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Nick Hornby Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Nick Hornby.

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Nick Hornby Quotes 873501

So this is supposed to be about the how, and when, and why, and what of reading
about the way that, when reading is going well, one book leads to another and to another, a paper trail of theme and meaning; and how, when it's going badly, when books don't stick or take, when your mood and the mood of the book are fighting like cats, you'd rather do anything but attempt the next paragraph, or reread the last one for the tenth time. — Nick Hornby

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I have tried to live with women who share a similar sensibility to mine, with predictably disastrous consequences, but the opposite route seems every bit as hopeless. — Nick Hornby

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Sometimes you know you've got a chance with a girl because she wants to fight with you. If the world wasn't so messed up, it wouldn't be like that. If the world was normal, a girl being nice to you would be a good sign, but in the real world, it isn't. — Nick Hornby

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The plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone; you don't need to be a heroin addict or a performance poet to experience extremity. You just have to love someone. — Nick Hornby

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I'm going to take every chance I get to make a nuisance of myself when somebody I admire is in the vicinity ... — Nick Hornby

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What was in it for me? I wasn't asking for any sort of reciprocation, after all. Why didn't she want her erogenous zones stimulated? I have no idea. All I know is that you could, if you wanted to, find the answers to all sorts of difficult questions buried in that terrible war-torn interregnum between the first pubic hair and the first soiled Trojan. — Nick Hornby

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Contemporary poetry is a kind of Reykjavik, a place where accessibility and intelligence have been fighting a Cold War by proxy for the last half-century. — Nick Hornby

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Over the last couple of years, the photos of me when I was a kid ... well, they've started to give me a little pang or something - not unhappiness, exactly, but some kind of quiet, deep regret ... I keep wanting to apologize to the little guy: I'm sorry, I've let you down. I was the person who was supposed to look after you, but I blew it: I made wrong decisions at bad times, and I turned you into me. — Nick Hornby

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How come every squitty little shitty snotty bastard knows my name? — Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby Quotes 640818

A critical faculty is a terrible thing. When I was eleven there were no bad films, just films I didn't want to see, there was no bad food, just Brussels sprouts and cabbage, and there were no bad books - everything I read was great. Then suddenly, I woke up in the morning and all that had changed. How could my sister not hear that David Cassidy was not in the same class as Black Sabbath? Why on EARTH would my English teacher think that 'The History of Mr Polly' was better than 'Ten Little Indians' by Agatha Christie? And from that moment on, enjoyment has been a much more elusive quality. — Nick Hornby

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Sentimental music has this great way of taking you back somewhere at the same time that it takes you forward, so you feel nostagic and hopeful all at the same time. — Nick Hornby

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Needless to say, drink, drugs, food, and sex played no part in the festivities. But who needs any of that when you've got literature? — Nick Hornby

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She regretted the explanation immediately, but that was because she always regretted everything. And then, after the regret had flared and burned out, she didn't care. He should know, she thought. She wanted him to know. She felt something for somebody, and she'd told him. — Nick Hornby

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That's why; he's worried about how his life is turning out, and he's lonely, and lonely people are the bitterest of them all — Nick Hornby

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It's only just beginning to occur to me that it's important to have something going on somewhere, at work or at home, otherwise you're just clinging on. [ ... ] You need as much ballast as possible to stop you floating away; you need people around you, things going on, otherwise life is like some film where the money ran out, and there are no sets, or locations, or supporting actors, and it's just one guy on his own staring into the camera with nothing to do and nobody to speak to, and who'd believe in this character then? I've got to get more stuff, more clutter, more detail in here, because at the moment I'm in danger of falling off the edge. — Nick Hornby

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When even the scrupulously detached BBC is exhorting us to talk to God, you know something is going on. — Nick Hornby

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Life isn't, and has never been, a 2-0 home victory after a fish and chip lunch. — Nick Hornby

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I'm human. That's how humans spend their time, doing shitty things. — Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby Quotes 1370225

