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Favorite Lines in a book

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Rookie Scribe
Stories Space Logo 0 likes 8 years ago
Well all have to have a favorite line or passage from a book. You know, that one line that really hits you and knocks you back with its prose or depth. Share it here.

I know mine in an instant. I've written in randomly on school chalkboards just because I've memorized it at this point.

"The black shape of it running from dark to dark. Then a distant low rumble. Not thunder. You could feel it under your feet. A sound without cognate and so without description. Something imponderable shifting out there in the dark. The earth itself contracting with the cold. It did not come again. What time of year? What age the child? … The silence. The salitter drying from the earth. The mudstained shapes of flooded cities burned to the waterline. At the crossroads a ground set with dolmen stones where the spoken bones of oracles lay moldering. No sound but the wind. What will you say? A living man spoke these lines? He sharpened a quill with his small pen knife to scribe these things in sloe or lampblack? At some reckonable and entabled moment. He is coming to steal my eyes. To seal my mouth with dirt." --Cormac McCarthy, The Road

It's just so incredibly written. Some of those words don't even technically exist anymore (salitter, which roughly means "the essence of God"). McCarthy is an absolute genius, the true master of our time.
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Stories Space Logo 0 likes 8 years ago
Here's one of my favorites, from The Thorn Birds:

“There is a legend about a bird which sings only once in its life, more beautifully than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves its nest, it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, it impales its breast on the longest, sharpest thorn. But as it is dying, it rises above its own agony to outsing the Lark and the Nightingale. The Thornbird pays its life for that one song, and the whole world stills to listen, and God in his heaven smiles, as its best is brought only at the cost of great pain; Driven to the thorn with no knowledge of the dying to come. But when we press the thorn to our breast, we know, we understand.... and still, we do it. Still we do it."
― Colleen McCullough, The Thorn Birds
“Play the sunset."
― Mr. Holland (played by Richard Dreyfuss) on "Mr. Holland's Opus"

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Stories Space Logo 0 likes 8 years ago
"What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? In a dirty sump or in a marble tower on top of a high hill. You were dead, you were sleeping the big sleep, you were not bothered by things like that. Oil and water were the same as wind and air to you. You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell. Me, I was part of the nastiness now."

Raymond Chandler
"The Big Sleep"
(Chapter 32)

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Stories Space Logo 0 likes 7 years ago
None of them knew the color of the sky.
~The Open Boat, by Stephen Crane

It is the absolutely best opening line ever--simple and filled with implication. It is the whole point of the short story, but you don't know it until you have had time to meditate on the story. My theory on writing is "keep it simple". This is an excellent example. Opening lines are always the hardest to write.
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Rookie Scribe
Stories Space Logo 0 likes 5 years ago
people died,people leave,and things change.
Primus Omnium
Stories Space Logo 0 likes 5 years ago
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
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“Maybe they know what I know, that the true way to a man's heart is six inches of metal between his ribs. Sometimes four inches will do the job, but to be really sure, I like to have six.
Funny how phallic objects are always more useful the bigger they are. Anyone who tells you size doesn't matter has been seeing too many small knives.”
― Laurell K. Hamilton, Narcissus in Chains
You can't get there from here, because when you get there you're still here and here is now there.
Advanced Wordsmith
Stories Space Logo 0 likes 5 years ago
Quote by LarryFNigh
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.


I love this line too, Larry!



"Pain demands to be felt."

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
LIVE every moment.
LOVE beyond words.
LAUGH everyday.
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Stories Space Logo 0 likes 5 years ago
Wander, wander
wandering,
meandering,

~ Danielle Steel, Wonderlust

Actually this is a part of an opening poem.

RuNe'S DooDLiNG iN THe SaNDS

My wandering crazy mind is just doodling in the sands ~ RuNe
Advanced Wordsmith
Stories Space Logo 0 likes 4 years ago
"Isn't it pretty to think so." The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway

"Timshell." -East of Eden, Steinbeck

"The outcome of succesfull planning always looks like luck to saps." The Continental Op, Hammett
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Stories Space Logo 0 likes 4 years ago
Submitted for your consideration:


If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

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Stories Space Logo 0 likes 4 years ago
Last line of Gone with the Wind
" After all... tomorrow is another day"

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."
– Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca
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Stories Space Logo 0 likes 4 years ago
Quote by elizabethblack
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."
– Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca


