“He felt all at once like an ineffectual moth, fluttering at the windowpane of reality, dimly seeing it from outside.”
“I am Ubik. Before the universe was, I am. I made the suns. I made the worlds. I created the lives and the places they inhabit; I move them here, I put them there. They go as I say, then do as I tell them. I am the word and my name is never spoken, the name which no one knows. I am called Ubik, but that is not my name. I am. I shall always be.”
“We are served by organic ghosts, he thought, who, speaking and writing, pass through this our new environment. Watching, wise, physical ghosts from the full-life world, elements of which have become for us invading but agreeable splinters of a substance that pulsates like a former heart.”
“From the drawer beside the sink Joe Chip got a stainless steel knife; with it he began systematically to unscrew the bolt assembly of his apt's money-gulping door.
"I'll sue you," the door said as the first screw fell out. Joe Chip said, "I've never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live through it.”
“It did not seem possible that Wendy Wright had been born out of blood and internal organs like other people. In proximity to her he felt himself to be a squat, oily, sweating, uneducated nurt whose stomach rattled and whose breath wheezed. Near her he became aware of the physical mechanisms which kept him alive; within him machinery, pipes and valves and gas-compressors and fan belts had to chug away at a losing task, a labor ultimately doomed. Seeing her face, he discovered that his own consisted of a garish mask; noticing her body made him feel like a low-class wind-up toy.”
“Metabolism, he reflected, is a burning process, an active furnace. When it ceases to function, life is over. They must be wrong about hell, he said to himself. Hell is cold; everything there is cold. The body means weight and heat; now weight is a force which I am succumbing to, and heat, my heat, is slipping away. And, unless I become reborn, it will never return. This is the destiny of the universe. So at least I won’t be alone.”
“Perhaps your definition of your self-system lacks authentic boundaries. You've erected a precarious structure of personality on unconscious factors over which you have no control. That's why you feel threatened by me.”
“The past is latent, is submerged, but still there, capable of rising to the surface once the later imprinting unfortunately--and against ordinary experience--vanished. The man contains--not the boy--but earlier men, he thought. History began a long time ago.”
“The door refused to open. It said, "Five cents, please.”
“I’ll sue you,” the door said as the first screw fell out. Joe Chip said, “I’ve never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live through it.”
“Io sono vivo, voi siete morti”
“Las formas primitivas deben de llevar una vida residual, invisible, en cada objeto, meditó Joe. El pasado está latente, sumergido, pero sigue ahí y puede aflorar a la superficie tan pronto desaparezcan, por cualquier desafortunado motivo y contra lo que nos enseña la experiencia diaria, las características del objeto último, más tardío. El hombre no contiene al muchacho, sino a los hombres que lo precedieron. La historia empezó hace mucho.”
“Joe Chip said, ‘I’ve never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live through it.”
“One of these days," Joe said wrathfully, "people like me will rise up and overthrow you, and the end of tyranny by the homeostatic machine will have arrived. The day of human values and compassion and simple warmth will return, and when that happens someone like myself who has gone through an ordeal and who genuinely needs hot coffee to pick him up and keep him functioning when he has to function will get the hot coffee whether he happens to have a postcred readily available or not.”
“Wake up to a hearty, lip-smacking bowlful of nutritious, nourishing Ubik toasted flakes, the adult cereal that’s more crunchy, more tasty, more ummmish. Ubik breakfast cereal, the whole-bowl taste treat!”
“He could see the tall, peeling yellow building at the periphery of his range of vision. But something about it struck him as strange. A shimmer, an unsteadiness, as if the building faded forward into stability and then retreated into insubstantial uncertainty. An oscillation, each phase lasting a few seconds and then blurring off into its opposite, a fairly regular variability as if an organic pulsation underlay the structure. As if, he thought, it's alive.”
“Instant Ubik has all the fresh flavor of just-brewed drip coffee. Your husband will say, Christ, Sally, I used to think your coffee was only so-so. But now, wow! Safe when taken as directed.”
“But the longing within him had grown even greater, the overpowering need to be alone. Locked in an empty room, entirely unwitnessed, silent and supine. Stretched out, not needing to speak, not needing to move. Not required to cope with anyone or any problem. And no one will even know where I am, he told himself. That seemed, unaccountably, very important; he wanted to be unknown and invisible, to live unseen.”
“The door refused to open. It said, “Five cents, please.”
He searched his pockets. No more coins; nothing. “I’ll pay you tomorrow,” he told the door. Again he tried the knob. Again it remained locked tight. “What I pay you,” he informed it, “is in the nature of a gratuity; I don’t have to pay you.”
“I think otherwise,” the door said. “Look in the purchase contract you signed when you bought this conapt.”
In his desk drawer he found the contract; since signing it he had found it necessary to refer to the document many times. Sure enough; payment to his door for opening and shutting constituted a mandatory fee. Not a tip.
“You discover I’m right,” the door said. It sounded smug.
From the drawer beside the sink Joe Chip got a stainless steel knife; with it he began systematically to unscrew the bolt assembly of his apt’s money-gulping door.
“I’ll sue you,” the door said as the first screw fell out.
Joe Chip said, “I’ve never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live through it.”
“Ubik ... Safe when taken as directed.”
