5 Favourite Lesser-Known Quotes

The internet is awash these days with well-known quotations from our best-loved authors. Phrases like 'it was the best of times' are knitted into the fabric of our language. Some of them are borderline cheesy or have become platitudes. You don't need them regurgitated here - what I'm sharing are short excerpts that have stuck with me from books I have recently read. They're not all catchy but they are either clever, original or memorable in some way. You can share your favourites in the Comments section at the bottom of this page - I'd really like to read them.

1. The 'Fundamental Truth' Quote

'...thinking's the greatest transgression of all'

Philip Roth, I Married a Communist


Nothing else to say about that ...

2. The 'Fact of Life' Quote

Describing getting old: 'Age ... an arbitrary watershed ... once you pass it fear is unleashed into your life like a ferret in a rabbit warren. It's like being out in a war-torn city after curfew'

William Boyd, getting away with two similes in a row

3. The 'Soul-Baring' Quote


' I was like an empty cup...emptied out, and now I had to look at what had spilled out of me: all my delusional beliefs about my own value and my pretensions to being a kind of person I wasn't'

Sally Rooney, Conversations With Friends

Photo courtesy of Jonny Davies

4. The 'Outrageous Opener' Quote


'His children were falling from the sky'

Hilary Mantel, Bring Up The Bodies


Photo courtesy of Twitter

5. The 'Audacious' Quote


'Children I could bayonet by the score'

Philip Larkin, as cited in Andrew Motion's Philip Larkin: A Life

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