If he'd known how long he was going to spend in the airport lounge of his own life, he'd have made different travel arrangements.. — Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby Quotes 1708961

You see the profound effect literature can have on life? Who says it's all a waste of time? If only I could produce one book that left someone with that kind of ferocious grievance. If you have read one of my books, you probably feel cheated out of however much money it might have cost you, and you'll certainly begrudge the time you wasted on it. But even at my most bullish and self-aggrandizing, I can't quite make myself believe that I've actually wrecked someone's life. Any documentary evidence to the contrary will be gratefully received. — Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby Quotes 108422

Because ... most of us think that the point is something to do with work, or kids, or family, or whatever. But you don't have any of that. There's nothing between you and despair, and you don't seem a very desperate person.'
'Too stupid.'
'You're not stupid. So why don't you ever put your head in the oven?'
'I don't know. There's always a new Nirvana album to look forward to, or something happening in NYPD Blue to make you want to watch the next episode.'
'Exactly.'
'That's the point? NYPD Blue? Jesus.' It was worse than he thought.
'No, no. The point is you keep going. You want to. So all the things that make you want to are the point. I don't know if you even realize it, but on the quiet you don't think life's too bad. You love things. Telly. Music. Food. — Nick Hornby

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I would never attempt to dissuade anyone from reading a book. But please, if you're reading something that's killing you, put it down and read something else, just as you would reach for the remote if you weren't enjoying a TV program ... All I know is that you can get very little from a book that is making you weep with the effort of reading it. You won't remember it, and you'll be less likely to choose a book over [insert popular contemporary TV program] next time you have a choice. — Nick Hornby

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If the price you have to pay for a sin is so high that you end up wanting to kill yourself and committing suicide is an even worse sin, then Someone's done his sums wrong. Someone's overcharging. — Nick Hornby

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My own feeling about JJ, without knowing anything about him, was that he might have been a gay person, because he had long hair and spoke American. A lot of Americans are gay people, aren't they? I know they didn't invent gayness, because they say that was the Greeks. But they helped bring it back into fashion. Being gay was a bit like the Olympics: it disappeared in ancient times, and then they brought it back in the twentieth century. Anyway, I didn't know anything about gays, so I just presumed they were all unhappy and wanted to kill themselves. — Nick Hornby

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After Sophie had scraped the last of the makeup off her face, she was aware of the first sharp pangs of something that felt like homesickness. They'd already been told that the BBC wanted another series, but that was months away; and anyway, the last episode of the first series made her realize that one day there would be a last episode, and she didn't know whether she'd be able to bear it. And it didn't help, telling herself that when it was time for the last episode, she'd have had enough, because she couldn't bear that either. She wanted to stay like this forever. She changed her wish quickly: not like this, not exactly ... She wanted it to be the Monday just gone, with a whole week of rehearsals to look forward to, and then a recording. That's where she would like to stop. She was already afraid that she'd never be happier than now-then-and it was already over. — Nick Hornby

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And you probably also know that when you look out of an aeroplane window and see the world shrink like that, you can't help but think about the whole of your life, from the beginning until where you are now, and everyone you've ever known. And you'll know that thinking about those things makes you feel grateful to God for providing them, and angry with Him for not helping you to understand them better, and so you end up in a terrible muddle and needing to talk to a priest. I decided I wouldn't sit in the window seat on the way back. I don't know how these jet-set people who have to fly once or twice a year cope, I really don't. — Nick Hornby

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I've had countless conversations with or about people who are "sleeping in separate bedrooms", as if sleeping in the same bed is all there is to staying married, but however bad things get, sharing a bed has never been problematic; it's the rest of life that horrifies. — Nick Hornby

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The truth about autobiographical songs, he realized, was that you had to make the present become the past, somehow: you had to take a feeling or a friend or a woman and turn whatever it was into something that was over, so that you could be definitive about it. You had to put it in a glass case and look at it and think about it until it gave up its meaning. — Nick Hornby

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I guess I should have forgotten about it ages ago, but forgetting isn't something I'm very good at. — Nick Hornby

