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John Connolly quotes (showing 1-30 of 169)

“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“I think the act of reading imbues the reader with a sensitivity toward the outside world that people who don't read can sometimes lack. I know it seems like a contradiction in terms; after all reading is such a solitary, internalizing act that it appears to represent a disengagement from day-to-day life. But reading, and particularly the reading of fiction, encourages us to view the world in new and challenging ways...It allows us to inhabit the consciousness of another which is a precursor to empathy, and empathy is, for me, one of the marks of a decent human being.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“Being scared isn't the problem. It's not running away that's the hard part.”
John Connolly, Nocturnes
“He would talk to them of stories and books, and explain to them how stories wanted to be told and books wanted to be read, and how everything that they ever needed to know about life and the land of which he wrote, or about any land or realm that they could imagine, was contained in books. And some of the children understood, and some did not.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“Once upon a time – for that is how all stories should begin – there was a boy who lost his mother.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“The nature of compassion isn't coming to terms with your own suffering and applying it to others: It's knowing that other folks around you suffer and, no matter what happens to you, no matter how lucky or unlucky you are, they keep suffering. And if you can do something about that, then you do it, and you do it without whining or waving your own fuckin' cross for the world to see. You do it because it's the right thing to do.”
John Connolly, Dark Hollow
“You mean they killed her?" asked David.
They ate her," said Brother Number One. "With porridge. That's what 'ran away and was never seen again' means in these parts. It means 'eaten.'"
Um and what about 'happily ever after'?" asked David, a little uncertainly. "What does that mean?"
Eaten quickly," said Brother Number One.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“. . . For a lifetime was but a moment in that place, and each man dreams his own heaven.

And in the darkness David closed his eyes, as all that was lost was found again.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, books had no real existence in our world. Like seeds in the beak of a bird waiting to fall to earth, or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. they lie dormant hoping for the chance to emerge.They want us to give them life.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“Before she came ill, David's mother would often tell him that stories were alive. They weren't alive in the way that people were alive, or even dogs or cats. (...) Stories were different, though: they came alive in the telling. Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by torch light beneath a blanket, they had no real existence in our world. (...) They lay dormant, hoping for the chance to emerge. Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change. They could take root in the imagination and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read, David's mother would whisper. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
tags: books
“Each man dreams his own heaven.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“Let me tell you the truth about the world to which you so desperately want to return. It is a place of pain and suffering and grief. When you left it, cities were being attacked. Women and children were being blasted to pieces or burned alive by bombs dropped from planes flown by men with wives and children of their own. People were being dragged from their homes and shot in the street. Your world is tearing itself apart, and the most amusing thing of all is that it was little better before the war started. War merely gives people an excuse to indulge themselves further, to murder with impunity. There were wars before it, and there will be wars after it, and in between people will fight one another and hurt one another and maim one another and betray one another, because that is what they have always done.

And even if you avoid warfare and violent death, little boy, what else do you think life has in store for you? You have already seen what it is capable of doing. It took your mother from you, drained her of health and beauty, and then cast her aside like the withered, rotten husk of a fruit. It will take others from you too, mark me. Those whom you care about--lovers, children--will fall by the wayside, and your love will not be enough to save them. Your health will fail you. You will become old and sick. Your limbs will ache, your eyesight will fade, and your skin will grow lined and aged. There will be pains deep within that no doctor will be able to cure. Diseases will find a warm, moist place inside you and there they will breed, spreading through your system, corrupting it cell by cell until you pray for the doctors to let you die, to put you out of your misery, but they will not. Instead you will linger on, with no one to hold your hand or soothe your brow, as Death comes and beckons you into his darkness. The life you left behind you is no life at all. Here, you can be king, and I will allow you to age with dignity and without pain, and when the time comes for you to die, I will send you gently to sleep and you will awaken in the paradise of your choosing, for each man dreams his own heaven.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“He had quite liked the dwarfs. He often had no idea what they were talking about, but for a group of homicidal, class-obsessed small people, they were really rather good fun.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“I believe in those whom I love and trust. All else is foolishness. This god is as empty as his church. His followers choose to attribute all of their good fortune to him, but when he ignores their pleas or leaves them to suffer, they say only that he ignores their pleas or leaves them to suffer, they say only that he is beyond their understanding and abandon themselves to his will. What kind of god is that?”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“Stories wanted to be read, David's mother would whisper. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“You had evil inside you, and you indulged it. Men will always indulge it.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“We are not meant to know the time or the nature of our deaths (for all of us secretly hope that we may be immortal).”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“Stories come alive in the telling. Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, they had no existence in our world. They were like seeds in the beak of a bird, waiting to fall to earth. Or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. They lay dormant, hoping for the chance to emerge. Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change. They could take root in the imagination and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“These stories were very old, as old as people, and they had survived because they were very powerful indeed. They were the tales that echoed in the head long after the books that contained them were cast aside. They were both an escape from reality and an alternative reality themselves. They were so old, and so strange, that they had found a kind of existence independent of the pages they occupied. The world of the old tales existed parallel to ours, but sometimes the walls separating the two became so thing and brittle that the two worlds started to blend into each other. That was when the trouble started. That was when the bad things came. That was when the Crooked Man began to appear to David.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“Eventually the Woodsman spoke. ‘We all have our routines,’ he said softly. ‘But they must have a purpose and provide an outcome that we can see and take some comfort from, or else they have no use at all. Without that, they are like the endless pacings of a caged animal. If they are not madness itself, then they are a prelude to it.’

