Favourite lines

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Earlier this week a tweet from James Dashner caught our eye. He said he “might’ve just written my new favourite line in a book…”

So, favourite lines? Can you think of one? Here are some from us:

“The man in real trouble was Moke Miller. He had no fingers on his left hand.” That’s from Piece of Cake by Derek Robinson (first published in 1983 by Hamish Hamilton Ltd). I make sure that this book is to hand and have recommended it to so many people. The tattered spine of my copy shows how often I have dipped into it over the years and there are 4 places – including page 408 where this line occurs about three quarters of the way down – that it will fall open and invite you to taste a little of the story.

The next two lines are from a more recent read, Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (Balzer + Bray, 2016). This is a very different story from Piece of Cake, magic realism rather than war adventure. The first line is spoken in retort by a character called Petey Willis after an unkind comment is made: “And you’re an idiot. In thirty years, which do you think will matter more?”

The second line from Bone Gap nestles in a paragraph on a page in a book that makes me feel like I’m in a comfy place reading even if I’m not, that’s the pace of the writing and it’s something that will make me read more of Laura Ruby’s work in the future: “Everyone called this dog the Dog That Sleeps in the Lane.” The whole paragraph about how the character called Finn finds this dog is smile inducing and that’s why I remember it.

There are more lines from other writers (Rose Tremain and Kate Walbert spring to mind) but these are my first and most recent examples.




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