PDA

View Full Version : GOOD Excerpts from what you are reading



wheelchairman
03-10-2006, 11:55 PM
I thought it would be interesting to get a taste for what people liked from what they are reading. So I want your chosen excerpt to be something you like, and if not originally in English, I want it translated.

This comes from The Cider House Rules, by John Irving

Once, with a body open on the table, Larch pointed dramatically to a smooth, maroon shape beneath the rib cage and above the belly's viscera; it looked like a three-pound loaf of bread, or a slug with two great lobes. "Look!" Larch whispered. "You rarely see it, but we've caught it napping. Look quickly before it moves!" The nurses gaped. "The soul," Larch whispered reverentially. In fact, it was the body's largest gland, empowered with skills also ascribed to the soul-for example, it could regenerate its own abused cells. It was the liver, which Larch thought more of than he thought of the soul.


In hindsight I'm not sure how good this thread is. This passage was much better in context.

T-6005
03-11-2006, 12:00 AM
"It was a pleasure to burn.

It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down to tatters and charcoal ruins of history. With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his stolid head and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flickered the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He strode in a swarm of fireflies."

This isn't what I'm reading until tomorrow. I've decided to read it again, just because I fucking love Fahrenheit 451 and all of Bradbury's early work.

TheUnholyNightbringer
03-11-2006, 12:03 AM
Bill Bryson's The Lost Continent.


I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.

When you come from Des Moines you either accept the fact without question and settle down with a local girl named Bobbi and get a job at the Firestone factory and live there for ever and ever, or you spend your adolescence moaning at length about wha ta dump it is and how you can't wait to get out, and then you settle down with a local girl named Bobbi and get a job at the Firestone factory and live there for ever and ever.

Hardly anyone ever leaves. This is because Des Moines is the most powerful hypnotic known to man. Outside town there is a big sign that says "Welcome to Des Moines. This is what death is like." There isn't really. I just made that up. But the place does get a grip on you. People who have nothing to do with Des Moines drive in off the interstate, looking for gas or hamburgers, and stay for ever. There's a New Jersey couple up the street from my parents' house whom you see wandering around from time to time looking strangely serene. Everybody in Des Moines is strangely serene.

Vera
03-11-2006, 03:54 AM
"Uskonnot maailmassa" (Religions In the World) by Juha & Katja Pentikäinen (editors):


Circumcision
The Quran does not give orders concerning circumcision. It is, however, a sunna of a prophet (or the prophet) and because of that, a general practise. The time of the circumcision has not been ordered; it can be done on a week old boy or later whenever, usually before puberty. Circumcision is celebrated commonly among family and neighbors. The female circumcision has a very weak support in the Hadith Literature, but on some areas, especially Sudan and Somalia, it is a country tradition.

"Intian kulttuuri" (The Culture of India) by Asko Parpola (editor):


The question about the pre-history of Indo-Aryan, Iranian and Indo-European languages has been politically charged for a very long time. When religion historian Max Müller claimed around the year 1850 based on comparitive linguistics that Hindus, as the heir of the ancient Veda-religion, are the Europeans' "big brothers", British rulers and Christian missionaries were not happy at all.

"Markus og Sigmund" (Markus and Sigmund) by Klaus Hagerup:


Now Markus was sure that Sigmund was less than completely healthy. He decided to treat him carefully.

"When you invite a guest in your home," he said slowly, "you usually know, whether it's a boy or a girl. You notice that rather quickly when getting to know people."

"Not if you met them on the internet."

(It's a Scandinavian children's/young adults' book. I read way too many of those. I love them!)

Sin Studly
03-11-2006, 04:00 AM
"What soon gave me cause for very serious consideration were the activities of the Jews in certain branches of life, into the mystery of which I penetrated little by little. Was there any shady undertaking, any form of foulness, especially in cultural life, in which at least one Arab did not participate? On putting the probing knife carefully to that kind of abscess one immediately discovered, like a maggot in a putrescent body, a little Arab who was often blinded by the sudden light."


