The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1)

Apart from the faint odor of ink that pervaded the scene, it might have been real.

Cash is always the deciding factor in such matters of moral politics; nothing ever gets done unless motivated by commerce or greed.

Did the memory erasure device work, Uncle?"
"The what?"
"The memory erasure device. You were testing it when I last saw you."
"Don't know what you're talking about, dear girl.

Don't ever call me mad, Mycroft. I'm not mad. I'm just ... well, differently moraled, that's all.

Goodness is weakness, pleasantness is poisonous, serenity is mediocrity and kindness is for losers. The best reason for committing loathsome and detestable acts – and let’s face it, I am considered something of an expert in this field – is purely for their own sake. Monetary gain is all very well, but it dilutes the taste of wickedness to a lower level that is obtainable by almost anyone with an overdeveloped sense of avarice. True and baseless evil is as rare as the purest good –

Governments and fashions come and go but Jane Eyre is for all time.

I don't believe in coincidences."
"Neither do I. That's a coincidence, isn't it?

If you expect me to believe that a lawyer wrote A Midsummer Night's Dream, I must be dafter than I look.

Individual words, sounds, squiggles on paper with no meanings other than those with which our imagination can clothe them.

I shouldn't believe anything I say, if I were you-and that includes what I just told you.

I was born on a Thursday, hence the name. My brother was born on a Monday and they called him Anton--go figure. My mother was called Wednesday, but was born on a Sunday--I don't know why--and my father had no name at all--his identity and existence had been scrubbed by the ChronoGuard after he went rogue. To all intents and purposes he didn't exist at all. It didn't matter. He was always Dad to me...

I was in '78 recently," he announced. "I brought you this."
He handed me a single by the Beatles. I didn't recognize the title.
"Didn't they split in '70?"
"Not always. How are things?

Literary detection and firearms don't really go hand in hand; pen mighter than the sword and so forth.

Maybe those sorts of yes-or-no life-and-death decisions are easier to make because they are so black and white. I can cope with them because it's easier. Human emotions, well. . .they're just a fathomless collection of grays and I don't do so well on the midtones.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and
weary,
O’er a plan to venge myself upon that cursed Thursday
Next-
This Eyre affair, so surprising, gives my soul such loath
despising,
Here I plot my temper rising, rising from my jail of text.
“Get me out!” I said, advising, “Pluck me from this jail of
text-
or I swear I’ll wring your neck!

Ordinary adults don't like children to speak of things that are denied them by their own gray minds.

Religion isn't the cause of wars, it's the excuse.

Sometimes, a word succeeds beyond the wildest dreams of its creators, like a virus sent into the world to infect common speech.

Take no heed of her.... She reads a lot of books.

The barriers between reality and fiction are softer than we think; a bit like a frozen lake. Hundreds of people can walk across it, but then one evening a thin spot develops and someone falls through; the hole is frozen over by the following morning.

The cleanest souls are the easiest to soil.

The Goliath Corporation was to altruism what Genghis Khan was to soft furnishings.

The industrial age had only just begun; the planet had reached its Best Before date.

The name is Schitt," he replied. "Jack Schitt.

True and baseless evil is as rare as the purest good--and we all know how rare that is...

We all make mistakes at some time in our lives, some more than others. It is only when the cost is counted in human lives that people really take notice.

We were developing a machine that used egg white, heat and sugar to synthesize methanol when a power surge caused an implosion. Owens was meringued. By the time we chipped him out the poor chap had expired.

What is there to forgive?. . .Ignore forgive and concentrate on living. Life for you is short; far too short to allow small jealousies to infringe on the happiness which can be yours only for the briefest of times.

Without a yardstick sometimes the high points can be taken for granted.

Words are like leaves,. . .like people really, fond of their own society.