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In a few short weeks, mock-marital status had ceased to be something to aspire to, and had become a cause for scorn. At seventeen, we were becoming as embittered and as unromantic as our parents. — Nick Hornby

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A couple of months ago, I became depressed by the realization that I'd forgotten pretty much everything I've ever read. I have, however, bounced back: I am now cheered by the realization that if I've forgotten everything I've ever read then I can read some of my favorite books again as if for the first time. — Nick Hornby

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When your sad
like really sad
you only want to be with other people who are sad. — Nick Hornby

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Some of it can, of course. The new satirical shows — Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby Quotes 111813

But all three of them had had to lose things in order to gain other things. Will had lost his shell and his cool and his distance, and he felt scared and vulnerable, but he got to be with Rachel; and Fiona had lost a big chunk of Marcus, and she got to stay away from the casualty ward; and Marcus had lost himself, and got to walk home from school with his shoes on. — Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby Quotes 135010

Did you know that Jacques Benveniste, one of the world's leading homeopathic "scientists," now claims that you can *email* homeopathic remedies? Yeah, see, what you do is you can take the "memory" of the diluted substance out of the water electromagnetically, put it on your computer, email it, and play it back on a sound card into new water. I mean, that could work, right?
(Nick's thoughts after reading Francis Wheen's book "How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World") — Nick Hornby

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Unhappiness really meant something back then. Now it's just a drag, like a cold or having no money. — Nick Hornby

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The trouble with influential books is that if you have absorbed the influence without ever reading the original, then it can sometimes be hard to appreciate the magnitude of its achievement. — Nick Hornby

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So this is supposed to be the how, and when, and why, and what or reading - about the way that, when reading is going well, one book leads to another and to another, a paper trail of theme and meaning; and how, when it's going badly, when books don't stick or take, when your mood and the mood of the book are fighting like cats, you'd rather do anything but attempt the next paragraph, or reread the last one for the tenth time. "We talked about books," says a character in Charles Baxter's wonderful Feast of Love, "how boring they were to read, but how you loved them anyway. Anyone who hasn't felt like that isn't owning up. — Nick Hornby

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I feel as though I made a face and the wind changed, and now I have to go through life grimacing in this horrible way. — Nick Hornby

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It's not a case of the glass being half full or half empty; more that we tipped a whole half-pint into an empty pint pot. I had to see how much was there, though, and now I know. — Nick Hornby

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He wanted Rachel to be his wife, his lover, the centre of his whole world; a girlfriend implied that he would see her from time to time, that she would have some kind of independent existence away from him, and he didn't want that at all. — Nick Hornby

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Was everything an accident of geography? — Nick Hornby

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All the books we own, both read and unread, are the fullest expression of self we have at our disposal ... But with each passing year, and with each whimsical purchase, our libraries become more and more able to articulate who we are, whether we read the books or not. — Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby Quotes 272093

It seems to make a difference to some girls. If you say something that isn't sexist to the right sort ofgirl, she likes you more. Say one of your mates is going on about how all girls are stupid, and you say 'not all girls are stupid,' then it can make you look good. There have to be girls listening, though, obviously. Otherwise it's a waste of time. — Nick Hornby

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I've never been happy in the way that I've been happy in this room, and in the studios," said Sophie. "I've never laughed so much, or learned so much, and everything I know about my job is because of the people here. Even you, Clive. And I'm worried that I'll spend the rest of my working life looking for an experience like this one, where everything clicks and everyone pushes you to do the best you can, better than anything you think you're capable of. — Nick Hornby

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Musicians had been assholes since the day the lute was invented. — Nick Hornby

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I'd never really had arguments like this before, arguments I couldn't understand properly, arguments where both sides were right and wrong all at the same time. — Nick Hornby

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We have one of those conversations where every thing clicks, meshes, corresponds, locks, where even our pauses, even our punctuation marks, seem to be nodding in agreement. — Nick Hornby

