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Lloyd Jones quotes (showing 1-29 of 29)

“I had found a new friend. The surprising thing is where I’d found him – not up a tree or sulking in the shade, or splashing around in one of the hill streams, but in a book. No one had told us kids to look there for a friend. Or that you could slip inside the skin of another. Or travel to another place with marshes, and where, to our ears, the bad people spoke like pirates. ”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
tags: books
“You cannot pretend to read a book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames.”
Lloyd Jones
“Men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed.”
Lloyd Jones
“I do not know what you are supposed to do with memories likes these. It feels wrong to want to forget. Perhaps this is why we write these things down, so we can move on.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“For six days I didn’t get up except to make a cup of tea, or fry an egg, or lie in the skinny bath gazing at a cracked ceiling. The days punished me with their slowness, piling up the hours on me, spreading their joylessness about the room.

A doctor would have said I was suffering from depression. Everything I have read since suggests this was the case. But when you are in the grip of something like that it doesn’t usefully announce itself. No. what happens is you sit in a dark, dark cave, and you wait. If you are lucky there is a pinprick of light, and if you are especially lucky that pinprick will grow larger and larger, until one day the cave appears to slip behind, and just like that you find yourself in daylight and free. This is how it happened for me.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“Dreams are nervy things—all it takes is for one stern word to be spoken in their direction and they shrivel up and die. ”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“A Prayer was like a tickle.Sooner or later God would have to look down to see what was tickling his bum.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“I was eleven when my father left, so neither of us really knew our fathers. I’d met mine of course, but then I only knew my dad as a child knows a parent, as a sort of crude outline filled in with one or two colors. I’d never seen my father scared or cry. I’d never heard him admit to any wrongdoing. I have no idea what he dreamed of. And once I’d seen a smile pinned to one cheek and darkness to the other when my mum had yelled at him. Now he was gone, and I was left with just an impression—one of male warmth, big arms, and loud laughter.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“We have all lost our possessions and many of us our homes," he said. "But these losses, severe though they may seem, remind us of what no person can take, and that is our minds and our imaginations.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“Dreams are private, she said. And she is right. A dream is a story that no one else will get to hear or read.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“Quiet had a roof and it had walls around it, and you could sit inside it. She had never thought of silence as a place.One of the friends, Tom Williams told her,'the place is in your heart, Louise. Everything else is just clutter.”
Lloyd Jones, Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance
“I could have run after him. I could have asked politely for some clarification. But I didn’t I knew what I preferred, and that was—I didn’t want to know. Rather, I wanted to believe.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“As we watched the soldiers and the Rambo disappear I remember feeling preternaturally calm. This is what deep, deep fear does to you. It turns you into a state of unfeeling.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
tags: fear
“I suppose it is possible to be all of these things. To sort of fall out of who you are into another, as well as to journey back to some essential sense of self. We only see what we see.

He was whatever he needed to be, what we asked him to be. Perhaps there are lives like that—they pour into whatever space we have made ready for them to fill.

Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
tags: self
“Under these circumstances, silence among such a large group of people is an uncomfortable thing to experience. Guilt spreads around even to those who have nothing to feel guilty about. Many held their breath. Or, as I heard later, many did what me and my mum did and closed their eyes. We closed our eyes in a bid to remove ourselves.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“I had discovered that the plainest house can crown a fantasy or daydream. An open window can be tolerated. So can an open door. But I discovered the value of four walls and a roof. Something about containment that at the same time offers escape.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
tags: home
“Thanks to dreams, in the history of the galaxy the world has been reinvented more often than there are stars.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“We were young. Everyone was young in those days. That’s the main complaint you hear from people who are getting old. You stop seeing young people. You begin to wonder if there are any left and whether there were only young people when you were young.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
tags: old, youth
“Some areas of life are not meant to overlap.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“The surprising thing is where I’d found him – not up a tree or sulking in the shade, or splashing around in one of the hill streams, but in a book. No one had told us kids to look there for a friend.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“Now listen. Faith is like oxygen. It keeps you afloat at all times. Sometimes you need it. Sometimes you don’t. but when you do need it you better be practiced at having faith, otherwise it won’t work. That’s why the missionaries built all the churches. Before we got those churches we weren’t practicing enough. That’s what prayers are for—practice, children. Practice.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
tags: faith
“Let’s all do it,” said Mr. Watts. “Close your eyes and silently recite your name.”
The sound of my name took me to a place deep inside my head. I already knew that words could take you into a new world, but I didn’t know that on the strength of one word spoken for my ears only I would find myself in a room that no one else knew about.

“Another thing,” Mr. Watts said. “No one in the history of your short lives has used the same voice as you with which to say your name. This is yours. Your special gift that no one can ever take from you.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
tags: names
“The moving landscape provides an absorbing diversion which frees the mind & gives us a fresh viewpoint, & we’re most at ease with the word when we walk because everything is happening at a manageable pace.”
Lloyd Jones
“You cannot read Dickens without putting in a little more effort. You cannot eat a ripe pawpaw without its innards and juice spilling down your chin. Likewise, the language of Dickens makes your mouth do strange things, and when you're not used to his words your jaw will creak.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“I was one of those heart seeds us kids had heard about in class. I was at some earlier stage of a journey that would deliver me to another place, to another life, into another way of being. I just didn't know where or when.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“Pip is an orphan who is given the chance to create his own self and destiny. Pip's experience also reminds us of the emigrant's experience. Each leaves behind the place he grew up in. Each strikes out on his own. Each is free to create himself anew. Each is also free to make mistakes...”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“Stories have a job to do. They can't just lie around like lazybone dogs. They have to teach you something.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
“She didn't want to encourage me by asking questions. She didn't want me to go deeper into that other world. She worried she would lose her Matilda to Victorian England.”
Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip


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