Bookage

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I’m back on the big screen — does her finest Norma Desmond.

Whilst on my Moby (he’s very accommodating like that) I’ve been idling through the books read during the past year, and as I am mostly confined to digital matter (not by choice, poetry books are the exception) there is a small silver lining to said format – I can highlight any quotes I really enjoyed. So here are some quotes from said tomes, they may have you keen to read the rest of the book.

‘I like cheese,’ Charles says, limply. Charles might as well have said, ‘Whistle hairpin kangaroo.’ It’s just noise. It’s just some idiotic syllables tumbling out of his mouth after a brief flirtation with his brain, his voice box and his tongue.

Quince.’ Denny nods. ‘I make a special perfume from quinces by steeping the fruit in oil. Then I rub it on to my beard. Sometimes, at season’s change, I rub it on to my feet and on to my hands. Oh. And on to my elbows and on to my testicles.

— I Am Sovereign by Nicola Barker

Barry stands leering by the phone, eyes puckered into goats’ cunts. It seems Eileena’s eyebrows perch high this lunchtime too, as far as her wooden hair allows. I don’t know about where you live, but around here we take the moral high ground with our eyebrows

I just stare at the rug. A fucken yard of it dies.

Who’s this here?’ he says, all kindly and ole. He has the voice quality of genuine oleness, like he swallowed a vibrator or something.’

— “Vernon God Little” by DBC Pierre

The only people they could get who stayed longer than an hour or two were male nurses sacked from lunatic asylums

— London Fields by Martin Amis

Then I’m waking up in the very same garret groinally attached to a mystifying dawn horn as big as a Cruise missile.’

— The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Mr Greenchurch. Vacuum-chamber office redolent of dead man’s feet; hairless, cysty-eared octogenarian sucking noisily and ceaselessly on his greying false teeth (I thought at first he had a mouthful of boiled sweets; on the Wednesday he allows the coltish dentures to spew out half-way down his chin before drinking them back into place);’

Rachel seemed to be enjoying herself, rather than the reverse, but it was hardly the response I had been banking on. For instance, she hadn’t grabbed my cock once.

— The Rachel Papers (Vintage Blue)” by Martin Amis

‘Onstage Syd Barrett drags a comb along his Fender’s slack-keyed strings. A pterodactyl vents her grief.’

‘Writing is a forest of faint paths, of dead-ends, hidden pits, unresolved chords, words that won’t rhyme. You can be lost in there for hours. Days, even.

— Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

The golden hours of life leave no sharp outlines to which the memory can cling: no spoken words remain—nor even little gestures and thoughts; only a deep gratitude that lingers on impervious to time.

— “The Fortnight in September” by R C Sherriff

I had my Theory about interjections of this kind: every single Person has their own expression which he or she overuses. Or uses incorrectly. These words or phrases are the key to their intellect. Mr ‘Apparently’, Mr ‘Generally’, Mrs ‘Probably’, Mr ‘Fucking’, Mrs ‘Don’t You Think?’, Mr ‘As If’. The President was Mr ‘In Truth’. Of course there are entire fashions for some words, just like the ones that for some crazy reason suddenly make everyone start going about in identical shoes or clothes – people just as suddenly start using one particular word or phrase. Recently the word ‘generally’ was fashionable, but now ‘actually’ is out in front.’

— Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead” by Olga Tokarczuk,

‘Offended, I enter a state of grace. Should inconvenient opinions hover near me like fallen angels or evil djinn (a mile being too near), I’ll be in need of the special campus safe room equipped with Play-Doh and looped footage of gambolling puppies. Ah, the intellectual life!’

— “Nutshell” by Ian McEwan

Nicola’s voice was everything he had hoped it would be: direct, uncomplicatedly friendly, low with charged warmth – and sane. Yes, he had hoped for the firm clasp of her sanity, because he often feared for that delicate equilibrium. If not too good for this world, she was, in his view, far too good for this time; it was the way he saw her, as an anachronism: a museum piece, time-orphaned . . .”

‘By now an habituated snooper, I have gone through all Mark Asprey’s desk drawers. More trophies, but not for public viewing. Under-the-counter stuff. Pornographic love letters, locks of hair (head and nether), arty photographs. The deep central drawer is firmly locked. Maybe it’s got a whole girl in it.’

— London Fields  by Martin Amis

I’m presently working my way through Despair by Vladimir Nabokov and it isn’t at all miserable as the title infers, in fact it’s quite a riot. More on that once finished.