Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell He looked both proud and guilty of something. As if happiness was a reward and he wasn’t sure he’d done enough to deserve it.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club I don’t want to die without any scars.
Charles Bukowski, Factotum My ambition is handicapped by laziness
William S Burroughs In the U.S. you have to be a deviant or die of boredom.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest He knows that you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest All I know is this: nobody’s very big in the first place, and it looks to me like everybody spends their whole life tearing everybody else down.
R D Ronald I’m not into this whole “move with the times” thing. I reckon we should just decide on a year and stick with it.
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.
Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream He didn’t know what was defeating him, but he sensed it was something he could not cope with, something that was far beyond his power to control or even at this point in time comprehend.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son Sometimes what I wouldn’t give to have us sitting in a bar again at 9:00 a.m. telling lies to one another, far from God.
R D Ronald The best writers tend to look the roughest in photos. At least that’s the excuse I use for why I look so bad in mine.
Hubert Selby Jr Sometimes we have the absolute certainty there’s something inside us that’s so hideous and monstrous that if we ever search it out we won’t be able to stand looking at it. But it’s when we’re willing to come face to face with that demon that we face the angel.
R D Ronald This faulty light fitting at the front door with the dangerously flickering bulb looks rather festive. Who says I don’t do Christmas?
Kola Boof, The Sexy Part of the Bible My look, mind you, is not chocolate like Lauryn Hill, Whoopi Goldberg, or Naomi Campbell – it is pitch black and shimmering like the purple outer space of the universe. I am the charcoal that creates diamonds. I am the blackest black woman (41).
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do?
J G Ballard, Crash After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.
Douglas Coupland I don’t think anyone ever gets over anything in life; they merely get used to it.
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love Can you be happy with the movies, and the ads, and the clothes in the stores, and the doctors, and the eyes as you walk down the street all telling you there is something wrong with you? No. You cannot be happy. Because, you poor darling baby, you believe them.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing I can’t remember if I took an oxy during the flight, so I eat two. They pair nicely with the scotch. It’s good to be home.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell She looked the way a rose petal looks when you crush it between finger and thumb.
Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers at Last You have to die a few times before you can really live.
Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream There’s a sorrow and pain in everyone’s life, but every now and then there’s a ray of light that melts the loneliness in your heart and brings comfort like hot soup and a soft bed.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing Whenever out with others, I can do pleasant. I can do content. I’m even able to muster empathy and interest on occasion. It’s not as easy as doing conniving, creepy, sleazy and sinister, but sometimes you just have to leave work at the office.
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing In this job, you learn to ignore the urge to comfort those you’re protecting.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity I felt so heavy with love. I could feel it packed inside my chest.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree Jack laughed behind him, a mirthless sound from a man who had been on the wrong end of life’s ironies too many times.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.
Charles Bukowski Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.
Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.
Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction What does that mean know me, know me, nobody ever knows anybody else, ever! You will never know me.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.
J G Ballard Civilised life, you know, is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis Then there are the addicts, the hunger addicts, the rage addicts, the poverty addicts , and power addicts, and the pure addicts who are addicted not to substances but to the oblivion and the tenderness the substances engender. An addict, if you don’t mind me saying so, is like a saint. What is a saint but someone who has cut himself off, voluntarily, from the world’s traffic and currency.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man Suicide should come with a warning label: ‘Do not try this alone.’
Kola Boof, The Sexy Part of the Bible And though this encounter took place against an African sky, our brief enchantment symbolized the new world’s greatest taboo – the hand of a very black man caressing the face of the blackest woman, with no shred of light entering into it, utter darkness alone representing God (71).
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell The fig tree had dropped its fruit all over the ground. Ripe figs lay in the dust, exploded, bloody, as if the sky had rained organs.
Irvine Welsh I’m not running away, I’m moving on.
Donna Tartt, The Secret History I suppose at one time in my life I might have had any number of stories, but now there is no other. This is the only story I will ever be able to tell.
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity I’d rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.
William S Burroughs Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.
Charles Bukowski, Barfly I don’t hate them…I just feel better when they’re not around.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho All it comes down to is this: I feel like shit but look great.
Chuck Palahniuk, Diary It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.
Dennis Cooper When I started writingI was a sick teenagedfuck inside who partlythought I was the newMarquis de Sade, a bodydoomed to communicatewith Satan who was us-ing my sickness as hishome away from home,and there’s your proof.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man One week I’m helping to end a life, the next I’m stepping in to save one. Seemingly dichotomous acts, but actually one in the same.
