The Lincoln Highway Quotes

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The Lincoln Highway The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
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The Lincoln Highway Quotes Showing 1-30 of 237
“For kindness begins where necessity ends.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“—It wasn’t a bother at all, the old gent replied, gesturing toward his bed. I was only reading. Ah, I thought, seeing the corner of the book poking out from the folds of his sheets. I should have known. The poor old chap, he suffers from the most dangerous addiction of all.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“Wouldn’t it have been wonderful, thought Woolly, if everybody’s life was like a piece in a jigsaw puzzle. Then no one person’s life would ever be an inconvenience to anyone else’s. It would just fit snugly in its very own, specially designed spot, and in so doing, would enable the whole intricate picture to become complete.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“The funny thing about a picture, thought Woolly, the funny thing about a picture is that while it knows everything that’s happened up until the moment it’s been taken, it knows absotively nothing about what will happen next. And yet, once the picture has been framed and hung on a wall, what you see when you look at it closely are all the things that were about to happen. All the un-things. The things that were unanticipated. And unintended. And unreversible.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“in your time you shall do wrong unto others and others shall do wrong unto you. And these opposing wrongs will become your chains. The wrongs you have done unto others will be bound to you in the form of guilt, and the wrongs that others have done unto you in the form of indignation. The teachings of Jesus Christ Our Savior are there to free you from both. To free you from your guilt through atonement and from your indignation through forgiveness. Only once you have freed yourself from both of these chains may you begin to live your life with love in your heart and serenity in your step.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“If you take a trait that by all appearances is a merit—a trait that is praised by pastors and poets, a trait that we have come to admire in our friends and hope to foster in our children—and you give it to some poor soul in abundance, it will almost certainly prove an obstacle to their happiness. Just as someone can be too smart for their own good, there are those who are too patient for their own good, or too hardworking.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“And I do it because it’s unnecessary. For what is kindness but the performance of an act that is both beneficial to another and unrequired?”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“He too had watched as the outer limits of his life had narrowed from the world at large, to the island of Manhattan, to that book-lined office in which he awaited with a philosophical resignation the closing of the finger and thumb. And then this... This! A little boy from Nebraska appears at his doorstep with a gentle demeanor and a fantastical tale. A tale not from a leather-bound tome mind you... But from life itself. How easily we forget-we in the business of storytelling- that life was the point all along.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“How easily we forget-we in the business of storytelling- that life was the point all along.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“those who are given something of value without having to earn it are bound to squander it.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“Moments with other people, he found, were much more likely to be filled with laughter and surprises than moments with oneself. And moments with oneself were more likely to circle inward toward some thought that one didn’t want to be having in the first place. But on this occasion, on this occasion that he found himself with a moment to himself, Woolly welcomed it.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“I do believe that the Good Lord has a mission for each and every one of us—a mission that is forgiving of our weaknesses, tailored to our strengths, and designed with only us in mind. But maybe He doesn’t come knocking on our door and present it to us all frosted like a cake. Maybe, just maybe what He requires of us, what He expects of us, what He hopes for us is that—like His only begotten Son—we will go out into the world and find it for ourselves.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“I thought to myself that there are surely a lot of big things in America. The Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty are big. The Mississippi River and the Grand Canyon are big. The skies over the prairie are big. But there is nothing bigger than a man’s opinion of himself.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“Time is that which God uses to separate the idle from the industrious. For time is a mountain and upon seeing its steep incline, the idle will lie down among the lilies of the field and hope that someone passes by with a pitcher of lemonade. What the worthy endeavor requires is planning, effort, attentiveness, and the willingness to clean up.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“And from all of these pages upon pages, one thing I have learned is that there is just enough variety in human experience for every single person in a city the size of New York to feel with assurance that their experience is unique. And this is a wonderful thing. Because to aspire, to fall in love, to stumble as we do and yet soldier on, at some level we must believe that what we are going through has never been experienced quite as we have experienced it.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“That’s the sort of thing young people do: fan the flames of each other’s expectations—until the necessities of life begin to make themselves known.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“You could almost hear the thumb of reality beginning to press down on that spot in the soul from which youthful enthusiasm springs.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“Questions can be so tricky, he said, like forks in the road. You can be having such a nice conversation and someone will raise a question, and the next thing you know you’re headed off in a whole new direction. In all probability, this new road will lead you to places that are perfectly agreeable, but sometimes you just want to go in the direction you were already headed.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“Many years before, Abacus had come to the conclusion that the greatest of heroic stories have the shape of a diamond on its side. Beginning at a fine point, the life of the hero expands outward through youth as he begins to establish his strengths and fallibilities, his friendships and enmities. Proceeding into the world, he pursues exploits in grand company, accumulating honors and accolades. But at some untold moment, the two rays that define the outer limits of this widening world of hale companions and worthy adventures simultaneously turn a corner and begin to converge. The terrain our hero travels, the cast of characters he meets, the sense of purpose that has long propelled him forward all begin to narrow—to narrow toward that fixed and inexorable point that defines his fate. Take the tale of Achilles. In hopes of making her son invincible, the Nereid Thetis holds her newborn boy by the ankle and dips him into the river Styx. From that finite moment”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“As his father made painfully clear that night, to deface the pages of a book was to adopt the manner of a Visigoth. It was to strike a blow against that most sacred and noble of man’s achievements—the ability to set down his finest ideas and sentiments so that they might be shared through the ages.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“To hold another man in disdain, his father would say, presumed that you knew so much about his lot, so much about his intentions, about his actions both public and private that you could rank his character against your own without fear of misjudgment.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“Because a farmer with a mortgage was like a man walking on the railing of a bridge with his arms outstretched and his eyes closed. It was a way of life in which the difference between abundance and ruin could be measured by a few inches of rain or a few nights of frost.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“But being grateful was one thing, and being beholden, that was another thing altogether.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“Boys, she would begin in her motherly way, in your time you shall do wrong unto others and others shall do wrong unto you. And these opposing wrongs will become your chains. The wrongs you have done unto others will be bound to you in the form of guilt, and the wrongs that others have done unto you in the form of indignation. The teachings of Jesus Christ Our Savior are there to free you from both. To free you from your guilt through atonement and from your indignation through forgiveness. Only once you have freed yourself from both of these chains may you begin to live your life with love in your heart and serenity in your step.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“There are few things more beautiful to an author's eye, he confessed to Billy, than a well-read copy of one of his books.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“Well, I’m sorry. But if ever you needed proof that the Bible was written by a man, there you have”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“Not all worth knowing can be found between the covers of compendiums, my boy. Let’s simply say that my academy was the thoroughfare, my primer experience, and my instructor the fickle finger of fate.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“From a man’s point of view, the one thing that’s needful is that you sit at his feet and listen to what he has to say, no matter how long it takes for him to say it, or how often he’s said it before. By his figuring, you have plenty of time for sitting and listening because a meal is something that makes itself.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway
“Because young children don’t know how things are supposed to be done, they will come to imagine that the habits of their household are the habits of the world.”
Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway

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