-Up to-Home/Humour/Quotes
-Site Map|-Text version

- Quotes From Misc. Fiction

See also: Longer quotes from specific authors:
From Michael Shea, Spin Doctor:

From Lemony Snicket, Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Biography

From Fowl Play by Scott Capurro:

From Rumpole for the Defence by John Mortimer:

From John Mortimer, The Trials of Rumpole:

From Denise Little (Ed.), Twice Upon a Time

From Wombat Revenge by Kenneth Cook:

"Talking of food," said Tony, "you ever had frogs' legs? They're great. They taste like chicken."

"I'm never sure about French stuff. I mean, they eat horses, don't they? An' that's barbaric, to my mind." [...]

"Me, I like all them exotic things," said Tony. "Snails, they're like whelks." He thought for a moment. "When in garlic."

"I couldn't eat snails," admitted Steve. "I mean, you see 'em in the garden leaving slimy trails, don't you? An' when they're cooked, they look like something you'd find up a horse's nose." [...]

-- From Jumbo Portions, a story by Christopher Fowler in his collection The Bureau of Lost Souls

... Mrs Norman leaned over the desk and ran her hands over the keyboard, slowly revealing the secrets held on the floppy disk labelled 'Richard Templeton'.

'My, where in the world did you get this file from?' asked Mrs Norman after she had finished the data which had unscrolled on the screen.

'It was in the box that Mrs Sharpe left for me after her meeting this morning.'

'Show me the lid. Just as I thought. Someone's throwing you in at the deep end. Well, it's all good practice for you. Let me give you a peek into this man's final days.' While Daniel looked on, she began to tap the keyboard faster. Presently she stopped and sat back in her chair, studying the screen.

'Well, well, well,' she said, analysing the codings. 'Goodness dearie me.' Suddenly she switched on a smile like a torchbeam and shone it at him. 'Templeton, R. Thirty-four years old. Divorced - black mark there, for a start. Creative director of an advertising agency, that's another black mark. Got his head chopped off by a lift! Was it a murder or an accident? A very determined suicide, even? No, I think we can safely rule that out.' She pressed a button marked screen down and ran through the rest of the codings.

'A flat in docklands, a house in Norfolk, healthy bank balance. No charity donations, though, even though they're tax deductible. Ah, here's the juicy stuff, number of sexual liaisons in his last year of life ...'

'That's listed, too?' asked Daniel, shocked.

'Of course,' said Mrs Norman, concentrating on the screen. 'Goodness gracious, what a terrible womanizer! Oh well ...' She began to remove the disk from its drive slot.

'Wait, is that it? You've already made your decision? Suppose he really was murdered?'

'Suppose he was?' countered Mrs Norman. 'He led a rotten life. Whoever bumped him off was doing the world a favour. What good was he to anyone? Advertising executive, a flea on the back of mankind. Good riddance.' She threw the file into the rubbish bin.

... Daniel was still staring into the bin as Mrs Norman loaded up the next case history

... "Oh dear, a property developer. Owned a silver Porsche with a car phone. Those facts alone are enough to condemn him to eternal ... thingie"

... 'Wait a minute, what is going on here?' Daniel pushed his chair back and rose to his feet. 'This isn't a branch of the Civil Service, this is ...'

-- From The Bureau of Lost Souls, a story by Christopher Fowler in his collection The Bureau of Lost Souls

From The Absolute Last Chance Diet Book by John Kolness & Tim Halle.

From the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling:

From Elizabeth and her German Garden by Marie Annette Beauchamp

Quotes from a teenage fiction series by John Marsden:

From The Comic Stories by Anton Chekhov (Translated by Harvey Pitcher, pub. Ivan R. Dee, Chicago, 1999):

From Extraordinary Tales by Jorge Luis Borges & Adolfo Bioy Casares:

From A Minimum of Two by Tim Winton:

From The Admirable Crichton, by J. M. Barrie (University of London Press, 1970):

From A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 10 - The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket (HarperCollins, 2003):

From A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 11 - The Grim Grotto by Lemony Snicket (HarperCollins, 2004):

From The Wit and Wisdom of O-sung and Han-um [Korean Folklore and Classics Vol 1]

The Delicious Poison by Lee Myung Soon

O-sung's school teacher was a humbug. He was stingy, greedy, and was so severe in his punishment that his pupils suffered much under him.

