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Strangers on a Train Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
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Strangers on a Train Quotes Showing 1-30 of 32
“I know you have it in you, Guy," Anne said suddenly at the end of a silence, "the capacity to be terribly happy.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“The night was a time for bestial affinities, for drawing closer to oneself.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“How easy it was to lie when one had to lie!”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“But there were too many points at which the other self could invade the self he wanted to preserve, and there were too many forms of invasion: certain words, sounds, lights, actions his hands or feet performed, and if he did nothing at all, heard and saw nothing, the shouting of some triumphant inner voice that shocked him and cowed him.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“What chance combination of shadow and sound and his own thoughts had created it?”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“I got a theory a person ought to do everything it’s possible to do before he dies, and maybe die trying to do something that’s really impossible.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“A rush of panic comforted him with its familiarity.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“People, feelings, everything! Double! Two people in each person. There's also a person exactly the opposite of you, like the unseen part of you, somewhere in the world, and he waits in ambush.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“I like to drink when I travel. It enhances things, don’t you think?”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“He felt he was about to experience again some ancient, delicious childhood moment that the steam calliope's sour hollowness, the stitching hurdy-gurdy accompaniment, and the drum-and-cymbal crash brought almost to the margin of his grasp.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“Death was only one more adventure untried.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“The taste of Scotch, though Guy didn’t much care for it, was pleasant because it reminded him of Anne. She drank Scotch, when she drank. It was like her, golden, full of light, made with careful art.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“I tell him his business, all business, is legalized throat-cutting, like marriage is legalized fornication.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“She’s everything that should be loathed,” he went on, staring in front of him. “Sometimes I think I hate everything in the world. No decency, no conscience. She’s what people mean when they say America never grows up, America rewards the corrupt. She’s the type who goes to the bad movies, acts in them, reads the love-story magazines, lives in a bungalow, and whips her husband into earning more money this year so they can buy on the installment plan next year, breaks up her neighbor’s marriage—”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“That's exactly where you're wrong! Any kind of person can murder. Purely circumstances and not a thing to do with temperament! People get so far -- and it takes just the least little thing to push them over the brink. Anybody. Even your grandmother. I know.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“But love and hate, he thought now, good and evil, lived side by side in the human heart, and not merely in differing proportions in one man and the next, but all good and all evil. One had merely to look for a little of either to find it all, one had merely to scratch the surface. All things had opposites close by, every decision a reason against it, every animal an animal that destroys it, the male the female, the positive the negative.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“The law was not society, it began. Society was people like himself and Owen and Brillhart, who hadn't the right to take the life of another member of society. And yet the law did. "And yet the law is supposed to be the will of society at least. It isn't even that. Or maybe it is collectively," he added, aware that as always he was doubling back before he come to a point, making things as complex as possible in trying to make them certain.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“Society's law was lax compared to the law of conscience”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“For here it was now, as clear as it had ever been. And, worst of all, he was aware of an impulse to tell Bruno everything, the stranger on the train who would listen, commiserate, and forget. The idea of telling Bruno began to comfort him. Bruno was not the ordinary stranger on the train by any means. He was cruel and corrupt enough himself to appreciate a story like that of his first love.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“Hate had begun to paralyze his thinking, he realized, to make little blind alleys of the roads that logic had pointed out to him in New York.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“He robs everyone”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“If he believed in the full complement of evil in himself, he had to believe also in a natural compulsion to express it. He found himself wondering, therefore, from time to time, if he might have enjoyed his crime in some way, derived some primal satisfaction from it - how else could one really explain in mankind the continued toleration of wars, the perennial enthusiasm for wars when they came, if not for some primal pleasure in killing? - and because the capacity to wonder came so often, he accepted it as true that he had.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“The way to see the world was to see it drunk. Everything was created to be seen drunk.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“It was a kind of arrogance, perhaps, to believe so in one's destiny. But, on the other hand, who could be more genuinely humble than one who felt compelled to obey the laws of his own fate?”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“My mistake was in telling a stranger my private business.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“I know that Southern redhead type,” Bruno said, poking at his apple pie.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“The word “marriage” lingered in Guy’s ears, too. It was a solemn word to him. It had the primordial solemnity of holy, love, sin. It was Miriam’s round terra cotta-coloured mouth saying, “Why should I put myself out for you?” and it was Anne’s eyes as she pushed her hair back and looked up at him on the lawn of her house where she planted crocuses. It was Miriam turning from the tall thin window in the room in Chicago, lifting her freckled, shield-shaped face directly up to his as she always did before she told a lie, and Steve’s long dark head, insolently smiling.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“The train tore along with an angry, irregular rhythm.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“After dinner, Sammie Franklin and he got into an argument about vermouths. Sammie said the drier the vermouth, the more one had to put into a martini, although he admitted he was not a martini drinker. Bruno said he was not a martini drinker either, but he knew better than that. The argument went on even after his grandmother said good night and left them. They were on the upstairs terrace in the dark, his mother in the glider and he and Sammie standing by the parapet. Bruno ran down to the bar for the ingredients to prove his point. They both made martinis and tasted them, and though it was clear Bruno was right, Sammie kept holding out, and chuckling as if he didn't quite mean what he said either, which Bruni found insufferable”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
“Sintió que el sí quedaba absorbido por la oscuridad, no como las demás noches, en que el sí había sido mudo, sin ni siquiera salir de él mismo. El sí deshizo el nudo que tenía en la cabeza tan bruscamente que le hizo daño. Era lo que había estado esperando decir, lo que el silencio de la habitación y las bestias al otro lado de las paredes habían estado esperando oír.”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train

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