Quotes from While I Live

John Marsden ·  304 pages

Rating: (6.1K votes)


“Don't treat people as you think they are, treat them as you think they are capable of becoming.”
― John Marsden, quote from While I Live


“Dad always said there were three types of workers. The ones who stood there saying "Is there anything I can do " and did nothing. Most of our city guests were like that. The ones who said "Tell me what you want done and I'll do it" and did. Most of our workers over the years had been like that. And the ones who didn't say anything but were always a jump or two ahead of you. When you were changing a flat tyre and you took the old one off and turned to pick up the new one they'd already have it in their hands and they'd move in and put it on from your left while you were still turning round to the right.
Dad reckoned one of those was worth two or the second type and five of the first type.”
― John Marsden, quote from While I Live


“I really believe that our stories make us who we are. I don't think people are born as empty shells. They already have the makings of a personality and they have intelligence. But from the moment they're born and maybe before that they start accumulating stories and it's those stories that have the biggest effect on them.”
― John Marsden, quote from While I Live


“There's nothing lonelier than grief. Sometimes I wanted to cry out to them all in the middle of History "Please please look at me help me can't you see how unhappy I am?"

But what would have happened? They would have gathered round making soothing noises helping me out of the room maybe offering me tissues...and none of that would touch the deep dark ocean that circled silently inside. They could not see it touch it stop it. I didn't know any way to do that.”
― John Marsden, quote from While I Live


“You're the most important person in my life," I said.
He didn't say anything.
"You're my brother," I said.
He didn't say anything.
"I love you, you little ratbag," I said.
He smiled, snuggled down in the bed, and closed his eyes.”
― John Marsden, quote from While I Live



“I wondered how long an adult could talk to a kid without using the word "but." About forty seconds'd be the record for most of them and that's on a good day.”
― John Marsden, quote from While I Live


“The only real enemy humans have is death. Every other enemy like a kid who slags you off at school or a cop who pulls you over you think they're enemies but they're not really. They're just I don't know irritations. But death that's the serious one because you know he'll win eventually. And that makes you like you've got to try to beat him. The bigger the challenge the harder you try. That's true of anything. In a way our enemies aren't these soldiers themselves our enemy is death and the soldiers are just his little local representatives." -Homer”
― John Marsden, quote from While I Live


“I knew I was breaking about a dozen laws but I guess I had different attitudes to stuff like that since the war. Laws were for the stupid the immature the irresponsible. The inflexible and the narrow-minded. The prejudiced. The obsessive. The lazy and careless and selfish and spoilt. The violent.”
― John Marsden, quote from While I Live


About the author

John Marsden
Born place: in Australia
Born date September 27, 1950
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