This stingy teacher was very fond of dried persimmons, and he always had much difficulty in resisting to buy them whenever pedlars went by. One day during the lesson, he heard a pedlar shouting "Delicious dried persimmons!" He tried to forget it but the pedlar didn't go away and persistently shouted "Delicious dried persimmons" under his window. His mouth watered and at last he lost all self-control. He ran out of the classroom and returned with a big bundle of dried persimmons. Then he eyed his pupils suspiciously and told them that the bundle was nothing other than a violent poison, which he had bought to eradicate all the mice in the neighbourhood.

After a while he was obliged to leave the school for a while on account of some urgent business downtown. So he put the dried persimmons in his closet and solemnly told his pupils to be careful not to have anything to do with the dangerous poison.

When he had left, the boys forgot all about studying and at once became a mass of confusion.

"Oh, that stingy teacher! What does he think we are?"

"Do you think he'd know if we ate just one or two?"

"Of course. I saw him count them in stealth in that corner. When did he ever fail to find out whatever small things are missing?"

"Oh, I'm just dying to taste them. One little bite will do for me."

The boys' mouths overflowed with saliva and they were glancing at each other with the most pathetic expressions.

"Well, boys, why don't you go ahead and eat? Nobody's going to stop you. Let's all have a feast of those dried persimmons and have done with it." O-sung, who had hitherto been silent, addressed the boys in an authoritative voice. All eyes were instantly turned on O-sung with doubt, or with hope. O-sung always had some way to get his comrades out of their severe teacher's punishment.

"Well, go ahead and eat, and leave everything to me."

The boys, who had full faith in O-sung's strategy, heartily feasted themselves and emptied the bundle in no time at all.

When it was about time for the schoolmaster to return, the boys looked at O-sung. He was reading his book with all ease of mind. When the boys reminded him of the teacher's return, he slowly rose up, picked up his teacher's ink-slab [a black stone on which Korean scholars mix dried ink with water], which the owner treasured and took such prudent care of, and smashed it on the floor. His comrades were horrified, but O-sung calmly told them to lie stretched out on the floor and make as if they were dead. The boys could not but obey him. Not a limb stirred. Even their breathing was almost inaudible.

The schoolmaster, approaching his private school, wondered why all the urchins were so silent. Then, stepping into the room, his eyes met the bodies of the boys lying like dead on the floor and his precious ink-slab broken into a hundred pieces. He was so infuriated that at first he could scarcely speak.

"You little devils, what have you all done?" he stuttered, at length. Still the boys were all motionless. The teacher picked up his whip and was about to whirl it recklessly when O-sung rose up and knelt down with bended head.

"Have mercy on us, sir. Your valuable ink-slab was broken by our mistake, and as we knew how you cherished it, we could think of no punishment less than death for our deserving. So we all ate your poison and here we are, waiting for our last," he explained, seemingly with deepest regret.

The schoolmaster now had no other choice than to own the falseness of his saying and forgive the boys. Being ungenerous and stingy, he not only lost his refreshment but also his treasured ink-slab.

From The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge (Lion Hudson, Oxford, England, 2000):

From Villa Incognito by Tom Robbins (Bantam, New York, 2003):

From Grendel by John Gardner (Penguin Books, 1971)

From The Billiard Table Murders by Glen Baxter (Pan Books, 1990)

From Sheridan's Plays, edited by Cecil Price (Oxford University Press, 1975):

From T. H. White, The Sword in the Stone (NB - the original version; White produced later revisions which removed Madam Mim):

From Italo Calvino, Numbers in the Dark and Other Stories (Translated by Tim Parks) (Penguin Classics, 2009, ISBN 9780141189741):

From Italo Calvino, Italian Folktales - Selected and Retold by Italo Calvino (Translated by George Martin) (Penguin Books, 1981, ISBN 9780140062359):

-This page
last changed:
15 Dec 2012
[Validate HTML]
-Donate free
food & land
|Feedback by email
or Web form