“Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed. It is all part of the fairy tale.”
“Real magic can never be made by offering someone else's liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back.”
“We are not always what we seem, and hardly ever what we dream.”
“The true secret in being a hero lies in knowing the order of things. The swineherd cannot already be wed to the princess when he embarks on his adventures, nor can the boy knock on the witch's door when she is already away on vacation. The wicked uncle cannot be found out and foiled before he does something wicked. Things must happen when it is time for them to happen. Quests may not simply be abandoned; prophecies may not be left to rot like unpicked fruit; unicorns may go unrescued for a very long time, but not forever. The happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story.”
“When I was alive, I believed — as you do — that time was at least as real and solid as myself, and probably more so. I said 'one o'clock' as though I could see it, and 'Monday' as though I could find it on the map; and I let myself be hurried along from minute to minute, day to day, year to year, as though I were actually moving from one place to another. Like everyone else, I lived in a house bricked up with seconds and minutes, weekends and New Year's Days, and I never went outside until I died, because there was no other door. Now I know that I could have walked through the walls. (...) You can strike your own time, and start the count anywhere. When you understand that — then any time at all will be the right time for you.”
“Your name is a golden bell hung in my heart. I would break my body to pieces to call you once by your name.”
“I am what I am. I would tell you what you want to know if I could, for you have been kind to me. But I am a cat, and no cat anywhere ever gave anyone a straight answer.”
“I am no king, and I am no lord,
And I am no soldier at-arms," said he.
"I'm none but a harper, and a very poor harper,
That am come hither to wed with ye."
"If you were a lord, you should be my lord,
And the same if you were a thief," said she.
"And if you are a harper, you shall be my harper,
For it makes no matter to me, to me,
For it makes no matter to me."
"But what if it prove that I am no harper?
That I lied for your love most monstrously?"
"Why, then I'll teach you to play and sing,
For I dearly love a good harp," said she.”
“It’s a rare man who is taken for what he truly is.”
“I have been mortal, and some part of me is mortal yet. I am full of tears and hunger and the fear of death, although I cannot weep, and I want nothing, and I cannot die. I am not like the others now, for no unicorn was ever born who could regret, but I do. I regret.”
“As for you and your heart and the things you said and didn't say, she will remember them all when men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits.”
“Marveling at his own boldness, he said softly, "I would enter your sleep if I could, and guard you there, and slay the thing that hounds you, as I would if it had the courage to face me in fair daylight. But I cannot come in unless you dream of me.”
“Take me with you. For laughs, for luck, for the unknown. Take me with you.”
“The magician stood erect, menacing the attackers with demons, metamorphoses, paralyzing ailments, and secret judo holds. Molly picked up a rock.”
“You were the one who taught me," he said. "I never looked at you without seeing the sweetness of the way the world goes together, or without sorrow for its spoiling. I became a hero to serve you, and all that is like you.”
“I think love is stronger than habits or circumstances. I think it is possible to keep yourself for someone for a long time and still remember why you were waiting when she comes at last.”
“Where have you been?" she cried. "Damn you, where have you been?" She took a few steps toward Schmendrick, but she was looking beyond him, at the unicorn.
When she tried to get by, the magician stood in her way. "You don't talk like that," he told her, still uncertain that Molly had recognized the unicorn. "Don't you know how to behave, woman? You don't curtsy, either."
But Molly pushed him aside and went up to the unicorn, scolding her as though she were a strayed milk cow. "Where have you been?" Before the whiteness and the shining horn, Molly shrank to a shrilling beetle, but this time it was the unicorn's old dark eyes that looked down.
"I am here now," she said at last.
Molly laughed with her lips flat. "And what good is it to me that you're here now? Where where you twenty years ago, ten years ago? How dare you, how dare you come to me now, when I am this?" With a flap of her hand she summed herself up: barren face, desert eyes, and yellowing heart. "I wish you had never come. Why did you come now?" The tears began to slide down the sides of her nose.
The unicorn made no reply, and Schmendrick said, "She is the last. She is the last unicorn in the world."
"She would be." Molly sniffed. "It would be the last unicorn in the world to come to Molly Grue." She reached up then to lay her hand on the unicorn's cheek; but both of them flinched a little, and the touch came to rest on on the swift, shivering place under the jaw. Molly said, "It's all right. I forgive you.”
“Her voice left a flavor of honey and gunpowder on the air.”
“I love whom I love," Prince Lir repeated firmly. "You have no power over anything that matters.”
“Then what is magic for?" Prince Lír demanded wildly. "What use is wizardry if it cannot save a unicorn?" He gripped the magician's shoulder hard, to keep from falling.
Schmedrick did not turn his head. With a touch of sad mockery in his voice, he said, "That's what heroes are for.”
“The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. She was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the careless color of sea foam but rather the color of snow falling on a moonlit night. But her eyes were still clear and unwearied, and she still moved like a shadow on the sea.”
“She will remember your heart when men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits.”
“Heroes know that things must happen when it is time for them to happen. A quest may not simply be abandoned; unicorns may go unrescued for a long time, but not forever; a happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story.”
“I think that love is stronger than habits or circumstances. I think it is possible to keep yourself for someone for a long time, and still remember why you were waiting when she comes at last.... I would enter your sleep if I could, and guard you there, and slay the thing that hounds you, as I would if it had the courage to face me in fair daylight. But I cannot come in unless you dream of me.”
“Sparrows and cats will live in my shoe,
Sooner than I will live with you.
Fish will come walking out of the sea,
Sooner than you will come back to me.”
“Ah, love may be strong, but a habit is stronger,
And I knew when I loved by the way I behaved.”
“...no cat out of its first fur can ever be deceived by appearances. Unlike human beings, who enjoy them.”
“The most professional curse ever snarled or croaked or thundered can have no effect on a pure heart.”
“A rhinoceros is as ugly as a human being, and it too is going to die, but at least it never thinks that it is beautiful.”
“Try your hardest to combat atrophy and routine. To question The Obvious and the given is an essential element of the maxim 'de omnius dubitandum' [All is to be doubted].”
“She's made herself so artificial; it's okay to wear next to nothing because we aren't real people any longer.”
“Here’s the thing about baseball-it’s not the individual sport I thought it was. Turns out I was wrong about that.
Yeah, the batter is a lone man against the world. He stands in the batter’s box like a soldier and it’s up to him-and him alone-what happens next.
But here’s the thing I didn’t understand until I was forced to, until recently: In order to hit a home run…
Someone else has to pitch the ball.”
“He said souls can be just as bloody and torn up as bodies can. He called it the other kind of violence.”
“We came across a rucksack, wedged in among the coral. It was fastened up, but it seemed to have been invaded by some weird fluffy white sea creature that was trying to get out.
“What’s that?” said Arnie, poking it.
Miranda and I took a second look, and started to giggle. “It’s tampons,” I said. “Expanding widthways when wet—”
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 2023, 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.