Quotes from A Spot of Bother – Mark Haddon

“…she was melting into that dark behind her eyelids, the way butter melted in a hot pan, the way you melted back into sleep after waking up at night, just letting it take you.” – 56

“He was at a crossroads. What he did over the next few days would set the course for the rest of his life. He wanted people to like him. And people did like him. Or they used to. But it wasn’t so easy any more. It wasn’t automatic. He was beginning to lose the benefit of everyone’s doubt. His own included. If he wasn’t careful he’d turn into one of those men who cared more about furniture than human beings. He’d end up living with someone else who cared more about furniture than human beings and they’d lead a life which looked perfectly normal from the outside but was, in truth, a kind of living death, that left your heart looking like a raisin.” – 258-259

“At teenage parties he was always wandering into the garden, sitting on a bench in the dark, smoking Camel cigarettes, the lit windows behind him and the faint strains of ‘Hi, Ho, Silver Lining’ thumping away, staring up at the constellations and pondering all those big questions about the existence of God and the nature of evil and the mystery of death, questions which seemed more important than anything else in the world until a few years passed and some real questions had been dumped into your lap, like how to earn a living, and why people fell in and out of love, and how long could you carry on smoking and then give up without getting lung cancer. Maybe the answers weren’t important. Maybe it was the asking that mattered. Not taking anything for granted. Maybe that’s what stopped you growing old.” – 279-280

“He’d bided his time. He’d got away. He’d built a little world in which he felt safe. And it was orbiting far out, unconnected to anyone. It was cold and it was dark and he had no idea how to make it swing back towards the sun. There’d been a moment…when he realised he needed these people.” – 319

“Jamie pulled into the village and felt that slight sinking in his stomach he always felt going back. The family thing. Like he was fourteen again. He parked over the road from the house, turned off the engine and gathered himself. The secret was to remember that you were an adult now, that all of you were adults, that there was no longer any need to fight the battles you were fighting when you were fourteen…That was the problem, wasn’t it? You left home. But you never did become an adult. Not really. You just fucked up in different and more complicated ways.” – 384


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