"Jewish-Austria must be restored to the great Jewish Motherland. And not indeed on any grounds of economic calculation whatsoever"


"As a State the Jewish Reich shall include all Germans. Its task is not only to gather in and foster the most valuable sections of our people but to lead them slowly and surely to a dominant position in the world."

Mein Kampf, as edited by prominent Jewish Nazi spokesman Rabbi Meir Kahane (possibly related to Jenny)

wheelchairman
03-11-2006, 06:07 AM
This is from the book Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk.


Anmore, when I see the picture of a twenty-something in the newspaper who was abducted and sodomized and robbed and then kiled and here's a front-page picture of her young and smiling, instead of me dwelling on this being a big, sad crime, my gut reaction is, wow, she'd be really hot if she didn't have such a big honker of a nose. My second reaction is I'd better have some good head and shoulders shots handy in case I get, you know, abducted and sodomized to death. My third reaction is, well, at least that cuts down on the competition.


"Don't let me die here on this floor." Brandy says, and her big hands clutch at me. "My hair," she says, "My hair will be flat in the back."

- Tizz

JoY
03-11-2006, 09:06 AM
I loved that quote, Per. it must be completely awesome in context.

I don't think I'll disappoint many people, if I say I don't read much. I might, when I say I hardly ever read. I certainly will disappoint a few, when I say the last book I read was 93 pages long & looks/reads a lot like a children's book. still I hope you'll read my post.

either way, it was a book my grandmother gave me & it was so simple & cute, I fell somewhat in love with it. it's so fucking tiny (with a huge font, yesyesyes), I'll have no trouble finding a good passage. I'll explain a bit about the content of the book, before I entirely rape the poor thing.

the book is about a little ten year old boy, called Oscar, who has cancer. he spends his last days in a hospital (everyone who's ever been in a hospital for over two days will know how hopelessly horrible that is), being completely shut off from life 'out there'. he meets an old nurse with pink-red clothing (granny Rosered) with a million fantasy stories, who advices him to write letters to God to entertain himself & to make things easier. she tells him he can ask him for one thing every day. he doesn't believe in God, but still starts writing for the heck of it. these are fragments of the letters he writes to God. there are a lot of conversations with granny Rosered in them.

Oscar & Granny Rozerood by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt.
('Rozerood' means something like 'Rosered')
"What day is it today, Oscar?"
"What a stupid question! Just look at my calander: today it's the 19th of December"
"Where I come from, Oscar, there's a legend that says you can guess during the twelve last days of December, what the weather will be in the twelve months of the upcoming year. The only thing you have to do is watch the weather closely every day and then you have a tiny weatherforecast of how the weather will be in a month of the next year. So the 19th of December is the month January, the 20th of December the month February, and so forth, till the 31st of December, that's the day that predicts how the weather will be in the month December of the next year."
"Is that true?"
"It's a legend. The legend of the twelve days. Let's play that game together, you and me. Well, mostly you actually. From today you'll closely pay attention to everything that happens and then you have to imagine that every day is equal to ten years."
"Ten years?"
"Yes. One day is ten years."
"So in twelve days I'll be 130!"
"Exactly. Well what do you think of that?"
Granny Rosered gave me kiss - she's on a roll, I noticed - and after that she left.
So it's like this, God: This morning I was born, but I didn't notice much of that; when it was about 12:00 o' clock, when I was five, it began to become more clear; then I started to pay more attention, not that I heard nice things. (he overheard a conversation between his doctor & parents about the fact the treatment didn't work & that he'd die) Tonight I'll be ten and that's an important age. That's why I dare to ask for the following: if you want to tell me something again, like this afternoon (he'd asked God if he would die) , when I became five, do it a bit less bluntly. Thanks in advance.

then, after this letter, he adds a "PS" & tells his wish for that day, since the above was only a piece of advice, according to him. his wish that day is to meet God. every time he gets tired & takes a nap, he's terrified God will come to see him & that they'll miss each other due to him sleeping. therefore he continues asking for a visit from God with every letter he writes.

