Goodreads helps you follow your favorite authors. Be the first to learn about new releases!
Start by following Robert Goolrick.

Robert Goolrick Robert Goolrick > Quotes


Robert Goolrick quotes Showing 1-30 of 103

“If you don't receive love from the ones who are meant to love you, you will never stop looking for it.”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“There is an ache in my heart for the imagined beauty of a life I haven't had, from which I had been locked out, and it never goes away.”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“I know that it's easier to look at death than it is to look at pain, because while death is irrevocable, and the grief will lessen in time, pain is too often merely relentless and irreversible.”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“I would give anything, anything, to be the man to whom this has not happened. I can not accommodate myself to it. In a lifetime of trying, I can not accommodate myself to it.

And now I will have to be that person forever.”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“It is the tenderness that breaks our hearts. The loveliness that leaves us stranded on the shore, watching the boats sail away. It is the sweetness that makes us want to reach out and touch the soft skin of another person. And it is the grace that comes to us, undeserving though we may be.”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“I wasn't safe. I wasn't permanent. My life was a fiction I had created, like an alien who comes to earth and tries to pass as human. The affections of my friends meant nothing to me, directed, as they were, toward a person who wasn't there. There was nobody home.”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“Learning became her. She loved the smell of the book from the shelves, the type on the pages, the sense that the world was an infinite but knowable place. Every fact she learned seemed to open another question, and for every question there was another book.”
Robert Goolrick, A Reliable Wife
“Their love for me was both a myth and a torture and so I wrecked everything. I hurt them, and I left them hurting.”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“There is a loveliness to life that does not fade. Even in the terrors of the night, there is a tendency toward grace that does not fail us. ”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“If love drove people mad, what would lack of love do?”
Robert Goolrick, A Reliable Wife
“Catherine Land liked the beginnings of things. The pure white possibility of the empty room, the first kiss, the first swipe at larceny. And endings, she liked endings, too. The drama of the smashing glass, the dead bird, the tearful goodbye, the last awful word which could never be unsaid or unremembered.
It was the middles that gave her pause. This, for all its forward momentum, this was a middle. The beginnings were sweet, the endings usually bitter, but the middles were only the tightrope you walked between the one and the other. No more than that.”
Robert Goolrick, A Reliable Wife
“I know that I am not the only person who is alone in the world. I know that others sorrow in the night. That others pick up a razor and slice into their own skin, with greater or lesser success. I know that others look at their lives and see only silent failure and disconsolation, feeding the cat, checking their email, doing the crossword. I know that I am not the only person to have lived a life like mine. I am aware. (212)”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“I think kissing is what separates us from the animals and makes us divine.”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“How most people carry on is a mystery. What they talk about at supper. How they can stand to sit in front of a TV from eight until Leno every night. How they can think bowling is fun. How they choose their neckties. How they bear the weight of everyday life without screaming. How a person can go through a whole life and never once contemplate suicide, like people who have never once wanted to be a movie star. How one young man can be handsome and strong and marry and heiress and work at Debevoise and Plimpton and retire to Nantucket to await the visits of his grandchildren, how they can be sailing in the bay while another young man, exactly like the first, can end up in a glass room in Lexington, Kentucky, on Haldol and Thorazine, without hope, without a girlfriend, without a future, and how easily the one can become the other. How one woman can take Gatorade to every one of her son's lacrosse games and another can lie in bed all day weeping, popping generic drugs, watching Oprah as though waiting for the Second Coming, and piling her dirty dishes in the laundry room. How life goes in bad directions when your heart is asleep. It's a mystery and there is no answer. (95)”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“She believed in the miraculous. Or she had, until she reached an age when, all of a sudden, she realized that the life she was living, was in fact, her life. The clay of her being, so long infinitely malleable, had been formed, hardened into what now seemed a palpable, unchanging object. A shell she inhabited. It shocked her then. It shocked her now, like a slap in the face. ”
Robert Goolrick, A Reliable Wife
“I tell these stories because I have lied about my life to people who have been kind to me and I am tired of lying. I tell it because I don't want people to think that I have fucked up my life over and over just because I was in a bad mood.”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“Somewhere in the pain there is pleasure, and that is the most awful part, perhaps. (170)”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“Even if we choose to sever the ties to all we ever knew as home, to redefine the spaces we live in, the emotions that seem most natural to us, the ways we have of loving, there is a haunting feeling of loss and admiration for the people we knew first and best. Even if we never speak to them again, they are our first and purest loves. There is, for all of us, a time in which they meant the world. Sometimes, that time lasts as long as we live. It is eternal as breath. It is changeless and deathless. Sometimes, it ends at a very early age. Sometimes, we cannot help ourselves. Things happen. (203)”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“When you're young, and you head out to wonderful, everything is fresh and bright as a brand new penny, but before you get to wonderful you're going to have to pass through all right. And when you get to all right, stop and take a good long look, because that may be as far as you're ever going to go.”
Robert Goolrick, Heading Out to Wonderful
“... It was a story of people who don't choose life over death until it's too late to know the difference, people whose goodness is forgotten, left behind like a child's toy in a dusty playroom, people who see many things and remember only a handful of the them and learn from even fewer, people who hurt themselves, who wreck their own lives and then go on to wreck the lives of those around them, who cannot be helped or assuaged by love or kindness or luck or charm, who forget kindness, the feeling and practice of it, and how it can save even the worst, most misshapen life from despair. It was just a story about despair.”
Robert Goolrick, A Reliable Wife
“We tend to go on loving the things the people who loved us loved. They are invested with soul, even if the people are long dead, even if they do not turn out to be who you thought they were.”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“Standing in the center of the crowd, his solitude was enormous. He felt that in all the vast and frozen space in which he lived his life - every hand needy, every heart wanting something from him - everybody had a reason to be and a place to land. Everybody but him. For him there was nothing. In all the cold and bitter world, there was not a single place for him to sit down.”
Robert Goolrick, A Reliable Wife
“Sometime, Mrs. Truitt, we work very hard at something, we exhaust ourselves to accomplish something which seems vital to us." He chose his words with care. "Our best hope for happiness. And sometimes we find that thing, only to find it has simply not been worth the effort.”
Robert Goolrick, A Reliable Wife
“The thing is, all memory is fiction. You have to remember that. Of course, there are things that actually, certifiably happened, things you can pinpoint the day, the hour, the minute. When you think about it, though, those things, mostly seem to happen to other people.