Why am I not surprised? You are just smitten by Olivier’s smouldering charm

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12
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Stories Space Logo 0 likes 4 years ago
“The line of the horizon was clear and hard against the sky, and in one particular quarter it showed black against a silvery climbing phosphorescence that grew and grew. At last, over the rim of the waiting earth the moon lifted with slow majesty till it swung clear of the horizon and rode off, free of moorings; and once more they began to see surfaces—meadows wide-spread, and quiet gardens, and the river itself from bank to bank, all softly disclosed, all washed clean of mystery and terror, all radiant again as by day, but with a difference that was tremendous. Their old haunts greeted them again in other raiment, as if they had slipped away and put on this pure new apparel and come quietly back, smiling as they shyly waited to see if they would be recognised again under it.”

From The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame - Ch. The piper at the gates of dawn.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12
Advanced Wordsmith
Stories Space Logo 0 likes 4 years ago
“Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks, restaurants and whore houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flophouses. Its inhabitant are, as the man once said, "whores, pimps, gambler and sons of bitches," by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, "Saints and angels and martyrs and holymen" and he would have meant the same thing.”

John Steinbeck, Cannery Row
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“A dimwit thinks nothing is funny unless it's mean.”
― Stephen King, The Green Mile
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Stories Space Logo 0 likes 4 years ago
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain - "You don't know about me without you have read a book called 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,' but that ain't no matter."
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Stories Space Logo 0 likes 4 years ago
The Children Of Men
Author: P.D. James
"We can experience nothing but the present moment, live in no other second of time, and to understand this is as close as we can get to eternal life."
Primus Omnium
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“The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face. Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon you; laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly kind companion; and so let all young persons take their choice.”
― William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair
Advanced Wordsmith
Stories Space Logo 0 likes 4 years ago
Okay, so this is not a novel or book, per se...

“Then make Charley your father, Biff. You can’t do that, can you? I don’t say he’s a great man. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He’s not the finest character that ever lived. But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must be finally paid to such a person.”

Miller, Death of a Salesman
Advanced Wordsmith
Stories Space Logo 0 likes 4 years ago
Today, the winds are blowing and this seems most appropriate...

"There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Ana's that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks."

- Raymond Chandler
Story Moderator
Stories Space Logo 0 likes 4 years ago
Reg, imo, one cannot go wrong quoting lines by John Steinbeck or Raymond Chandler. ;)

After reading this opening sentence there can be no doubt a good time awaits the reader.

‘On this particular Thursday, something was moving quietly through the ionosphere many miles above the surface of the planet; several somethings in fact, several dozen huge yellow chunky slablike somethings, huge as office blocks, silent as birds.’

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams)

Primus Omnium
Stories Space Logo 0 likes 4 years ago
Quote by Rumple_deWriter
Reg, imo, one cannot go wrong quoting lines by John Steinbeck or Raymond Chandler. ;)





I wrote my Master's Thesis in Geography using the geography used in Raymond Chandler's entire body of works.

"The free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for it is the one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost."

JOHN STEINBECK, East of Eden
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Stories Space Logo 0 likes 4 years ago
This thread is too much fun to let it wither away.

The following one-sentence opening to, " The Violent Bear It Away", by, Flannery O’Connor, has always left me in writerly awe.

"FRANCIS MARION TARWATER'S uncle had been dead for only half-a-day when the boy got too drunk to finish digging his grave and a Negro named Buford Munson, who had come to get a jug filled, had to finish it and drag the body from the breakfast table where it was still sitting and bury it in a decent and Christian way, with the sign of its Saviour at the head of the grave and enough dirt on top to keep the dogs from digging it up."

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“How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?”
― Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
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“A man may debar nonsense from his library of reason, but not from the arena of his impulses.”
― Rex Stout, The League of Frightened Men

“I try to know what I need to know. I make sure to know what I want to know.”
― Rex Stout, Please Pass the Guilt

“Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth.”
― Rex Stout, The Red Box
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Stories Space Logo 0 likes 3 years ago
“When a woman looks upon one’s scars with wonder, and sees not the glory of battles won, but sheds tears for the pain of injury suffered, then is love born. When she pities a man’s history and wishes away his past troubles with present comforts, then is love awakened. When that which makes a warrior hard is met with beauty offered most tender, then can he find love.”

Christopher Moore “The Serpent of Venice”
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Stories Space Logo 0 likes 3 years ago
Carefully replying, I seem to be able to


The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Junius