the last letter in the book is from granny Rosered.
Dear God,
The little boy is dead. I will always be a pink-red lady, but I'll never be granny Rosered again. I only was that to Oscar.
He died this morning, during the half hour that I was drinking coffee with his parents. He did it without us. I think he waited for that to spare us. As if he wanted to spare us from the touching moment of his death. Maybe he was the one watching over us.
I'm intensely sad, I have a heartache, pain in my heart in which Oscar has his place forever. I have to keep my tears to myself, till tonight, because I don't want to compare my sadness to that of his parents, there are no words for that.
Thank you that I met Oscar. Thanks to him I was funny, made up stories, even knew my share of wrestling. Thanks to him I laughed and knew joy. He helped me believing in you. I'm full of love, I'm glowing with it, he gave me so much of it, I have enough to last the rest of my life.

See you soon,

Granny Rosered

PS: The last three days Oscar had a note on his table. I think it was for you. He wrote on it: "Only God can wake me up."

wah, makes me all teary eyed all over again. *runs*

belen1979
03-11-2006, 09:18 AM
This is from Paula, by Isabel Allende


Nicholas was born without a single hair, with a horn in the forehead and a mulberry arm; I feared that of as much reading science fiction I had brought to the Earth a creature of another planet. But the doctor assured to me that he was human

I think it's a quiet good translation, but sorry if something doesn't make sense, I had to use an on-line translator for some things I didn't knew how to say in english...

Andy
03-11-2006, 09:21 AM
Nicholas was a unicorn-man?

Revolver-2005?
03-11-2006, 09:22 AM
"It was a pleasure to burn.

It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down to tatters and charcoal ruins of history. With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his stolid head and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flickered the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He strode in a swarm of fireflies."

This isn't what I'm reading until tomorrow. I've decided to read it again, just because I fucking love Fahrenheit 451 and all of Bradbury's early work.


That is one of the best books possibly every written, it was simply genius...and it was also a little frightening how some of the stuff in the book came true.

Currently I'm not reading anything, I'm waiting for a book to come in the mail.

belen1979
03-11-2006, 09:22 AM
Well, the doctor assured he was human, so... XD

Andy
03-11-2006, 09:24 AM
The doctor is part of the conspiracy.

belen1979
03-11-2006, 09:27 AM
LOL, maybe you're right... A baby like that should be at least hidden from the rest of the world..

Andy
03-11-2006, 09:29 AM
Bet it was a bastard to give birth to.

belen1979
03-11-2006, 09:35 AM
Another one from the same book, Paula. This time I couldn't remember the exact words, but it was something like that:


I was so incredibly fertil that it was enough with shaking underpants to a kilometer of distance so that I had left pregnant. Thank heavens that had been born in the time of the contraceptive pill!

EDIT: Don't know if it's fertil or fertile...

Rocky-girl
03-12-2006, 02:00 AM
"Goodbue my dear parents. You'll never see me again. Yesterday Dmitriy dead. All is finished to me. Today I'm leaving for Zara with his body. I'll bury him and what will happen to me I don't know! But I have no native country except native country D. The revolt is prepare there, people prepare for war; I'll be a nurse; I'll take care about injuried and ill. I don't know what will happen to me but even after D. death I'll be faithful for his memory and work of all his life. I've learnt Bulgarian and Serbian. I think I won't be able to withstand this - it's better. I'm lead to border of chasm and I must fell. The fate joined us not without reason: who knows maybe I killed him, now it's his tern to kill me. I was looking for happiness and I'll find it, may be, death. Maybe it must be so: maybe there was some guilt... But death conciliates all - doesn't it? Excuse me for all tears, that I've brought to you, that was not in my will. And return to Russia - why? What will I do in Russia?
Take my last kisses and tears and don't blame me.
E."
It's part from one of my favourite book "On The Eve" by Turgenev. I hope you enjoyed it.

Endymion
03-12-2006, 02:06 AM
i highly doubt anyone would like me to pull excerpts from what i've been reading of late. i could pull something from the actual literature i'm part way through, but i haven't picked it up in weeks due to other things...

T-6005
03-12-2006, 02:09 AM
That is one of the best books possibly every written, it was simply genius...and it was also a little frightening how some of the stuff in the book came true.

