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50 pieces of wisdom from novels

Like a literary Magic 8 ball

50 pieces of wisdom from novels

Everyday life is a perilous vortex of confusing decisions, moral dilemmas and social quandaries. Without any useful advice, it can all seem a bit too much to bear.

While we've already explored the fountain of wisdom which exists in the world of film, it's time to scour the library for some inspirational tidbits from those smart author types.

Read. Digest. Laminate.

The Fall

"You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question."

Albert Camus


Murder At The Vicarage

"The young people think the old people are fools -- but the old people know the young people are fools."

Agatha Christie


Atlas Shrugged

"Never think of pain or danger or enemies a moment longer than is necessary to fight them."

Ayn Rand


The Rules Of Attraction

"No one will ever know anyone. We just have to deal with each other."

Bret Easton Ellis


Great Expectations

"We need never be ashamed of our tears."

Charles Dickens


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

"You should never, never doubt something that no one is sure of."

Roald Dahl


Things Fall Apart

"A proud heart can survive a general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride."

Chinua Achebe


The Bell Jar

"If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed."

Sylvia Plath


The Road

"You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget."

Cormac McCarthy


Fear Nothing

"Never leave a friend behind. Friends are all we have to get us through this life--and they are the only things from this world that we could hope to see in the next."

Dean Koontz


The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket & Related Tales

"Sensations are the great things, after all. Should you ever be drowned or hung, be sure and make a note of your sensations; they will be worth to you ten guineas a sheet."

Edgar Allan Poe


Fear Of Flying

"Show me a woman who doesn't feel guilty and I'll show you a man."

Erica Jong


What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."

Haruki Murakami


Enduring Love

"When its gone, you'll know what a gift love was. you'll suffer like this. So go back and fight to keep it."

Ian McEwan


Trainspotting

"By definition, you have to live until you die. Better to make that life as complete and enjoyable an experience as possible, in case death is shite, which I suspect it will be."

Irvine Welsh


The Fellowship of the Ring

"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens."

J.R.R Tolkien


Middlesex

"The essential matrimonial facts: that to be happy you have to find variety in repetition; that to go forward you have to come back to where you begin."

Jeffrey Eugenides


The Redeemer

"Doubt is faith's shadow."

Jo Nesbo


Nothing To Lose

"A person less fortunate than yourself deserves the best you can give. Because of duty, and honor, and service."

Lee Child


War and Peace

"We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom."

Leo Tolstoy


House of Meetings

"Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistent condition. The truth, Venus, is that nobody gets over anything."

Martin Amis


Brave New World

"Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth."

Aldous Huxley


The Lost World

"All your life people will tell you things. And most of the time, probably ninety-five percent of the time, what they'll tell you will be wrong."

Michael Crichton


Revolutionary Road

"No one forgets the truth; they just get better at lying."

Richard Yates


The Catcher In The Rye

"All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they'll do practically anything you want them to."

J.D. Salinger


Long Goodbye

"There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself."

Raymond Chandler


The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

"Love was that moment when your heart was about to burst."

Stieg Larsson


Clear and Present Danger

"Words are important. Your word is the most important of all. Your word is who you are."

Tom Clancy


Breakfast at Tiffany's

"Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself."

Truman Capote


Invisible Monsters

"The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open."

Chuck Palahniuk


Lolita

"The more you love a memory the stronger and stranger it becomes."

Vladimir Nabokov


To Kill A Mockingbird

"People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for."

Harper Lee


The Moon and the Sixpence

"As lovers, the difference between men and women is that women can love all day long, but men only at times."

W. Somerset Maugham


The Sound and the Fury

"It's not when you realise that nothing can help you - religion, pride, anything - it's when you realise that you don't need any aid."

William Faulkner


On The Road

“The best teacher is experience and not through someone's distorted point of view”

Jack Kerouac


The Killer Inside Me

"There are things that have to be forgotten if you want to go on living."

Jim Thompson


High Fidelity

"It's no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn't even speak to each other if they met at a party."

Nick Hornby


The Secret History

“Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.”

Donna Tartt


The Rum Diary

"A man can live on his wits and his balls for only so long."

Hunter S Thompson


1984

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

George Orwell


The White Lioness

"‎Not having time for a person, not being able to sit in silence together with somebody, that's the same as rejecting them, as being scornful about them."

Henning Mankell


The Human Stain

"Because that is when you love somebody - when you see them being game in the face of the worst. Not courageous. Not heroic. Just game."

Philip Roth


Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

"It was a sign of growing up, when the dark made no more difference to you than the day."

Roddy Doyle


Casino Royale

"Surround yourself with human beings, my dear James. They are easier to fight for than principles."

Ian Fleming


By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

“Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.”

Paulo Coelho


Mother Night

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."

Kurt Vonnegut


The Old Man And The Sea

"Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready."

Ernest Hemingway


Naked Lunch

"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative."

William Burroughs


Freedom

"You may be poor, but the one thing nobody can take away from you is the freedom to fuck up your life whatever way you want to."

Jonathan Franzen


The Blind Assassin

"The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn't one."

Margaret Atwood


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