Hunter S Thomson Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.
Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction No one ever likes the right person.
Patrick Süskind, The Pigeon …he came to the conclusion that you cannot depend on people, and that you can live in peace only if you keep them at arm’s length.
Hunter S Thomson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride…and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well…maybe chalk it up to forced consciousness expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.
Matthew Stokoe, Cows He was adrift in their world, unsure of his significance, and to open himself to a point where conversation could take place would only have revealed how unlike them he was.
Hunter S Thomson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.
Kola Boof, The Sexy Part of the Bible But somehow, once you start playing behind the steering wheel of God, you realize just how powerful it is to be the imagination driving the natural world (64).
R D Ronald Today I plan to smile a lot, only so people who know me will be freaked the fuck out.
Ken Kesey, Kesey’s Garage Sale It isn’t by getting out of the world that we become enlightened, but by getting into the world…by getting so tuned in that we can ride the waves of our existence and never get tossed because we become the waves.
Rupert Thomson, The Insult There’s love and everybody talks about it, but not all of us come close to it – or, if we do, it’s not in the expected way.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son She wanted to eat my heart and be lost in the desert with what she’d done, she wanted to fall on her knees and give birth from it, she wanted to hurt me as only a child can be hurt by its mother.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.
Gillian Flynn, Dark Places I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it.
Penelope Lively, How it all Began When you are able to be with a person and there is no need to talk, something has happened.
William S Burroughs There is no intensity of love or feeling that does not involve the risk of crippling hurt. It is a duty to take this risk, to love and feel without defense or reserve.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.
Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger Language tethers us to the world; without it we spin like atoms.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree That’s why Twinkle likes the place so much, Scott thought, looking around at the faded wood veneer tables, and the faded souls drinking at them. Misery was soaked through the place like the old beer soaked through its carpets.
Hunter S Thomson So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?
Hunter S Thomson I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero Disappear here
Douglas Coupland, Hey Nostradamus In the end, I think the relationships that survive in this world are the ones where two people can finish each other’s sentences. Forget drama and torrid sex and the clash of opposites. Give me banter any day of the week.
R D Ronald Nothing says Christmas better than familicide and anaphylactic shock.
Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream The voice so filled with nostalgia that you could almost see the memories floating through the blue smoke, memories not only of music and joy and youth, but perhaps, of dreams. They listened to the music, each hearing it in his own way, feeling relaxed and a part of the music, a part of each other, and almost a part of the world.
J G Ballard I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don’t get to choose our own hearts. We can’t make ourselves want what’s good for us or what’s good for other people. We don’t get to choose the people we are.
Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell That’s what birthdays were. Days when you found out where you stood. Who was on your side and who wasn’t. Nothing to do with how old you were.
Douglas Coupland, Life After God And then I felt sad because I realized that once people are broken in certain ways, they can’t ever be fixed, and this is something nobody ever tells you when you are young and it never fails to surprise you as you grow older as you see the people in your life break one by one.
Hubert Selby Jr, Requiem for a Dream I suspect there will never be a requiem for a dream, simply because it will destroy us before we have the opportunity to mourn it’s passing.
Greg Levin, The Exit Man She had become an integral part of my life—just not the part with all the death.
Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire We are most artistically caged.
Rupert Thomson, Dreams of Leaving Her smiles were blurred, as if seen from a moving train. Her eyes always creased at the edges by dreams of leaving.
Henry Miller To be joyous is to be a madman in a world of sad ghosts.
Hunter S Thomson Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.
Henry Miller Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook …what they show tells you what they want to hide.
Vladimir Nabokov My loathings are simple. stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music. My pleasures are the most intense known to man: writing and butterfly hunting.
R D Ronald I don’t “lol”. I tried it once but it just didn’t agree with me.
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis Women are more evolved biologically and emotionally, that’s well knownand it’s obvious. But they confuse sex and the spirit; they don’tseparate. Men, as you know, always separate: they separatetheir human and dog natures.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?
Irvine Welsh Some people are easier to love when you don’t have to be around them.
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis You’ve got to face facts and the fact is life is a joke, a fucking bad joke, or, no, a bad fucking joke. There’s no point taking it seriously because whatever happens, and I mean whatever the fuck, the punch line is the same: you go out horizontally. You see the point? No fucking point.
William S Burroughs, Naked Lunch You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.