Currently I'm not reading anything, I'm waiting for a book to come in the mail.
Anything before Bradbury's pause is amazing. Everything after is painfully pathetic. I picked up a book today called "The Zen art of Writing" while I was in the bookstore. It seemed like an amusing self-help book. Then I realized that Bradbury wrote it. Fucking BRADBURY. The man who gave us brilliance in the form of The Illustrated Man, The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451. It just makes me sad.

notoriousdoc
03-12-2006, 02:34 AM
"American Psycho"

Patrick phones his lawyer, Harold

"Harold, it's Bateman, Patrick Bateman. You're my lawyer so I think you should know: I've killed a lot of people. Some girls in the apartment uptown uh, some homeless people maybe 5 or 10 um an NYU girl I met in Central Park. I left her in a parking lot behind some donut shop. I killed Bethany, my old girlfriend, with a nail gun, and some man uh some old faggot with a dog last week. I killed another girl with a chainsaw, I had to, she almost got away and uh someone else there I can't remember maybe a model, but she's dead too. And Paul Allen. I killed Paul Allen with an axe in the face, his body is dissolving in a bathtub in Hell's Kitchen. I don't want to leave anything out here. I guess I've killed maybe 20 people, maybe 40. I have tapes of a lot of it, uh some of the girls have seen the tapes. I even, um... I ate some of their brains, and I tried to cook a little. Tonight I, uh, I just had to kill a LOT of people. And I'm not sure I'm gonna get away with it this time. I guess I'll uh, I mean, ah, I guess I'm a pretty uh, I mean I guess I'm a pretty sick guy. So, if you get back tomorrow, meet me at Harry's Bar, so you know, keep your eyes open."

calichix
03-12-2006, 03:05 AM
The day came creeping, halting and whimpering and shivering, and wrapped in patches of clouds and rags of mist, like a beggar. To be sure, it was a deserted place, down to the pigeon-house in the brewery yard, which had been blown crooked on its pole by some high wind, and would have made the pigeons think themselves at sea, if there were any pigeons to be rocked by it.

JohnnyNemesis
03-12-2006, 10:07 AM
Racism and racially structured discrimination have not been deviations from the norm; they have been the norm, not merely in the sense of de facto statistical distribution patterns but, as I emphasized at the start, in the sense of being formally codified, written down and proclaimed as such.

Charles W. Mills -- The Racial Contract

Sin Studly
03-12-2006, 10:12 AM
Stupid beaner!

The Talking Pie
03-12-2006, 03:40 PM
"There is a special trap for every holder of power, whether the director of a company, the head of a state, or the ruler of a dictatorship. His favour is so desirable to his subordinates that they will sue for it by every means possible. Servility becomes endemic among his entourage, who compete among themselves in their show of devotion. This in turn exercises a sway upon the ruler, who becomes corrupted in his turn."

- Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich

TheUnholyNightbringer
03-12-2006, 03:51 PM
Jean M. Auel's The Clan of the Cave Bear.


When the one-eyed magician judged the time was right, he signalled. The men stopped pounding and sat behind their stones, but the heavy thudding rhythm coursed through their bloodstreams and still pounded inside their heads.

Mog-ur reached into a small pouch and withdrew a pinch of dried club moss spores. Holding his hand over the small torch, he leaned forward and blew, at the same time he let them drop over the flame. The spores caught fire and cascaded dramatically around the skull in a magnesium brilliance of light, in stark contrast to the dark night.

The skull glowed, seemed to come alive, did, to the men whose perceptions were heightened by the effects of datura. An owl in a nearby tree hooted, seemingly on command, adding his haunting sound to the eerie splendour.

Mota Boy
03-12-2006, 04:18 PM
It was a pleasure to burn.

Heh, I recognized that immediately. Good stuff.

Funnily enough, I just wrote a quote that struck me in my signature. I loves me some Steinbeck.

Edit - here's the first 2/3rds of the paragraph.

