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Nick Hornby quotes (showing 1-30 of 563)

“People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands - literally thousands - of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss.”
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
“It's no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn't even speak to each other if they met at a party.”
Nick Hornby
“The plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone; you don't need to be a heroin addict or a performance poet to experience extremity. You just have to love someone.”
Nick Hornby, How to Be Good
“All the books we own, both read and unread, are the fullest expression of self we have at our disposal. ... But with each passing year, and with each whimsical purchase, our libraries become more and more able to articulate who we are, whether we read the books or not.”
Nick Hornby, The Polysyllabic Spree
“How do people, like, not curse? How is it possible? There are these gaps in speech where you just have to put a "fuck." I'll tell you who the most admirable people in the world are: newscasters. If that was me, I'd be like, "And the motherfuckers flew the fucking plane right into the Twin Towers." How could you not, if you're a human being? Maybe they're not so admirable. Maybe they're robot zombies.”
Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down
“I don't know you. The only thing I know about you is, you're reading this. I don't know if your happy or not; I don't know whether you're young or not. I sort of hope you're young and sad. If you're old and happy, I can imagine that you'll smile to yourself when you hear me going, he broke my heart. You'll remember someone who broke your heart, and you'll think to yourself, Oh yes, i remember how that feels. But you can't, you smug old git. Oh you'll remember feeling sort of plesantly sad. You might remember listening to music and eating chocolates in your room, or walking along the embankment on your own, wrapped up in a winter coat and feeling lonely and brave. But can you remember how with every mouthful of food it felt like you were biting into your own stomach? Can you remember the taste of red wine as it came back up and into the toilet bowl? Can you remember dreaming every night that you were still together, that he was talking to you gently and touching you, so that every morning when you woke up you had to go through it all over again?”
Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down
“A man who wants to die feels angry and full of life and desperate and bored and exhausted, all at the same time; he wants to fight everyone, and he wants to curl up in a ball and hide in a cupboard somewhere. He wants to say sorry to everyone, and he wants everyone to know just how badly they've all let him down.”
Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down
“I love the relationship that anyone has with music ... because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. ... It's the best part of us probably ...”
Nick Hornby, Songbook
“Sarcasm and compassion are two of the qualities that make life on Earth tolerable.”
Nick Hornby, Songbook
“What came first – the music or the misery? Did I listen to the music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to the music? Do all those records turn you into a melancholy person?”
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
“We all spend so much time not saying what we want, because we know we can't have it. And because it sounds ungracious, or ungrateful, or disloyal, or childish, or banal. Or because we're so desperate to pretend that things are OK, really, that confessing to ourselves they're not looks like a bad move. Go on, say what you want. ... Whatever it is, say it to yourself. The truth will set you free. Either that or it'll get you a punch in the nose. Surviving in whatever life you're living means lying, and lying corrodes the soul, so take a break from the lies for just one minute.”
Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down
“Hard is trying to rebuild yourself, piece by piece, with no instruction book, and no clue as to where all the important bits are supposed to go.”
Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down
“You're fucked. You thought you were going to be someone, but now it's obvious you're nobody. You haven't got as much talent as you thought you had, and there was no Plan B, and you got no skills and no education, and now you're looking at forty or fifty years of nothing. Less than nothing, probably. That's pretty heavy. That's worse than having the brain thing, because what you got now will take a lot longer to kill you. You've got the choice of a slow, painful death, or a quick, merciful one.”
Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down
“Everyone knows how to talk, and no one knows what to say.”
Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down
“Sentimental music has this great way of taking you back somewhere at the same time that it takes you forward, so you feel nostagic and hopeful all at the same time.”
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
“It's brilliant, being depressed; you can behave as badly as you like.”
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
“Sometimes you know you've got a chance with a girl because she wants to fight with you. If the world wasn't so messed up, it wouldn't be like that. If the world was normal, a girl being nice to you would be a good sign, but in the real world, it isn't.”
Nick Hornby
“I've committed to nothing...and that's just suicide...by tiny, tiny increments.”
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
“I'm very good at the past. It's the present I can't understand.”
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
“It seems to me now that the plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone; you don't need to be a heroin addict or a performance poet to experience extremity. You just have to love someone.”
Nick Hornby, How to Be Good
“I read the fuck out of every book I can get my hands on.”
Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down
“You don't ask people with knives in their stomachs what would make them happy; happiness is no longer the point. It's all about survival; it's all about whether you pull the knife out and bleed to death or keep it in...”
Nick Hornby, How to Be Good
“Over the last couple of years, the photos of me when I was a kid... well, they've started to give me a little pang or something - not unhappiness, exactly, but some kind of quiet, deep regret... I keep wanting to apologize to the little guy: "I'm sorry, I've let you down. I was the person who was supposed to look after you, but I blew it: I made wrong decisions at bad times, and I turned you into me.”
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
“If you really wanted to mess me up, you should have got to me earlier.”
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
“Those days are gone, and good fucking riddance to them; unhappiness really meant something back then. Now it's just a drag, like a cold or having no money. If you really wanted to mess me up, you should have got to me earlier.”
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
“We spent all those years talking about stuff we had in common, and the last few months noticing all the ways we were different and it broke both of our hearts.”
Nick Hornby
“The trouble with my generation is that we all think we're fucking geniuses. Making something isn't good enough for us, and neither is selling something, or teaching something, or even just doing something; we have to be something.”
Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down
“Telling me I can do anything I want is like pulling the plug out of the bath and then telling the water it can go anywhere it wants. Try it, and see what happens.”
Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down
“Maybe we all live life at too high a pitch, those of us who absorb emotional things all day, and as mere consequence we can never feel merely content: we have to be unhappy, or ecstatically, head-over-heels happy, and those states are difficult to achieve within a stable, solid relationship.”
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
“I've been thinking with my guts since I was fourteen years old, and frankly speaking, between you and me, I have come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains.”
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity

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High Fidelity High Fidelity
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How to Be Good How to Be Good
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