“Near her he became aware of the physical mechanisms which kept him alive; within him machinery, pipes and valves and gas-compressors and fan belts had to chug away at a losing task, a labor ultimately doomed.”
“Il passato è latente, è sommerso, ma è ancora lì, in grado di riaffiorare in superficie una volta che lo stampo più tardo sia malauguratamente - e contro l'esperienza ordinaria - scomparso. L'uomo contiene - non il ragazzo - ma gli uomini precedenti, pensò. La storia è cominciata molto tempo fa.
I resti disidratati di Wendy. La progressione di forme che si verifica normalmente... quella progressione era cessata. E l'ultima forma si era consumata, senza nulla che la sostituisse; nessuna nuova forma, nessuno stadio successivo di ciò che ci appare come un processo di crescita, aveva preso il suo posto. Dev'essere questo che si prova nella vecchiaia; da questa assenza vengono degenerazione e senilità. Solo che in questo caso è accaduto tutto in una volta, nell'arco di poche ore.”
“Everything is destined to reappear as simulation. Landscapes as photography, woman as the sexual scenario, thoughts as writing, terrorism as fashion and the media, events as television. Things seem only to exist by virtue of this strange destiny. You wonder whether the world itself isn’t just here to serve as advertising copy in some other world.’ Jean Baudrillard,”
“You know that recent Supreme Court ruling where a husband can legally murder his wife if he can prove she wouldn’t under any circumstances give him a divorce?”
“Emptiness. He saw no one, only a large chamber with pewlike rows of seats and, at the far end, a casket surrounded by flowers. Off in a small sideroom an old-fashioned reed pump organ and a few wooden folding chairs. The mortuary smelled of dust and flowers, a sweet, stale mixture that repelled him. Think of all the Iowans, the thought, who've embraced eternity in this listless room.”
“Pat said, “I’m living with Joe. I’m his mistress. Under our arrangement I pay his bills. I paid his front door, this morning, to let him out. Without me he’d still be in his conapt.”
“strictly speaking, the ability to travel through time . . . for instance, she can’t go into the future. In a certain sense, she can’t go into the past either; what she does, as near as I can comprehend it, is start a counter-process that uncovers the prior stages inherent in configurations of matter. But”
“He didn’t just know there would be personal computers. He knew they would crash, that the people who came to fix them would charge heavily by the hour, and be annoying, and no good, and in the end would just tell you to buy a new and more expensive machine –”
“There are celebrated literary lions who’ve won Pulitzers and Booker prizes for ideas that Dick would toss aside in an early chapter, but … oh, what’s the use. You evidently already know the score, because you’re reading this.”
“It is the Master who comes to the door of his student when the student is ready and the Master knows all the truth of his student”
“She knew the difference between fact and fiction, but she couldn’t abandon her love stories.”
“I mean, d'you know what eternity is? There's this big mountain, see, a mile high, at the end of the universe, and once every thousand years there's this little bird-"
"What little bird?" said Aziraphale suspiciously.
"This little bird I'm talking about. And every thousand years-"
"The same bird every thousand years?"
Crowley hesitated. "Yeah," he said.
"Bloody ancient bird, then."
"Okay. And every thousand years this bird flies-"
"-flies all the way to this mountain and sharpens its beak-"
"Hold on. You can't do that. Between here and the end of the universe there's loads of-" The angel waved a hand expansively, if a little unsteadily. "Loads of buggerall, dear boy."
"But it gets there anyway," Crowley persevered.
"It doesn't matter!"
"It could use a space ship," said the angel.
Crowley subsided a bit. "Yeah," he said. "If you like. Anyway, this bird-"
"Only it is the end of the universe we're talking about," said Aziraphale. "So it'd have to be one of those space ships where your descendants are the ones who get out at the other end. You have to tell your descendants, you say, When you get to the Mountain, you've got to-" He hesitated. "What have
they got to do?"
"Sharpen its beak on the mountain," said Crowley. "And then it flies back-"
"-in the space ship-"
"And after a thousand years it goes and does it all again," said Crowley quickly.
There was a moment of drunken silence.
"Seems a lot of effort just to sharpen a beak," mused Aziraphale.
"Listen," said Crowley urgently, "the point is that when the bird has worn the mountain down to nothing, right, then-"
Aziraphale opened his mouth. Crowley just knew he was going to make some point about the relative hardness of birds' beaks and granite mountains, and plunged on quickly.
"-then you still won't have finished watching The Sound of Music."
"And you'll enjoy it," Crowley said relentlessly. "You really will."
"My dear boy-"
"You won't have a choice."
"Heaven has no taste."
"And not one single sushi restaurant."
A look of pain crossed the angel's suddenly very serious face.”
“What good are laws that cannot be read or understood, or a tongue that spews only hatred or ignorance? What good is the written word to an illiterate man?”
“yourself. You will pray then for enlightenment, that through gnosis you will remember the nature of your own eternal promise. Embrace now the fourth petal, which is to say the petal of ABUNDANCE, and pray, Give us this day our daily bread, the manna. Give thanks to the Lord for all he has provided you and know that when you live in harmony with his will, and honor your promise to his service, you will know the bounty of abundance and never have a day of want. There is nothing that you need or desire that will not be provided you when you live in the flow of God’s grace, and when you have aligned yourself with God’s will. Embrace the fifth petal, which is to say the”
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.