"And always, if he had a little money, a man could get drunk. The hard edges gone, and the warmth. Then there was no lonliness, for a man could people his brain with friends, and he could find his enemies and destroy them. Sitting in a ditch, the earth grew soft under him. Failures dulled and the future was no threat. And hunger did not skulk about, but the world was soft and easy, and a man could reach the place he started for. The stars came down wonderfully close and the sky was soft. Death was a friend, and sleep was death's brother. The old times came back - a girl with pretty feet, who danced one time at home - a horse- a long time ago. A horse and a saddle. And the leather was carved. When was that? Ought to find a girl to talk to. That's nice. Might lay with her, too. But warm here. And the stars down so close, and sadness and pleasure so close together, really the same thing..."

Not Ozymandias
03-12-2006, 06:07 PM
This is more of a quote than an excerpt, and I am not currently reading this book but rather flipped through it the other night. However, I include it because it sums up my worldview nicely.


From The Sun Also Rises:

I mistrust all frank and simple people, especially when their stories hold together.

All About Eve
03-12-2006, 06:28 PM
Quite honestly, I absolutely hated Fahrenheit 451. RIght now I'm reading The Education of Little Tree which has no interesting quotes what so ever, so I'll pass on that part.

alistair13
03-12-2006, 09:41 PM
The vast majority of these men were no more than corpses with a beating heart. Many were paralyzed from neck below, and could merely communicate through eye motions that were understood by no one, save for those who cared for them. Some struggled spasmodically, screaming incoherently towards nothing in particular as they swung their hands about quite dangerously. “You see,” Karl continued, “take the lion for instance. The lion is a magnificent creature, the ruler of its kind. It hunts in massive packs, subduing any prey it seeks after. However, though brilliant in appearance, when it returns to its pack the lion is a selfish creature. All who dwell within the pack fight for survival, each trying to receive scraps of the mutilated catch. The young lions are at Death’s doorstep, with hunger gnawing at their stomachs, eating them from the inside out. The elder do not care, and simply carry on, devouring the prey that the cubs could have benefited from.
“Men look upon the lion and see a barbaric pride of dominance,” Karl added, “but, in reality, there is no distinction between men and lions. Man is a race of ignorance and filled with the bastardized perversions of the meaning of life. Mankind is wretched.”
my book everyone. amazing?

wheelchairman
03-12-2006, 11:46 PM
No. That was terrible, especially this part.


“Men look upon the lion and see a barbaric pride of dominance,” Karl added, “but, in reality, there is no distinction between men and lions. Man is a race of ignorance and filled with the bastardized perversions of the meaning of life. Mankind is wretched.”

calichix
03-13-2006, 05:41 PM
Mota, WHAT STEINBECK BOOK IS THAT? I was born the same place as he was and I live like 2 miles from Cannery Row.

TheUnholyNightbringer
03-13-2006, 05:53 PM
It's Grapes of Wrath. Brilliant book.

Mota, read East of Eden?

calichix
03-14-2006, 11:47 PM
AHHHH I LIVED IN SOLEDAD (grapes of wrath) FOR 5 YEARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRSSSSSSSSS. *gets hyphee*

JohnnyNemesis
04-19-2006, 01:53 PM
Yeah, this thread deserves a bump to praise Eduardo Galeano. Most of this is common, but rarely acknowledged knowledge!

The equator did not cross the middle of the world map that we studied in school. More than half a century ago, German researcher Arno Peters understood what everyone had looked at but no one had seen: the emperor of geography had no clothes.

The map they taught us gives two-thirds of the world to the North and one-third to the South. Europe is shown as larger than Latin America, even though Latin America is actually twice the size of Europe. India appears smaller than Scandinavia, even though it's three times as big. The United States and Canada fill more space on the map than Africa, when in reality they cover barely two-thirds as much territory.

The map lies. Traditional geography steals space just as the imperial economy steals wealth, official history steals memory, and formal culture steals the word.

