“Is demum miser est, cuius nobilitas miserias nobilitat.”
Unhappy is he whose fame makes his misfortunes famous.
– Lucius Accius, Telephus
- They saw what they wanted to see, blind to inconvenient, implacable truth.
- Hers was the kind of family that commissioned painters to immortalize its young: a background utterly alien to Strike, and one he had come to know like a dangerous foreign country
- The principal lesson that Strike had learned during his two months of home-based education was that cannabis, even if administered spiritually, could render the taker both dull and paranoid.
- A lie would have no sense unless the truth were felt as dangerous.
- …selecting four-figure bags of alligator skin with a pleasureless determination to get their money’s worth out of their loveless marriages.
- Humans often assumed symmetry and equality where none existed.
- Spanner was ten years younger than Strike, and he rarely wielded a pen by choice.
- She had flailed, trying to find handholds in the merciless empty air; and then, without time to make amends, to explain, to bequeath or to apologize, without any of the luxuries permitted those who are given notice of their impending demise, she had broken on the road.
- “Kairos. Kairos moment. An’ it means,” and from somewhere in his soused brain he dredged up words of surprising clarity, “the telling moment. The special moment. The supreme moment.”
- It mirrored Charlotte’s restless day-to-day behavior, that craving for heightened emotion that expressed itself most typically in destructiveness.
- They had not taken every reasonable precaution against violence or chance; they had not tethered themselves to life with mortgages and voluntary work, safe husbands and clean-faced dependents: their deaths, therefore, were not classed as “tragic,” in the same way as those of staid and respectable housewives.
- How easy it was to capitalize on a person’s own bent for self-destruction; how simple to nudge them into non-being, then to stand back and shrug and agree that it had been the inevitable result of a chaotic, catastrophic life.
- THE BRITISH ARMY REQUIRES OF its soldiers a subjugation of individual needs and ties that is almost incomprehensible to the civilian mind. It recognizes virtually no claims higher than its own; and the unpredictable crises of human life—births and deaths, weddings, divorces and illness—generally cause no more deviation to the military’s plans than pebbles pinging on the underbelly of a tank.