Telegraph Avenue Quotes

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Telegraph Avenue Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
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Telegraph Avenue Quotes (showing 1-30 of 50)
“The little boy had wandered away from his mother, tacking across the grass to the play structure. His mother watched him go, proud, tickled, unaware that every time they toddled away from you, they came back a little different, ten seconds older and nearer to the day when they left you for good. Pearl divers in training, staying under a few seconds longer every time.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“Fathering imposed an obligation that was more than your money, your body, or your time, a presence neither physical nor measurable by clocks: open-ended, eternal, and invisible, like the commitment of gravity to the stars.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“The evening laid its cool palm against his weary brow as if feeling for a temperature.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“Walter broke off a piece of a smile and tucked it into his left cheek as if reserving it for future use.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“Do what you gotta do and stay fly”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“Combing her thoughts, yanking them into a pigtail.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“Her hair was a glory of tendrils for the snaring of husbands.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“He reached up and out with both arms to shoot his cuffs, and for an instant he might have served to illustrate the crucial step in a manual on the seizing of days. He had already seized this particular day once, but he was prepared, if need be, to go ahead and seize the motherfucker all over again.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“It was him, thirty years too old, twenty pounds too light, & forty watts too dim maybe, but him.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
tags: age
“The lucky ones are the people like your husband there. The ones who find work that means something to them. That they can really put their heart into, however foolish it might look to other people.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“Knowing he had done wrong, prepared to make amends, settle his business. Determined to return to Brokeland, open the doors wide to the angel of retail death, and run the place into the ground all by himself, if that was what it took-but to fail calmly, to fail with style, to fail above all with that true dignity, unknown to his wife or his partner, which lay in never tripping out, never showing offense or hurt to those who had offended or hurt you.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“A high point in a life lived at sea level, prone to flooding.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“The instructor, Ms. Pease, also taught in the church's religious school, and she had a Sunday school manner at once saccharine and condemnatory.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“They had an old-fashioned sincerity...that touched Archy in this time when everything good in life was either synthesised in transgenic cyborg vats or shade-grown in small batches by a Buddhist collective of blind ex-Carmelite Wiccans.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“He addressed the class...in a soft, stupefied, increasingly breathless tone like an astronaut pleading with a mad supercomputer to open an airlock.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“You never would get through to the end of being a father, no matter where you stored your mind or how many steps in the series you followed. Nit even if you died. Alive or dead a thousand miles distant, you were always going to be on the hook for work that was neither a procedure nor a series of steps but, rather, something that demanded your full, constant attention without necessarily calling you to do, perform, or say anything at all.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“A smile opened, thin as a paper cut, in the bottom of Flowers's face.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“The officious swagger in her gait might have been some flavor of self-possession or the cool skedaddle of a shoplifter making for the door. In either case, the streamer of toilet paper that trailed from the waistband of her tiny skirt like the banner of an advertising airplane pretty much spoiled the effect.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“He was aware, as he did so, of a poignant air of tragic dedication in all his actions, the dutiful routines of a doomed picket manning his lonely watch, as, beyond the next range of hills, the barbarian horde mounted its conquering ponies.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“Vulgar language," Chan said..."Always the first and last refuge of the man with nothing to say.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“Julie wanted to die of his own whiteness, to be drowned in the tide of his embarrassment on behalf of all uncool white people everywhere when they tried to be cool.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“Like the Party he had joined too late, too young, Chan was a lost claim check, a series of time lapse photos of a promise as it broke.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“He felt, and not for the first time today, that he had not made a good decision in his personal or professional life since 1989.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
tags: age, time
“[...]a man and a boy, side by side on a yellow Swedish sofa from the 1950s that the man had bought because it somehow reminded him of a zoot suit, watching the A’s play Baltimore, Rich Harden on the mound working that devious ghost pitch, two pairs of stocking feet, size 11 and size 15, rising from the deck of the coffee table at either end like towers of the Bay Bridge, between the feet the remains in an open pizza box of a bad, cheap, and formerly enormous XL meat lover’s special, sausage, pepperoni, bacon, ground beef, and ham, all of it gone but crumbs and parentheses of crusts left by the boy, brackets for the blankness of his conversation and, for all the man knew, of his thoughts, Titus having said nothing to Archy since Gwen’s departure apart from monosyllables doled out in response to direct yes-or-nos, Do you like baseball? you like pizza? eat meat? pork?, the boy limiting himself whenever possible to a tight little nod, guarding himself at his end of the sofa as if riding on a crowded train with something breakable on his lap, nobody saying anything in the room, the city, or the world except Bill King and Ken Korach calling the plays, the game eventless and yet blessedly slow, player substitutions and deep pitch counts eating up swaths of time during which no one was required to say or to decide anything, to feel what might conceivably be felt, to dread what might be dreaded, the game standing tied at 1 and in theory capable of going on that way forever, or at least until there was not a live arm left in the bullpen, the third-string catcher sent in to pitch the thirty-second inning, batters catnapping slumped against one another on the bench, dead on their feet in the on-deck circle, the stands emptied and echoing, hot dog wrappers rolling like tumbleweeds past the diehards asleep in their seats, inning giving way to inning as the dawn sky glowed blue as the burner on a stove, and busloads of farmhands were brought in under emergency rules to fill out the weary roster, from Sacramento and Stockton and Norfolk, Virginia, entire villages in the Dominican ransacked for the flower of their youth who were loaded into the bellies of C-130s and flown to Oakland to feed the unassuageable appetite of this one game for batsmen and fielders and set-up men, threat after threat giving way to the third out, weak pop flies, called third strikes, inning after inning, week after week, beards growing long, Christmas coming, summer looping back around on itself, wars ending, babies graduating from college, and there’s ball four to load the bases for the 3,211th time, followed by a routine can of corn to left, the commissioner calling in varsity teams and the stars of girls’ softball squads and Little Leaguers, Archy and Titus sustained all that time in their equally infinite silence, nothing between them at all but three feet of sofa;”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“...she deferred to her partner, to the virtuoso hands of Gwen Shanks, freaky-big, fluid as a couple of tide-pool dwellers, cabled like the Golden Gate Bridge.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
tags: hands
“Singletary arched an eyebrow then, after taking a look around the room, smiled a dubious but encouraging smile, the way you might smile at someone about to depress the ignition button on a homemade jetpack.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“Gibson Goode to Archy: "You're just being stubborn now. Stubbornness in the service of a mistaken notion is a vanity and a sin.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“Black people live their whole lives in a fantasy world, it's just not their fantasy.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“Alcohol as helpful to the making of scapegoats as mud to the shaping of golems.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
“They were little more than boys, and yet while they differed in race, in temperament, and in their understanding of love, they were united in this: The remnant of their boyhood was a ballast they wished to cut away.”
Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue

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