how the world and the universe works, are also the most intelligent.... Absolute certainty is only for stupid people. It requires a certain intelligence for us to realize how little we actually know.”
― quote from The Last Good Man


“You're only two handshakes away from evil.... Maybe it's the same thing with goodness. We're never far from what's good.... It doesn't seem like such a far-fetched idea that it takes only 36 people to keep evil at bay. Just remember that all of the upheavals in world history, both good and bad, were initiated by individuals.”
― quote from The Last Good Man


“Niels remembered all too well the telex machine that had received updates and warnings from Interpol's headquarters in Lyon. The telex machine had run nonstop. The monotonous sound of the mechanical printer reminded them that the world was a fucked-up place. If anyone wanted a brief, concentrated look into the world's misery, all he had to do was spend 20 minutes in front of the humming machine: serial killers, drug smuggling, women kidnapped for prostitution, cross-border traffic with stolen children, illegal immigration, enriched uranium.... You could get a headache simply from standing in front of the fax machine. It made you want to scream and run away; to jump into the sea and wish that life had never crawled up out of the water, that the dinosaurs still dominated the earth.”
― quote from The Last Good Man



“I like the idea of it. Just look at the world around you. Wars, terror, starvation, poverty, disease. Take the Middle East conflict, for example. An area on earth that contains so much hatred, so many frustrations, that a bomber is always lurking around the next corner, and where checkpoints and walls have become a permanent part of daily life. When I look at such a world from here in my little Danish ivory tower, it's a very appealing idea that there might exist at least--at the very least--36 righteous people on this earth. Small human pillars to ensure that we maintain a minimum of kindness and righteousness.”
― quote from The Last Good Man


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“What is going on with you, Rev?”

He rubs his eyes. “I don’t know. I’m just tired.”

I think of how he sat in the hospital with me, saying nothing. His silence was more supportive than anything he could have said.

I don’t know how to do that in return. Maybe I can offer something else, though. I pull out my phone and do a quick search, then turn it around and slide it across the bed.

He doesn’t reach for it. “Did she send more?”

“No. It’s a poem I had to read for English. Read it.”

He looks up, and the expression on his face is exactly the one I’d wear if he suddenly said, Hey bro, read this poem. “What?”

“Just read it. I think you’ll like it.”
― Brigid Kemmerer, quote from Letters to the Lost


“Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.”
― Paulo Coelho, quote from Alkimist


“What has our culture lost in 1980 that the avant-garde had in 1890? Ebullience, idealism, confidence, the belief that there was plenty of territory to explore, and above all the sense that art, in the most disinterested and noble way, could find the necessary metaphors by which a radically changing culture could be explained to its inhabitants.”
― Robert Hughes, quote from The Shock of the New


“In breve, e come sempre, in Shakespeare un lettore attento può trovare sostegno per quasi qualsiasi posizione voglia prendere. (O come lo stesso Shakespeare ha scritto in una battuta citata spesso a sproposito: «Il diavolo può citare le Sacre Scritture per i propri fini».)”
― Bill Bryson, quote from Shakespeare: The World as Stage


“Hmm…’ Ciri bit her lower lip, then leaned over and put her eye closer to the hole. ‘Madam Yennefer is standing by a willow… She’s plucking leaves and playing with her star. She isn’t saying anything and isn’t even looking at Geralt… And Geralt’s standing beside her. He’s looking down and he’s saying something. No, he isn’t. Oh, he’s pulling a face… What a strange expression…’ ‘Childishly simple,’ said Dandelion, finding an apple in the grass, wiping it on his trousers and examining it critically. ‘He’s asking her to forgive him for his various foolish words and deeds. He’s apologising to her for his impatience, for his lack of faith and hope, for his obstinacy, doggedness. For his sulking and posing; which are unworthy of a man. He’s apologising to her for things he didn’t understand and for things he hadn’t wanted to understand—’ ‘That’s the falsest lie!’ said Ciri, straightening up and tossing the fringe away from her forehead with a sudden movement. ‘You’re making it all up!’ ‘He’s apologising for things he’s only now understood,’ said Dandelion, staring at the sky, and he began to speak with the rhythm of a balladeer. ‘For what he’d like to understand, but is afraid he won’t have time for… And for what he will never understand. He’s apologising and asking for forgiveness… Hmm, hmm… Meaning, conscience, destiny? Everything’s so bloody banal…’ ‘That’s not true!’ Ciri stamped. ‘Geralt isn’t saying anything like that! He’s not even speaking. I saw for myself. He’s standing with her and saying nothing…’ ‘That’s the role of poetry, Ciri. To say what others cannot utter.’ ‘It’s a stupid role. And you’re making everything up!’ ‘That is also the role of poetry. Hey, I hear some raised voices coming from the pond. Have a quick look, and see what’s happening there.’ ‘Geralt,’ said Ciri, putting her eye once more to the hole in the wall, ‘is standing with his head bowed. And Yennefer’s yelling at him. She’s screaming and waving her arms. Oh dear… What can it mean?’ ‘It’s childishly simple.’ Dandelion stared at the clouds scudding across the sky. ‘Now she’s saying sorry to him.”
― Andrzej Sapkowski, quote from Time of Contempt


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