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(from his random observations after reading David Copperfield by Charles Dickens)
In the Old Curiosity Shop I discovered that in the character of Dick Swiveller, Dickens provided P.G. Wodehouse with pretty much the whole of his oeuvre. In David Copperfield, David's bosses Spenlow and Jorkins are what must be the earliest fictional representations of good cop/bad cop. — Nick Hornby

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The artistic temperament is particularly unhelpful if it is just that, with no end product. — Nick Hornby

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In Victorian London they used to burn phosphorus at seances in an attempt to see ghosts, and I suspect that the pop-music equivalent is our obsession with B-sides and alternate versions and unreleased material. — Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby Quotes 648480

Because music, like color, or a cloud, is neither intelligent nor unintelligent - it just is. The chord, the simplest building block for even the tritest, silliest chart song, is a beautiful, perfect, mysterious thing, and when an ill-read, uneducated, uncultured, emotionally illiterate boor puts a couple of them together, he has every chance of creating something wonderful and powerful. All I ask of music is that is sounds good. — Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby Quotes 706821

When we first split up, he called me a stalker, but that's like an emotive word, "stalker", isn't it? I don't think you can call it stalking when it's just phone calls and letters and emails and knocking on the door. And I only turned up at his work twice. Three times, if you count his Christmas party, which I don't, because he said he was going to take me to that anyway. — Nick Hornby

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You know that things aren't going well for you when you can't even tell people the simplest fact about your life, just because they'll presume you're asking them to feel sorry for you. — Nick Hornby

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I watched a lot of drunk players, too, I learned from the autobiographies published after they had retired. — Nick Hornby

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And if I went
back to sleep and slept for forty years and woke up without any teeth to the sound of Melody Radio in
an old people's home, I wouldn't worry that much, because the worst of life, i.e., the rest of it, would
be over. And I wouldn't even have had to kill myself. — Nick Hornby

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See, I've always been afraid of marriage because of, you know, ball and chain, I want my freedom, all that. But when I was thinking about that stupid girl I suddenly saw it was the opposite: that if you got married to someone you know you love, and you sort yourself out, it frees you up for other things. — Nick Hornby

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What I needed more than anything was a place where unfocused unhappiness could thrive, where I could be still and worry and mope; I had the blues, and when I watched my team I could unwrap them and let them breathe a little. — Nick Hornby

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No one's stopping you," said Jess. "But you've got to make it more interesting. That's why why we drift off and talk about biscuits. — Nick Hornby

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We are, a lot of the time, baffled by the news we see on the front pages of our newspapers, often because the stories are complex, and we missed the beginning of them anyway. (How far back do we have to go to find the roots of the Euro crisis? To 2008? 1999, when the currency came into being? 1992? 1945?) That is one of the reasons why natural disasters and murders and cases involving missing children become so involving: we understand them. — Nick Hornby

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I have learned things from the game. Much of my knowledge of locations in Britain and Europe comes not from school, but from away games or the sports pages, and hooliganism has given me both a taste for sociology and a degree of fieldwork experience. I have learned the value of investing time and emotion in things I cannot control, and of belonging to a community whose aspirations I share completely and uncritically. — Nick Hornby

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And mostly all I have to say about these songs is that I love them, and want to sing along to them, and force other people to listen to them, and get cross when these other people don't like them as much as I do. — Nick Hornby

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Barbara began to imagine the pretty girls working in Derry and Toms as beautiful tropical fish in a tank, swimming up and down, up and down, in serene disappointment, with nowhere to go and nothing to see that they hadn't seen a million times before. — Nick Hornby

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For the best part of 40 years she had genuinely believed that not doing things would somehow prevent regret, when, of course, the exact opposite was true. — Nick Hornby

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It's just that romance, with its dips and turns and glooms and highs, its swoops and swoons and blues, is a natural metaphor for music itself — Nick Hornby

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Do you ever do that thing where you lie in bed and you can't sleep so you end up writing out recent conversation you've had? So they look like a play?'
Well you should. It's fun. I keep them. Look through them, sometimes. — Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby Quotes 1235362