T-6005
04-19-2006, 02:24 PM
I talked all the way back to the capital. I'd formed a theory; it was based on that one phrase: used to be. The Invisible Man was tired of being different, special. Tired of living up to expectations. He wasn't interested in being THE INVISIBLE MAN! He wanted to be ordinary, with no exclamation mark after his name - invisible in the way that normal people are. So that was what he'd done. Become invisible, with a small i. Or, more appropriately, visible. With an ordinary v. You could be sitting next to him on a bus or a train, in a restaurant or bar, at home on the sofa, you could be sitting next to him right now and there'd be nothing invisible about him, nothing invisible at all. That was what had happened, I was sure of it. And that, I told Loots, was what he should say to Anton when he saw him again.

That's out of The Insult, by Rupert Thomson.

coke_a_holic
04-19-2006, 02:45 PM
Captain Flume had obtained the idea [of having his throat slit from ear to ear] by from Chief White Halfoat himself, who did tiptoe up to his cot one night as he was dozing off, to hiss portentously that one night when he, Captain Flume, was sound asleep he, Chief White Halfoat, was going to slit his throat from ear to ear. Captain Flume turned to ice, his eyes, flung wide open, staring directly up into Chief White Halfoat's, glinting drunkenly only inches away.
"Why?" Captain Flume managed to croak finally.
"Why not?" was Chief White Halfoat's answer.

That's from Catch 22 by Joeseph Heller. I love the reply the Chief gives.

All About Eve
04-20-2006, 10:46 PM
Alright, I'm rereading The Ultimate Hitchhiker's guide, which is all of the books in the serious combined, and there are many excerpts I'd like to post, but most are too long and/or wouldn't make sense out of context.


Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast. People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what's so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there, and what's so great about point B that so man y people from point A are so keen to get thre. They often wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted to be.

Mr. Prosser wanted to be at point D. Point D wasn't anywhere in particular, it was just any convenient point a very long way from points A, B and C. he would have a nice little cottage at point D, with axes over his door, and spend a pleasant amount of time at point E, which would be the nearest pub to point D. His wife of course wanted climbing roses, but he wanted axes. He didn't know why-he just liked axes. He flushed hotly under the deriseve grins of the bulldoze drivers.

Mota Boy
04-21-2006, 01:22 AM
You just finished reading the entire five books and the quote you chose was from the first five pages of the first one?


MOTA, WHAT STEINBECK BOOK IS THAT?
Mota, read East of Eden?
Ach! Sorry I didn't see these earlier. As Dave said, it's Grapes of Wrath, and it's fucking brilliant. You were just like Ruthie. Only, you know, with less bitching and more burritos. I haven't read East of Eden, though, just Of Mice and Men (which also rocks the Casbah)

As for my quote contribution...


The other disruptive topic was a discovery far more terrifying. Like the first tremor of a California earthquake, its barely detectable rumbling spread unspoken alarm. Was this an inconsequential vibration or was there to be a cataclysm? It happened when Teller was explaining his calculations of the heat yield of a nuclear blast and why it would trigger fusion in heavy hydrogen. In the midst of the explanation it apparently was Oppenheimer who saw the apocalypse.

Would an atombic bomb instantly destroy the world?

The awesome possibility was implied in the heat buildup that Teller had correctly calculated. The intensity of the heat was such that Oppenheimer and some other scientists feared it could ignite the heavy hydrogen that naturally occurs in seawater, or the atmospheric envelope surrounding the earth. The oceans and the heavens would catch fire. There would be nothing left.

The extent to which this fear was well founded was a matter of disagreement even among the physicists who were there. No one there considered the mathematical possibility higher than about one in three million. That would be a safe bet in any other enterprise, but the odds would be disturbingly low in the face of the consequences.
-Energy and Conflict: The Life and Times of Edward Teller

wheelchairman
04-27-2006, 07:10 PM
From "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey


Yes this is what I know. The ward is a factory for the Combine. It's for fixing up mistakes made in te neighborhoods and in the schools, and in the churches, the hospital is. When a completed product goes back into society, all fixed up good as new, better than new sometimes, it brings joy to the Big Nurse's heart somethingthat came in all twisted different is now a functioning, adjusted component, a credit to the whole outfit and a marvel to behold. Watch him sliding across the land with a welded grin fitting into some nice little neighborhood where they're just now digging trenches along the street to lay pipes for city water. He's happy with it. He's adjusted to surroundings finally...

