John Marsden · 276 pages
Rating: (42.7K votes)
“Some people wake up drowsy. Some people wake up energized. I wake up dead.”
“All these words, words like 'evil' and 'vicious', they meant nothing to Nature. Yes, evil was a human invention.”
“the biggest risk is to take no risk. or to take crazy risks.”
“The Bible just said ‘Thou shalt not kill’, then told hundreds of stories of people killing each other and becoming heroes, like David with Goliath.”
“Why did people call it Hell?" I wondered. [...] No place was Hell, no place could be Hell. It's the people calling it Hell, that's the only thing that made it so. People just sticking names on places, so that no one could see those places properly anymore. [...]
No, Hell wasn't anything to do with place, Hell was all to do with people. Maybe Hell was people.”
“We believed we were safe. That was the big fantasy.”
“People just sticking names on places, so that no one could see those places properly any more. Every time they looked at them or thought about them the the first thing they saw was a huge big sign saying 'Housing Commission' or 'private school' or 'church' or 'mosque' or 'synagogue'. They stopped looking once they saw those signs.”
“We'd thought that we were among the first humans to invade this basin, but humans had invaded everything, everywhere. They didn't have to walk into a place to invade it.”
“Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted.”
“At that age you think boys have as much personality as coat hangers and, you don't notice their looks.
Then you grow up.”
“Name three types of olives."
"Olives! I wouldn't know one type!"
"Well, there are three. You can get green ones, you can get black ones, or you can get stuffed.”
“It all began when... they're funny, those words. Everyone uses them, without thinking what they mean. When does anything begin? With everyone it begins when you're born. Or before that, when your parents got married. Or before that, when your parents were born. Or when your ancestors colonised the place. Or when humans came squishing out of the mud and slime, dropped off their flippers and fins, and started to walk. But all the same, all that aside, for what's happened to us there was quite a definite beginning”
“A few people would suffer, but a lot of people would be better off.'
'It's just not right,' said Kevin stubbornly.
'Maybe not. But neither's your way of looking at it. There doesn't have to be a right side and a wrong side. both sides can be right, or both sides can be wrong...”
“The biggest risk, is to take no risks”
“In the midst of death we are in life”
“So, that was Nature's way. The mosquito felt pain and panic but the dragonfly knew nothing of cruelty. Humans would call it evil, the big dragonfly destroying the mosquito and ignoring the little insects suffering. Yet humans hated mosquitoes too, calling them vicious and bloodthirsty. All these words, words like 'evil' and 'vicious', they meant nothing to Nature. Yes, evil was a human invention.”
“We'll never feel safe again, and so it's bye-bye innocence. It's been nice knowing you, but you're gone now.”
“I felt that my life was permanently damaged, that I could never be normal again, that the rest of my life would just be a shell.”
“They say teenagers can sleep all day. I often used to look at dogs and be amazed by the way they seemed to sleep for twenty hours a day. But I envied them too. It was the kind of lifestyle I could relate to.
We didn't sleep for twenty hours, but we gave it our best shot.”
“He carried Hell with him, as we all did, like a little load on our backs that we hardly noticed most of the time, or like a huge great hump of suffering that bent us over with its weight.”
“Chris says his father was born on the corner of straight and narrow...”
“It’s terribly, terribly important recording what we’ve done, in words, on paper, it’s got to be our way of telling ourselves that we mean something, that we matter. That the things we’ve done have made a difference. I don’t know how big a difference, but a difference. Writing it down means we might be remembered. And by God that matters to us. None of us wants to end up as a pile of dead white bones, unnoticed, unknown, and worst of all, with no one knowing or appreciating the risks we’ve run.”
“In this life of froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.”
“Homer was so used to being told off in his life that you might as well have told a rock off for being sedimentary,”
“Human laws, moral laws, religious laws, they seemed artificial and basic, almost childlike.”
“If the leader is a good man he will be liked and if he’s not, he won’t, and if he is a good man and a bad leader then he is better off dead.”
“How simple love would be, Younger Brother, if we only had to bestow it on those who deserved it. Yet what would it be worth? If you gave a poor man a silver coin then that would be a gift. If you expected him to pay you back, then that would make it a loan. We do not loan our love, Lantern. We give it freely.”
“It’s funny how you want to do a thing and never do it.”
“Sometimes there’s nothing worse than the truth. It can be harder and sharper and hurt more than a knife. The truth can clear a room faster than tear gas.”
“Fighting for your life is a fucking ball. As long as you didn’t get slaughtered.”
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