The Gone-Away World Quotes

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The Gone-Away World The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway
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The Gone-Away World Quotes Showing 1-30 of 51
“I have known heaven, and now I am in hell, and there are mimes.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
tags: mimes
“People don't want children to know what they need to know. They want their kids to know what they ought to need to know. If you're a teacher you're in a constant battle with mildly deluded adults who think the world will get better if you imagine it is better. You want to teach about sex? Fine, but only when they're old enough to do it. You want to talk politics? Sure, but nothing modern. Religion? So long as you don't actually think about it. Otherwise some furious mob will come to your house and burn you for a witch.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“Ninjas are silly. They are the flower fairies of gong fu and karate.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“A cherry pie is . . . ephemeral. From the moment it emerges from the oven it begins a steep decline: from too hot to edible to cold to stale to mouldy, and finally to a post-pie state where only history can tell you that it was once considered food. The pie is a parable of human life.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“If we one day cease to exist, what will be remarkable is that we were ever here at all.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“A woman who can eat a real bruschetta is a woman you can love and who can love you. Someone who pushes the thing away because it's messy is never going to cackle at you toothlessly across the living room of your retirement cottage or drag you back from your sixth heart attack by sheer furious affection. Never happen. You need a woman who isn't afraid of a faceful of olive oil for that.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“The problem isn't who is in charge. It's what is in charge. The problem is that people are encouraged to function as machines. Or, actually, as mechanisms. Human emotion and sympathy are unprofessional. They are inappropriate to the exercise of reason. Everything which makes people good - makes them human - is ruled out. The system doesn't care about people, but we treat it as if it were one of us, as if it were the sum of our goods and not the product of our least admirable compromises.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“It's usually best not to ask philosophers anything, precisely because they have the habit of what in the Persian language is called sanud: the profitless consideration of unsettling yet inconsequential things.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“Children, bored and opinionated, are scholars of the most dogmatic stripe.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“No. The moral of the story in so far as it has one is that cannibals can study logic, and that if you are going to leave the path, you better have your wits about you and know better than to trust the first scary old lady who talks to you in public.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“Gonzo's father told his son to grieve without reservation or embarrassment until he could grieve solemnly and inwardly, and then finally to hang up his tears and wear them only occasionally, as befits the true men of the heart. Grief is not a thing to be ashamed of or suppressed, he told Gonzo. Nor yet is it a thing to cherish. Feel it, inhabit it and leave it behind. It is right, but it is not the end.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
tags: grief
“I hover over the expensive Scotch and then the Armagnac, but finally settle on a glass of rich red claret. I put it near my nose and nearly pass out. It smells of old houses and aged wood and dark secrets, but also of hard, hot sunshine through ancient shutters and long, wicked afternoons in a four-poster bed. It's not a wine, it's a life, right there in the glass.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“Are you addicted if there is simply no reason for you to do anything else?”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“What will you tell him?"
"The truth."
Fortismer thinks about that.
"Yes," he says at last. "Probably the best thing. Bloody deceptive, honesty.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“That's what you get for ignoring the beauty of Tupperware.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“My loss of faith is sudden, and it's not so much a conversion as a reappraisal. Children are still modeling the world, still understanding how it works; their convictions are malleable, like their bones. Thus, I experience no sudden horrible wrench as my belief is uprooted, but rather a feeling like the right pair of glasses being put in front of my face after some time wearing someone else's.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“That's probably why she has added the two severed heads to the uprights of the throne. They lend her an undeniable air of not screwing around.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“Nowhere have I ever heard of Satan taking the form of an avuncular hippie. No doubt he could. It just seems inefficient.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“Dressing, I chose the second shirt, the one softened in the mouth of a trained and perfumed albino hippopotamus and made entirely of pigeon's wool, because it goes better with the shoes than the one stitched with baby hair.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“A warsheep would be a cross between a dolphin and a small, limber elephant.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
tags: sheep
“Modern war is distinguished by the fact that all the participants are ostensibly unwilling. We are swept towards one another like colonies of heavily armed penguins on an ice floe. Every speech on the subject given by any involved party begins by deploring even the idea of war. A war here would not be legal or useful. It is not necessary or appropriate. It must be avoided. Immediately following this proud declamation comes a series of circumlocutions, circumventions and rhetoricocircumambulations which make it clear that we will go to war, but not really, because we don’t want to and aren’t allowed to, so what we’re doing is in fact some kind of hyper-violent peace in which people will die. We are going to un-war.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“This place does not feel like my country. It feels like countries I have read about where things are very bad. It feels, in fact, like exactly the kind of thing we were protesting against, but we thought it was elsewhere. It is not heartening to find that it has come to us.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“Newton's work on gravity led to the discovery of the Lagrange point, a place where opposing forces cancel one another out, and a body may remain at relative rest. This is where I am right now; the forces in my life confound one another. Better, for the moment, to be here and now, without history or future.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“Thus Gonzo, incendiarist and leader of men.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“Deserts are like nearly bald men having a haircut. The difference is absolutely crucial from within, but to the rest of us it's still a dusty scrubland with little in the way of plant life.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“Garbage in, garbage out. Or rather more felicitously: the tree of nonsense is watered with error, and from its branches swing the pumpkins of disaster.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“We were deluged together in the raw, unbalanced Stuff of the universe. Inevitable consequence:
My own little reification.

I was made flesh, and in the process taken from him. I was never supposed to be real. How terrifying to confide your every doubt to an imaginary companion, to bequeath to him every alternative, and then one day turn and see him standing before you. Gonzo must be feeling so hollow inside, with me spun out and separated from him. It must be quiet and empty in there.

And that, of course, is how I survived being shot. Freshly minted, new, I wasn’t real enough to die.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“Because for Gonzo, anything which may explode at any moment is clearly a girl.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
tags: girls
“He hates chain stores and fast-food restaurants, mass-produced items and fashionable clothes - any instance of something that is repeated across the world regardless of local context. These things deny the uniqueness of each moment and each person. They function as if we were all printed out of plastic like egg boxes, and they try to make us function the same way. They are the intrusion of perfection into our grubby, smelly, sweaty living place.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World
“Now, are those engaged in the business of governing any different by nature from those they govern?"

"Yes. They're prideful and tend to sexual misconduct. Also, the situation of being in government tends to drive you mad."

"But are they more virtuous or more intelligent? Or more compassionate?"

"Ha!"

"Let's call that one a 'no.”
Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World

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