132.Richard Flanagan-The Narrow Road To The Deep North cover

I am a kind of reader who reads a novel  with a pencil or a pen and thus i have a habit to note down excerpts that makes me smile, that gives me a feeling that this is actually a raw emotion that has been represented by the author through his tropes of imagination. Recently, I read, “The Narrow Road to The Deep North” by Richard Flanagan and the winner of 2014 Man Booker Prize. I won’t comment or give a review about the book because I am no where near qualified to do so. 

But below I share some of the excerpts from the book that touched my heart.




Excerpts from “The Narrow Road to The Deep North” 

~ “Feelings have become fashionable and emotions have become a theater in which people are players who no longer know what they are of the stage.”

~ “A happy man has no past, while an unhappy man has nothing else.”

~ “A line was something that proceeded from one point to another— from reality to unreality, from life to hell— “breadthless length”, as he recalled Euclid describing it in school boy geometry. A length without breadth, a life without meaning, the procession from life to death. A journey to hell.”

~ “He would live to see people praised for things that were not worthy of praise, simply because truth was seen to be bad for their feelings.”

~ “Horror can be contained within a book, given form and meaning. But in life horror has no more feeling than it does meaning. Horror just is. And while it reigns, it is as if there is nothing in the universe that it is not.”

~ “A good book leaves you wanting to reread the book. A great book compels you to reread your own soul.”

~ “Virtue was vanity dressed up and waiting for applause.”

~ “The sky was dirty and it was always moving. Scurrying away, or so it seemed to him, to some better place where men didn’t die for no reason, where life answered to something beyond chance.”

~ “They were nothing more than her ornaments, and he despised them for being in thrall to something that so obviously would never be theirs. He disliked her power to turn men into what he regarded as little more than slavering dogs, and he rather disliked her in consequence.”

~ “It’s hard, she said, when you want something and you can’t have it.”

~ “He was more desperate for her than ever, as a man about to be kicked to death is desperate to cling to the mud beneath him.”

~ “Her touch electrified him, paralyzed him, and amidst the noise and smoke and bustle that touch was the only thing he knew. The universe and the world, his life and his body, all reduced to that one electric point of contact.”

~ “Her body was a poem beyond memorizing.”

~ “But sometimes things are said and they’re not just words. They are everything that one person thinks of another in one sentence.”

~ “He was only ever a vehicle for her to ride to another place, so distant, so unknown to him that a dull resentment momentarily rose in him.”

~ “Hope and dreams are cold ash from a dead fire.”

~ “Love was the universe touching, exploding within one human being, and that person exploding into the universe. It was annihilation, the destroyer of worlds.”

~ “Love does not end until all its power is exorcised in misery and cruelty and obliteration as much as in goodness and joy.”

~ “love is shared with others or it dies.”

~ “Life wasn’t about ideas. Life was a bit about luck. Life was only about getting the next footstep right.”

~ “Nothing endures. Not empires, not memories. We remember nothing. Maybe for a year or two. Maybe most of a life, if we live. Maybe. But then we will die, and who will ever understand any of this? And maybe we remember nothing most of all when we put our hands on our hearts and carry on about not forgetting.”

~ “It’s only our faith in illusions that makes life possible.”

~ “For the world did not change, this violence had always existed and would never be eradicated, men would die under the boot and fists and horror of other men until the end of time, and all human history was a history of violence.”

~ “You could never know when everything might change- a mood, a decision, a blanket.

A life.”

~ “Humans are only one of many things, and all these things long to live, and the highest form of living is freedom: a man to be a man, a cloud to be a cloud, bamboo to be bamboo.”

~ “No one makes love like they make a wall or a house. They catch it like a cold. It makes them miserable and then it passes, and pretending otherwise is the road to hell.”

~ “There was, he knew, within him, hidden deep and far away, a great slumbering turbulence he could neither understand nor reach, a turbulence that was also a void, the business of unfinished things.”

~ “In trying to escape the fatality of memory, he discovered with an immense sadness that pursuing the past inevitably only leads to greater loss.”

~ “He would live in hell, because love is that also.”