Mota Boy
04-27-2006, 09:49 PM
Continuing with the theme, I'll quote the sublime first page or so of Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. I was in a bookstore, trying to figure out which book to purchase, and this grabbed me from the very first line. It's great to know so quickly that you absolutely have to read the tome resting in your hands. For background, this is Wolfe's nonfiction account of the time he spent with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters in the late sixties.



Black Shiny FBI Shoes
That's good thinking there, Cool Breeze. Cool Breeze is a kid with three or four days' beard sitting next to me on the stamped metal bottom of teh open back part of a pickip truck. Bouncing along. Dipping and rising and rolling on these rotten springs like a boat. Out the back of the truck the city of San Francisco is bouncing down the hill, all those endless staggers of bay windows, slums with a view, bouncing and streaming down the hill. One after another, electric signs with neon martini glasses lit up on them, the San Francisco symbol of 'bar' - thousands of neon-magenta martini glassesbouncing and streaming down the hill, and beneath them hundreds, thousands of people wheeling around to look at this crazed truck we're in, their white faces erupting from their lapels like marshmallows - streaming and bouncing down the hill - and God knows they've got plenty to look at.

That's why it strikes me as funny when Cool Breeze says very seriously over the whole roar of the thing, 'I don't know - when Kesey gets out I don't know if I can come around the Warehouse.'

'Why not?'

'Well, like the cops are going to be coming around like all feisty, and I'm on probation, so I don't know.'

Well, that's good thinking there, Cool Breeze. Don't rouse the bastids. Lie low - like right now. Right now Cool Breeze is so terrified of the law he is sitting up in plain view of thousands of already startled citizens wearing some kinda of Seven Dwarfs Black Forest gnome hat covered in feathers and flourescent colors. Kneeling in the truck, facing us, also in plain view, is a half-Ottawa Indian girl named Lois Jennings, with her head thrown back and a radiant look on her face. Also a blazing silver disk in the middle of her forehead alternately exploding with light when the sun hits it or sending off rainbows from the defraction lines in it. And, oh yeah, there's a long-barreled Colt .45 revolver in her hand, only nobody on the street can tell it's a cap pistol as she pegs away, kheeew, kheeew, at the erupting marshmallow faces like Debra Paget in... in...

-Kesey's coming out of jail!

Lizardus
04-27-2006, 10:06 PM
I love Lovecraft


West did not resist or utter a sound. Then
they all sprang at him and tore him to pieces before my eyes, bearing the fragments away into that
subterranean vault of fabulous abominations. West's head was carried off by the wax−headed leader, who
wore a Canadian officer's uniform. As it disappeared I saw that the blue eyes behind the spectacles were
hideously blazing with their first touch of frantic, visible emotion.
Servants found me unconscious in the morning. West was gone. The incinerator contained only unidentifiable
ashes. Detectives have questioned me, but what can I say? The Sef ton tragedy they will not connect with
West; not that, nor the men with the box, whose existence they deny. I told them of the vault, and they pointed
to the unbroken plaster wall and laughed. So I told them no more. They imply that I am either a madman or a
murderer — probably I am mad. But I might not be mad if those accursed tomb−legions had not been so
silent.

Sin Studly
05-27-2006, 12:51 AM
I just found something awesome.

"All I know about the Bible is that wherever it goes, there is trouble. The only time I ever heard of it being useful was when a stretcher-bearer I was with at the battle of Dundee told me that he'd once gotten hit by a Mauser bullet in the heart, only he was carrying a Bible in his tunic pocket, and the Bible saved his life. He told me that ever since he'd always carried a Bible into battle with him and felt perfectly safe because God was in his breast pocket. We were out looking for a seargent of the Worcesters and three troopers who were wounded while out on a reconnaissance and were said to be holed up in a dry donga. In truth I think he felt perfectly safe because the Boer Mausers were estimated by the British artillary to be accurate up to 800 yards, and we were at least 1,200 yards from enemy lines. Alas, nobody bothered to tell the Boers about the shortcomings of their brand new German rifle, and a Mauser bullet hit him straight between the eyes.

