Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxi pad commercial, windex commercial – you’d think all women do is clean and bleed.
Henry Miller To be joyous is to be a madman in a world of sad ghosts.
Henry Miller, The Books in My Life A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.
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).
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho I have to return some videotapes
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do?
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.
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho All it comes down to is this: I feel like shit but look great.
Craig Clevenger, The Contortionist’s Handbook It’s taken me years of practice to learn how to act natural.
Rupert Thomson, Secrecy Perhaps there comes a time in your life when you lose the ability to command attention, when the world starts to ignore you because it no longer believes you can have much of an effect on it.
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.
Charles Bukowski, Factotum My ambition is handicapped by laziness
Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.
Irvine Welsh, Porno You can’t lie to your soul.
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love The truth is always an insult or a joke, lies are generally tastier. We love them. The nature of lies is to please. Truth has no concern for anyone’s comfort
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.
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?
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing There’s nothing better than being the bad guy. Long enough to do some good.
Vladimir Nabokov Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.
Greg Levin, Sick to Death We’d be dead. Big deal. Death’s not such a long drop these days. Not for us.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son I knew every raindrop by its name.
Hunter S Thomson Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.
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.
Hunter S Thomson I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.
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.
Charles Bukowski Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.
William S Burroughs Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.
Anaïs Nin Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
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.
Donna Tartt, The Secret History Does such a thing as ‘the fatal flaw,’ that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn’t. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.
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.
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.
Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture As the expression goes, we spend our youth attaining wealth, and our wealth attaining youth.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl The only value of wasted time is knowledge.
Sylvia Plath Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.
Henry Miller What’s a fuck when what I want is love?
Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture Eroticize intelligence.
R D Ronald, The Elephant Tree We were left with nothing because of a love like acid that ate its way through our entire family.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.
Anaïs Nin How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?
R D Ronald Nothing says Christmas better than familicide and anaphylactic shock.
Denis Johnson English words are like prisms. Empty, nothing inside, and still they make rainbows.
Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting By definition, you have to live until you die. Better to make that life as complete and enjoyable an experience as possible, in case death is shite, which I suspect it will be.
Edit | Delete J G Ballard, The Day of Creation Sooner or later, everything turns into television.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love I have been a believer in the magic of language since, at a very early age, I discovered that some words got me into trouble and others got me out.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?
Henry Miller, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am.
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.
Greg Levin, Sick to Death Over the previous six months, there was only one thing Gage had become more efficient at than killing… and that was dying.
Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger Giving presents is one of the most possessive things we do, did you realize that? It’s the way we keep a hold on other people. Plant ourselves in their lives.
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.
Vladimir Nabokov Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.
enis Johnson, Jesus’ Son There was a part of her she hadn’t yet allowed to be born because it was too beautiful for this place
Greg Levin, In Wolves Clothing In this job, you learn to ignore the urge to comfort those you’re protecting.
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer Everybody says sex is obscene. The only true obscenity is war.
Charles Bukowski Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.
Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller What harbor can receive you more securely than a great library?
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.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road People were always getting ready for tomorrow. I didn’t believe in that. Tomorrow wasn’t getting ready for them. It didn’t even know they were there.
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.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
J G Ballard, Running Wild In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom.
Chuck Palahniuk, Choke What I want is to be needed. What I need is to be indispensable to somebody. Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction.
Gillian Flynn, Dark Places I was not a lovable child, and I’d grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it’d be a scribble with fangs.
Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief I don’t deserve a soul, yet I still have one. I know because it hurts.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl It’s humbling, to become the very thing you once mocked.
J G Ballard, Crash After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son And therefore I looked down into the great pity of a person’s life on this earth. I don’t mean that we all end up dead, that’s not the great pity. I mean that he couldn’t tell me what he was dreaming, and I couldn’t tell him what was real.
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.
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.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.
Irvine Welsh I’m not running away, I’m moving on.
R D Ronald, The Zombie Room Decker smiled and shrugged off their laughter. The humour was only barbed if you sat on the outside, and now he was one of them.
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.
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.
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will kill you.
R D Ronald I’m the biggest critic of my own work, but sometimes you nail a chapter so good that you have to take a step back and admire that bitch.
Denis Johnson, Already Dead I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis We’re waiting for a glance or a word, some acknowledgement that we are here.
William S Burroughs I don’t care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it.
J G Ballard Fiction is a branch of neurology: the scenarios of nerve and blood vessels are the written mythologies of memory and desire.
Douglas Coupland I don’t think anyone ever gets over anything in life; they merely get used to it.
Monica Drake, Clown Girl I asked the cardiologist why an electrocardiogram was called an EKG, instead of an ECG.He said, “Nazis. Nazis invented the machine.”After he left, I found a napkin on my breakfast tray and wrote that down: EKG = Nazis.
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.
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.
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.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.
Vladimir Nabokov Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don’t stop to think, don’t interrupt the scream, exhale, release life’s rapture.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.
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.
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.