18+ quotes from The Russia House by John le Carré

Quotes from The Russia House

John le Carré ·  368 pages

Rating: (19.5K votes)


“She's become a Russian again, he thought. When something works, she's grateful. When it doesn't work, it's life.”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“When a problem threatens to engulf you, there's nothing like irrelevant detail to keep your head above water.”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“... in moments of crisis our thoughts do not run consecutively but rather sweep over us in waves or intuition and experience ...”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“There's no way out," he announced with satisfaction, "and no amount of wishful dreaming will produce one. The demon won't go back in its bottle, the face-off is for ever, the embrace gets tighter and the toys cleverer with every generation, and there's no such thing for either side as enough security. Not for the main players, not for the nasty little newcomers who each year run themselves up a suitcase bomb and join the club. We get tired of believing that, because we're human. We may even con ourselves into believing the threat has gone away. It never will. Never, never, never."

"So, who'll save us then, Walt?" Barley asked. "You and Nedsky?"

"Vanity, if anything will, which I doubt," Walter retorted. "No leader wants to go down in history as the ass who destroyed his country in an afternoon. And funk, I suppose. Most of our gallant politicians do have a narcissistic objection to suicide, thank God.”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“For a long moment, while Brock stood off observing them, Ned and Barley appraised one another as only Englishmen can who are of the same height and class and shape of head.”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“Todd and Larry were Quinn’s people. They were clean-limbed and pretty and, for a man of my age, ludicrously youthful.”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“Some men will never be heroes, some heroes will never be men, he thought, with urgent acknowledgements to Joseph Conrad.”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“CIA Interrogator:
Have you ever met any jazz musicians you would describe, or who would describe themselves, as anarchists?

Bartholomew 'Barley' Scott Blair:
Hmmm... ah, there was a trombone player, Wilfred Baker.

Bartholomew 'Barley' Scott Blair:
He's the only jazz musician I can think of who is completely devoid of anarchist tendencies.”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“There was only now [ ... ] There was no tomorrow because tomorrow was the excuse. There was now or there was nowhere.”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“Merridew might not have been the slenderest of men or the tallest. But he had grip, he had cunning and like many fat men he had unexpected resources of indignation which he was able to turn on like a flood when they were needed.”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“si les Américains s'étaient donné autant de mal pour le désarmement que pour envoyer un pauvre type sur la lune, ou coller des rayures roses dans le dentifrice, on l'aurait depuis longtemps, le désarmement. (...) le plus grand péché de l'Occident était de croire qu'il pouvait foutre en l'air le système soviétique par une surenchère dans la course aux armements, parce que dans ce cas-là, on jouait avec le destin de l'humanité. Et qu'en mettant sabre au clair, l'Ouest avait fourni un bon prétexte aux dirigeants soviétiques pour garder leur rideau baissé et instituer un État militaire. (chapitre 4)”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“si quelque chose peut nous sauver, ce dont je doute, ce sera la vanité (...) aucun chef d'état ne souhaite passer à la postérité comme étant le taré qui a anéanti son pays en un après-midi. Et puis la trouille, peut-être. Dieu soit loué! la plupart de nos beaux politiciens ont une aversion narcissique pour l'auto-destruction. (chapitre 5)”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“Les experts sont des fanatiques. Ils ne résolvent rien! Ils sont à la solde du système qui les emploie. Ils le perpétuent. Quand nous nous ferons torturer, ce sera par des experts. Quand nous serons pendus, ce sera par des experts. (...) Quand le monde sera détruit, ce ne sera pas par des fous, mais par de sages experts et par l'ignorance incommensurable des bureaucrates. (chapitre 10)”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“Her palm was broad and strong and dry. Its nakedness against his own was like the gift of her entire body.”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“The Soviet Knight is dying inside his armour. He is a secondary power like you British. He can start a war but cannot continue one and cannot win one. Believe me.”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“he was proud of having thrown caution”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“É caminhando que aprendo o rumo do meu caminho”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


“What's it got to do with you and the CIA whether I came here with a woman or a Muscovy duck?”
― John le Carré, quote from The Russia House


About the author

John le Carré
Born place: in Poole, Dorset, England, The United Kingdom
Born date October 19, 1931
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