This story actually happened, and it happened pretty much the way I am going to tell it to you. It's a true story as much as six decades or telling and remembering can allow it to be true. Time changes things, and you don't always get everything right. You remember a little thing clear as a bell, the weather, say, or the splash of light on the river's ripples as the sun was going down into the black pines. things not even connected to anything in particular, while other things, big things even, come completely disconnected and no longer have any shape or sound. The little things seem more real than the big things.”
Robert Goolrick, Heading Out to Wonderful
“There is in this valley a beating heart. It is always and ever there. And when I am gone, it will beat for you and when you are gone, it will beat for your children and theirs, forever. Forever. Until there is no water, no air, no green in the spring or gold in the autumn, no stars in the sky or wind from the north. And when you cannot speak, it will speak for you. When you cannot see, it will be your eyes. When you cannot remember, it will be your memory. It will never forget you. And when you cannot be faithful, it will save a place for your return. This is a gift to you. It cannot be taken away. It is yours forever. It is the narrative of this world, and the scrapbook of your own small life, and, when you are gone into ash and darkness and the grave, it will tell your story.”
Robert Goolrick, Heading Out to Wonderful
“In times of grief, you're waiting for something to happen, but the thing you're waiting for has already taken place.”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“Sometimes she sat and let her mind go blank and her eyes go out of focus, so that she watched the slow, jerky movements of the motes that floated across her pupils. They amazed her as a child. Now she saw them as a reflection of how she moved, floating listlessly through the world, occasionally bumping into another body without acknowledgment, and then floating on, free and alone.”
Robert Goolrick, A Reliable Wife
“There was so much we had done to ourselves, so much we said in our sessions that our hearts were rent with sorrow. There is so much that happens to the human heart that is in the realm of the unthinkable, the unknowable, the unbearable. (95)”
Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
“Her true heart, however, was buried so far inside her, so gone beneath the vast blanket of her lies and deceptions and whims. Like her jewels now beneath the snow, it lay hidden until some thaw might some to it. She had no way of knowing, of course, whether this heart she imagined herself to have was, in fact, real in any way. Perhaps it was like the soldier's severed arm that keeps throbbing for years, or like a broken bone that aches at the approach of a storm. Perhaps the heart she imagined was one she had never really had at all. But how did they do it, those women she saw on the street, laughing with their charming or their ill-tempered children in restaurants, in train stations, everywhere around her? Any why was she left out of the whole sentimental panorama she felt eddying around her every day of her life?”
Robert Goolrick
“...she had brought harm to him, in the believe that nothing mattered, that no moment had consequences beyond the moment itself. She had agreed to kill him without realizing that he would die".”
Robert Goolrick, A Reliable Wife

« previous 1 3 4

All Quotes | Add A Quote
Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game

A Reliable Wife A Reliable Wife
70,751 ratings
Open Preview
Heading Out to Wonderful Heading Out to Wonderful
7,520 ratings
The Fall of Princes The Fall of Princes
919 ratings