The Top 100 Quotes from the Top 100 Novels (BBC Big Read List – #51-100)

3623193922_b12a968778_zThis is a continuation of the post – Numbers 1-50.

These are the most popular quotes according to Goodreads that can be attributed to the BBC’s Big Read List of the Top 100 Novels of All Time.

This list can be seen in its entirety on this page.

Again, my favourites are in italics.

51. The Secret Garden – “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”
52. Of Mice and Men – “Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”
53. The Stand – “That wasn’t any act of God. That was an act of pure human fuckery.”
54. Anna Karenina – “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
55. A Suitable Boy – “God save us from people who mean well.”
56. The BFG – “Don’t gobblefunk around with words.”
58. Black Beauty – “If they strain me up tight, why, let ’em look out! I can’t bear it, and I won’t.”
59. Artemis Fowl – “Confidence is ignorance. If you’re feeling cocky, it’s because there’s something you don’t know.”
60. Crime and Punishment – “Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”
61. Noughts and Crosses – “Just remember, Callum when you’re floating up and up in your bubble, that bubbles have a habit of bursting. The higher you climb, the further you have to fall.”
62. Memoirs of a Geisha – “At the temple there is a poem called “Loss” carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read loss, only feel it.”
63. A Tale of Two Cities – “A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.”
64. The Thorn Birds – “There are no ambitions noble enough to justify breaking someone’s heart.”
65. Mort – “It would seem that you have no useful skill or talent whatsoever,” he said. “Have you thought of going into teaching?”
66. The Magic Faraway Tree – “I don’t believe in things like that – fairies or brownies or magic or anything. It’s old-fashioned.”
‘Well, we must be jolly old-fashioned then,’ said Bessie. ‘Because we not only believe in the Faraway Tree and love our funny friends there, but we go to see them too – and we visit the lands at the top of the Tree as well!”
67. The Magus – “To write poetry and to commit suicide, apparently so contradictory, had really been the same, attempts at escape.”
69. Guards! Guards! – “A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.”
70. Lord of the Flies – “Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.”
71. Perfume – “He succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting. People left him alone. And that was all he wanted.”
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists – “Poverty is not caused by men and women getting married; it’s not caused by machinery; it’s not caused by “over-production”; it’s not caused by drink or laziness; and it’s not caused by “over-population”. It’s caused by Private Monopoly. That is the present system. They have monopolized everything that it is possible to monopolize; they have got the whole earth, the minerals in the earth and the streams that water the earth. The only reason they have not monopolized the daylight and the air is that it is not possible to do it.”
73. Night Watch – “No! Please! I’ll tell you whatever you want to know!” the man yelled.
“Really?” said Vimes. “What’s the orbital velocity of the moon?”
“Oh, you’d like something simpler?”
74. Matilda – “The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary – “It struck me as pretty ridiculous to be called Mr. Darcy and to stand on your own looking snooty at a party. It’s like being called Heathcliff and insisting on spending the entire evening in the garden, shouting “Cathy” and banging your head against a tree.”
76. The Secret History – “Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.”
77. The Woman in White – “My hour for tea is half-past five, and my buttered toast waits for nobody.”
78. Ulysses – “Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”
79. Bleak House – “And I am bored to death with it. Bored to death with this place, bored to death with my life, bored to death with myself.”
80. Double Act – “We’re twins. I’m Ruby. She’s Garnet.”
“We’re identical. There’s very few people who can tell us apart. Well, until we start talking. I tend to go on and on. Garnet is much quieter.”
“That’s because I can’t get a word in edgeways.”
81. The Twits – “If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
82. I Capture the Castle – “Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.”
83. Holes – “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. Nothing in life is easy. But that’s no reason to give up. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it. After all, you only have one life, so you should try to make the most of it.”
84. Gormenghast – “And now, my poor old woman, why are you crying so bitterly? It is autumn. The leaves are falling from the trees like burning tears- the wind howls. Why must you mimic them?”
85. The God of Small Things – “That’s what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.”
86. Vicky Angel – “Of course she’s not dying. Vicky is the most alive person I’ve ever known. She will get completely better and we’ll talk about this time with a shudder. I’ll give her a big hug and say, ‘I thought you were really going to die, Vicky,’ and she’ll laugh and pull a funny death face, eyes bulging, tongue lolling, and spin some yarn about an out-of-body experience. Yes, she’ll say she flew up out of her own body and cartwheeled along the ceiling and peered unmasked at all the operations and tickled the handsomest doctor on the top of his head and then she swooped all the way along the corridors and found me weeping so she linked little fingers with me in our special secret way and then whizzed back into her own body again so we could grow up together and be soul sisters forever…”
87. Brave New World – “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”
88. Cold Comfort Farm – “One of the disadvantages of almost universal education was the fact that all kinds of persons acquired a familiarity with one’s favorite writers. It gave one a curious feeling; it was like seeing a drunken stranger wrapped in one’s dressing gown.”
89. Magician – “Some loves come unbidden like winds from the sea, and others grow from the seeds of friendship.”
90. On the Road – “the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
91. The Godfather – “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
92. The Clan of the Cave Bear – “But when did you see her, talk to me? When did you see her go into the cave? Why did you threaten to strike a spirit? You still don’t understand, do you? You acknowledged her, Broud, she has beaten you. You did everything you could to her, you even cursed her. She’s dead, and still she won. She was a woman, and she had more courage than you, Broud, more determination, more self-control. She was more man than you are. Ayla should have been the son of my mate.”
93. The Color of Magic – “If complete and utter chaos was lightning, then he’d be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting ‘All gods are bastards!”
94. The Alchemist – “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
95. Katherine – “I only know that from wherever it is that we’re going there can be no turning back”
96. Kane and Abel – “If you have to pay a bill, always make it look as if the amount is of no consequence.”
97. Love in the Time of Cholera – “He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”
98. Girls in Love – “For God’s sake, Ellie, that skirt barely covers your knickers!”
99. The Princess Diaries – “The fact is, I love him. He’s the boy I want and one day he’ll be MINE.”
100. Midnight’s Children – “I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’m gone which would not have happened if I had not come.”

Further Reading – Quotes for Books 1-50, Reading for WritingRemembering BBC’s The Big Read

pathfinders chapter 1

image attribution flickr – creative commons

5 thoughts on “The Top 100 Quotes from the Top 100 Novels (BBC Big Read List – #51-100)

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