The Woodsman stood and showed David his axe.

‘See here,’ he said, pointing with his finger at the blade. Every morning, I make certain that me axe is clean and keen. I look to my house and check that its windows and doors remain secure. I tend to my land, disposing of weeds and ensuring that the soil is watered. I walk through the forest, clearing those paths that need to be kept open. Where trees have been damaged, I do my best to repair what has been harmed. these are my routines and I enjoy doing them well.’

He laid a hand gently on David’s shoulder, and David saw understanding in his face. ‘Rules and routines are good, but they must give you satisfaction. Can you truly say you gain that from touching and counting?’

David shook his head. ‘No,’ he said, ‘but I get scared when I don’t do them. I’m afraid of what might happen.’

‘Then find routines that allow you to feel secure when they are done. You told me that you have a new brother: look to him each morning. Look to your father, and your stepmother. Tend to the flowers in the garden, or in the pots upon the window sill. Seek others who are weaker than you are, and try to give them comfort where you can. Let these be your routines, and the rules that govern your life.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“The stories in books hate the stories in newspapers, David's mother would say. Newspaper stories were like newly caught fish, worthy of attention only for as long as they remained fresh, which was not very long at all. They were like the street urchins hawking the evening editions, all shouty and insistent, while stories- real stories, proper made-up stories-were like stern but helpful librarians in a well-stocked library. Newspaper stories were as insubstantial as smoke, as long-lived as mayflies. They did not take root but were instead like weeds that crawled along the ground, stealing the sunlight from more deserving tales.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“I'm a ghost," said the small figure, then added, a little uncertainly, "Boo?”
John Connolly, The Gates
“I'd been hurt, and in response I had acted violently, destroying a little of myself each time I did so.”
John Connolly, The Killing Kind
“42. Most people will spend their lives doing jobs that they don't particularly enjoy, and will eventually save up enough money to stop doing those jobs just in time to start dying instead. Don't be one of those people. There's a difference between living, and just surviving. Do something that you love, and find someone to love who loves that you love what you do.
It really is that simple.
And that hard.”
John Connolly
“He had never really speculated about this before, since demons came in all shapes and sizes. Indeed, some of them came in more than one shape or size all by themselves, such as O'Dear, the Demon of People Who Look in Mirrors and Think They're Overweight, and his twin, O'Really, the Demon of People Who Look in Mirrors and Think They're Slim When They're Not.”
John Connolly, The Gates
“This life is filled with threats and danger, David. We face those that we have to face, and there will be times when we must make the choice to act for the greater good, even at risk to ourselves, but we do not lay down our lives needlessly. Each of us has only one life to live, and one life to give. There is no glory in throwing it away where there is no hope.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“I thought it was her wicked stepmother who poisoned her...'
'...Turned out the wicked stepmother had an alibi.'
'...Seems she was off poisoning someone else at the time. Chance in a million, really. It was just bad luck.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“And, in the darkness, David closed his eyes as all that was lost was found again.”
John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
“They were on the side of the angels, even if the angels weren't entirely sure that this was a good thing.”
John Connolly, The Reapers
“There is a dark resource within all of us, a reservoir of hurt and pain and anger upon which we can draw when the need arises. Most of us rarely, if ever, have to delve too deeply into it. That is as it should be, because dipping into it costs and you lose a little of yourself each time, a small part of all that is good and honorable and decent about you. Each time you use it you have to go a little deeper, a little further down into the blackness. Strange creatures move through its depths, illuminated by a burning light from within and fueled only by the desire to survive and to kill. The danger in diving into that pool, in drinking from that dark water, is that one day you may submerge yourself so deeply that you can never find the surface again. Give in to it and you're lost forever.”
John Connolly, The Killing Kind

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