My 18 Favourite Last Lines From Books I’ve Loved


Are there any questions?
~Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (1986)

You will have to learn everything all over again.
~Jay McInerney, Bright Lights, Big City (1984)

The old man was dreaming about the lions.
~Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea (1952)

No matter where I went, my compass pointed west. I would always know what time it was in California.
~Janet Fitch, White Oleander (1999)

‘Hello?’
He heard the other receiver being dropped into its cradle, then the hum of the open line. He stood for a moment, then replaced the receiver and walked into the kitchen, pulled open the cupboard and lifted out the newspaper and cuttings. Dumped the whole lot of them into the bin. Grabbed his jacket and took that walk.
~Ian Rankin, Black & Blue (1997)

Mist swirled and smoked, rose from a pool of such clarity that she looked as if she were swimming in air.
~Nicholas Hogg, The Hummingbirg & The Bear (2011)

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
~George Orwell, Animal Farm (1945)

These were history’s gifts to my family – and if the resources of that grocer, the fruits of those riots, the possibilities of that culture, and the privileges of that skin tone had extended to others, how many more would now live a life of fulfilment, in a beautiful house high on a hill?
~Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers (2008)

“Oh, don’t worry,” said the man of the world, “I’ll be back.”
~Tom Wolfe, A Man in Full (1998)

It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.
~E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web (1952)

This is not an exit.
~Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho (1991)

He loved Big Brother.
~George Orwell, 1984 (1949)

“All that is very well,” answered Candide, “but let us cultivate our garden.”
~Voltaire, Candide (1759)

But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.
~Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom (1994)

Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.
Drink and be filled up.
~Stephen King, On Writing (2000)

Bon courage, bonne chance, and bon appetit.
~Mireille Guiliano, French Women Don’t Get Fat (2005)

Write about promises broken.
Write about the last light of day.
Write about a secret collection.
Write what whispers your name in the night.
Notes drawn from the river
Write about a whole life of madness
This is where I’ve been
~Judy Reeves, A Writer’s Book of Days (2010)

 

Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson

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This article has 0 comments

  1. Amjay

    Good ones. Orwell’s capture the entire book..Here are three more that do.

    I’ve been away a long time.
    – Ken Kesey, One Flew over the cuckoo’s Nest.

    And I said they are running out to death which is with some soul and their eyes were mad and teeth out.
    God’s mercy
    on the wild
    Ginger Man
    – JP Donleavy. The Ginger Man

    It’s going to get better now. You can sort of tell these things.
    – Robert Pirsig, Zen and the art of motor cycle maintenance.

  2. Melora Johnson

    “The kiss of his memory made pictures of love and light against the wall. Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.”
    -Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God.

    But even more, a few paragraphs before, “…you must tell ’em dat love ain’t somethin’ lak uh grindstone dat’s de same thing everywhere and do de same thing tuh everything it touch. Love is lak de sea. It’s uh movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore.”

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