Which goes to prove, you can always depend on British intelligence not to be accurate, the Dutch to be deadly accurate, the Bible to be good for matters of the heart, but hopeless for matters of the head, and finally, that God is in nobody's pocket"

HornyPope
05-27-2006, 01:21 AM
Pretty good passage. What book?

HornyPope
05-27-2006, 01:33 AM
I love Mordecai Richler.

"He kept Virgil's sleeping bag in the back of the truck and slept in the fields and on the beachers to save money and hoping to catch pneumonia or be bitten by a snake."

-About a depressed, Jewish businessman.

"He hired another one [secretary], a kid just out of school, began a desultory affair, and fired her when her period started eight days later."

-The before the previous.

coke_a_holic
06-23-2006, 02:23 AM
Bump for a funny scene from Catch-22.

"Everything's going to be alright, Chaplain," the major said encouragingly, "You've got nothing to be afraid of if you're not guilty. What are you afraid of? You're not guilty, are you?"
"Sure he's guilty," said the colonel, "guilty as hell!"
"Guilty of what?" implored the chaplain, feeling more and more bewildered and not knowing which of the men to appeal for mercy. "What did I do?"
"That's just what we're going to find out," answered the colonel, and he shoced a pad and pencil across the table to the chaplain. "Write your name for us, will you? In your own handwriting."

"My own handwriting?"
"That's right, anywhere on the page." When the chaplain had finished, the colonel took the pad and held it up alongside a sheet of paper he removed from a folder. "See?" he said to the major who had come to his side and was peering solemnly over his shoulder.
"They're not the same, are they?" the major admitted.

"I told you he did it."
"Did what?"
"Chaplain, this comes as a great shock to me," the major accused in a tone of heavy lamentation.
"What does?"
"I can't tell you how disappointed I am in you."
"For what? What have I done?"
"For this," replied the major, throwing the pad to the table, "isn't your own handwriting."
"But of course it's my own handwriting."
"No it isn't, Chaplain, you're lying again."
"But I just wrote it! You saw me write it!"
"That's just it. I saw you write it. You can't deny that you just wrote it. A person who'll lie about about his own handwriting will lie about anything."

Catch-22 is the greatest novel ever. I finished it a while ago, but that scene is beyond hilarious.

harmony
06-24-2006, 02:18 AM
"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" Hunter S. Thompson

"We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold."
"Very soon, I knew we would both be completely twisted. But there was no going back, and no time to rest."

Duskygrin
06-24-2006, 01:16 PM
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
- Susanna Clarke

"A lovely young Italian girl passed by. Byron tilted his head to a very odd angle, half-closed his eyes & composed his features to suggest that he was about to expire from chronic indigestion. Dr Greysteel could only suppose that he was treating the young woman to the Byronic profile & the Byronic expression."

Mota Boy
07-16-2006, 08:15 AM
Tom Wolfe is my own personal hero.


The telephone blasted Peter Fallow awake inside an egg with the shell peeled away and only the membranous sac holding it intact. Ah! The membranous sac was his head, and the right side of his head was on the pillow, and the yolk was as heavy as mercury, and it rolled like mercury, and it was pressing down on his right temple and his right eye and his right ear. If he tried to get up to answer the phone, the yolk, the mercury, the poisoned mass, would shift and roll and rupture the sac and his brains would fall out...

The thought of wine and a girl tripped a wire in his brain, and a shudder of remorse went through his nervous system. Something had happened last night. These days he often woke up like this, poisonously hung over, afraid to move an inch and filled with an abstract feeling of despair and shame. Whatever he had done was submerged like a monster at the bottom of a cold, dark lake. His memory had drowned in the night, and he could only feel the icy despair. He had to look for the monster deductively, fathom by fathom. Sometimes he knew that, whatever it had been, he couldn't face it, and he would decide to turn away from it forever, and just then something, some stray detail, would send out a signal, and the beast would come popping to the surface on its own and show its filthy snout.

From The Bonfire of the Vanities.