Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Teases

Top ten all-time favorite quotations from books? Talk about an overwhelming subject! I've decided to narrow the field a bit. Since I participate in another Tuesday book-game, Teaser Tuesday, and since it involves quotations, I'm going to post my ten favorite teasers from the past two or three years since I've been participating. (Besides, I already have a Top Ten Quotations post.)  In no particular order...

1. "I did it! I did it! With my own hands, I did it!"

The Sea Wolf, Jack London. Context is key in fully appreciating this quote; a literary professor with no practical skills is rescued at sea and 'impressed' into service aboard a sealing vessel run by a brute, a man who thinks himself a Nietzschean  übermensch. Though he's lived a soft life, our hero must learn self-reliance and physical prowess to overcome the captain.

2. "They'll hang the fellow at Tyburn, and there will be an end to it."
"If he is found Guilty."
"Indeed. Your legal acuity never ceases to amaze me."
"I do not intend that he shall be found Guilty."
"A commendable position for the Counsel for the Defense. Bravissimo."

A Far Better Rest, Susan Alleyn, which is A Tale of Two Cities from Sidney's point of view. I find this particular quotation so amusing as delivered in my head that I sometimes recite it to amuse myself.

3.  I said to him, "What are you doing here, Isaac? Why aren't you home writing a book?"
[Asimov] groaned. "In a way that's what I'm doing here. Doubleday wants me to write a mystery novel entitled Murder at the ABA." 

Murder at the ABA, Isaac Asimov. (Naturally.)

4. "Neighborhoods like Georgetown or Beacon Hill are walking neighborhoods. It is not necessary to hop in the car to get an ice cream cone or a bottle of aspirin. You walk to  a store -- enjoying the felicities of the street as you go -- and you are able to see other people along the way. You may even have a conversation with a stranger. This is called meeting people, the quintessential urban pleasure. (Or else it is called a mugging, the quintessential urban calamity.).

The Geography of Nowhere, James Howard Kunstler

5. In another Christmas story, Dale Pearson, evil developer, self-absorbed woman hater, and seemingly unredeemable curmudgeon, might by visited in the night by a series of ghosts who, by showing him bleak visions of Christmas future, past, and present, would bring about in him a change to generosity, kindness, and a general warmth toward his fellow man. But this is not that kind of Christmas story, so here, in not too many pages, someone is going to dispatch the miserable son of a bitch with a shovel. That's the spirit yet to come in these parts. Ho, ho, ho.

The Stupidest Angel, Christopher Moore.

6. "Are you in trouble again? Did you kidnap another world leader when I wasn't looking?"
"No, but the day's young yet," Picard said, pulling down on the front of his uniform.

Paths of Disharmony, Dayton Ward. This is actually the second of two casual kidnapping references by Dayton Ward in two different trek books. Both appeared as teasers.

7. "Feeling the words, and remembering how Billie could tell you her whole life story in the glide of a note, Frank began to sing the lyrics as if he really meant them, and something happened.
The girls, dancing with their dates, began to stop mid-step and stare at him."

Frank: the Voice, James Kaplan

8. "Before the evening was out she had seduced him into seducing her, a conquest that the young Tuohy lived to regret when he discovered, at roughly the same time as the dean, that his latest mistress was the dean's youngest daughter. Which is how Tuohy, despite his passing grades, came to be expelled from the Columbia University School of Mines."

The Revolutionist,  Robert Littell

9. "Consumed by flames, the torso crackled and the fat sputtered, and then as the skin burned away, the black, flat ribs of the skeleton were revealed, and then the whole torso turned, and suddenly the neck of the animal swung up, surrounded by flames, moving as the skin contracted. And inside the flames Levine saw a long pointed snout, and rows of sharp predatory teeth, and hollow eye sockets, the whole thing burning like some medieval dragon rising in flames up into the sky. "

The Lost World, Michael Crichton.

10. "'Repeat after me,' said the parson. 'I, Horatio, take thee, Maria Ellen --'
The thought came up in Hornblower's mind that these were the last few seconds in which he could withdraw from doing something which he knew to be ill-considered."

Hornblower and the Hotspur, C.S. Forester.

1 comment:

  1. I liked how you changed it up a bit this week and it definitely made me want to read a few of these books!!

    My Top Ten


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