More Random Picks

Mason and Dixon by Thomas Pynchon: “And should I get in past your Blade for a few playful nips, and manage to, well, break the old Skin, — why, then you should soon have caught the same, eh?”

The End of the Road by John Barth: “So when I’d a real maniac on I nursed it like a baby, and boils plague the man who spoiled it!”

All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren: “The old man was on the front steps now.”

About a Boy by Nick Hornby: “He never managed to strike up much of a rapport with Maisy, Angie’s mysteriously sombre five-year-old, who seemed to regard him as frivolous to the core.”

Allan Quatermain by Rider Haggard: “Poor fellow, he had died of fever when on his return journey, and within a day’s march of Mombasa.”

I, the Jury by Mickey Spillane: “The case was turned over to them.”

Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber: “And the mirror-decorations on my hats and bags and dresses — you’ve guessed it, they’re Tibetan magic to reflect away misfortune.”

You Are Not a Stranger Here by Adam Haslett: “I leave the note folded by his side.”

The Tenants by Bernard Malamud: “Back in his study, he wrote hurriedly, as though he had heard the end of the world falling in the pit of time and hoped to get his last word written before then.”

Familiar Studies by Robert Louis Stevenson: “If I am vile, is it not your system that has made me so?”

A Primate’s Memoir by Robert Sapolsky: “It was during my first season in the troop that time no longer stood still for Solomon, that the inevitable shadow of mortality finally took form as Uriah.”

[Apologies to the ladies.]


  1. Lovely; I’m enjoying this absolutely frivolous pastime so much that here’s another one for your collection, from Andrey Kurkov’s Death and the Penguin: “‘Here I am, writing and writing, but nobody sees what I write,’ he declared more in anger than in a bid for sympathy.”

    Two minor nitpicks: it’s Allan Quatermain and Bernard Malamud, as far as I remember.

    All the best,

    The Babu

  2. Babu: Thanks. I’m a perfect speller when I’m in Word, but in the MT interface, grammar’s the first to go. 🙂

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