No time spent with a book is ever entirely wasted, even if the experience is not a happy one: there's always something to be learned. It's just that, every now and again, you hit a patch of reading that makes you feel as if you're pootling about ... But what can you do about it? We don't choose to waste our reading time; it just happens. The books let us down. — Nick Hornby

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The problem here is that unless a team is playing well, winning things, filling their stadia, clubs simply cannot afford to alienate the very — Nick Hornby

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How had I managed to edit all this out in the intervening years? How had I managed to turn her into the answer to all the world's problems? — Nick Hornby

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His way of coping with the days was to think of activities as units of time, each unit consisting of about thirty minutes. Whole hours, he found, were more intimidating, and most things one could do in a day took half an hour. Reading the paper, having a bath, tidying the flat, watching Home and Away and Countdown, doing a quick crossword on the toilet, eating breakfast and lunch, going to the local shops ... That was nine units of a twenty-unit day (the evenings didn't count) filled by just the basic necessities. In fact, he had reached a stage where he wondered how his friends could juggle life and a job. Life took up so much time, so how could one work and, say, take a bath on the same day? He suspected that one or two people he knew were making some pretty unsavoury short cuts. — Nick Hornby

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Maybe the best thing to do with favorite books is to leave them be: to achieve such exalted position means that they entered your life at exactly the right time, in precisely the right place, and those conditions can never be recreated. — Nick Hornby

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During the season, fans tend to observe, in as many complicated ways and with as much detail as we can come up with, only that a winning team is very good, and a losing team is hopeless. My mother or Prince Charles or probably a Martian could make the same observation, but their views would be discounted on the grounds of ignorance. — Nick Hornby

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Clive was rapidly coming to the conclusion that being engaged to somebody meant that he spent an awful lot of time not doing things he wanted to do. — Nick Hornby

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You'd think that even a bad doctor on a bad day would feel better than a good drug dealer on a good day, but I suspect that this might not be true. I suspect that drug dealers have days when everything clicks, and it's all buzz buzz buzz, and they chalk off their jobs one by one, and they return home with a sense of accomplishment. — Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby Quotes 1422671

As I get older, the tyranny that football exerts over my life, and therefore over the lives of people around me, is less reasonable and less attractive. Family and friends know, after long years of wearying experience, that the fixture list always has the last word in any arrangement; they understand, or at least accept, that christenings or weddings or any gatherings, which in other families would take unquestioned precedence, can only be plotted after consultation. So football is regarded as a given disability that has to be worked around. If I were wheelchair-bound, nobody close to me would organise anything in a top-floor flat, so why would they plan anything for a winter Saturday afternoon. — Nick Hornby

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Like being able to see how I got from Deep Purple to Howlin' Wolf in twenty-five moves; I am no longer pained by the memory of listening to "Sexual Healing" all the way through a period of enforced celibacy, or embarrassed by the reminder of forming a rock club at school, so that I and my fellow fifth-formers could get together and talk about Ziggy Stardust and Tommy. — Nick Hornby

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I'd stay there, or not, and I'd eat, or not, and I'd drink, or not, and go home, or not, and what I did or didn't do wouldn't matter to anyone at all. And I walked for most of the day. Do people get sad on holiday sometimes? I can imagine they do, having all that time to think. — Nick Hornby

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I lost the plot for a while then. And I lost the subplot, the script, the soundtrack, the intermission, my popcorn, the credits, and the exit sign. — Nick Hornby

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He was one of the first people to complain about the increasing encroachment of the state into personal lives, but, actually, shouldn't there be a little more encroachment, when it came to things like this? Where was the protective fence, or the safety net? They made it hard for you to jump off bridges, or to smoke, to own a gun, to become a gynecologist. So how come they let you walk out on a stable, functioning relationship? They shouldn't. If this didn't work out, he could see himself become a homeless, jobless alcoholic within a year. And that would be worse for his health than a packet of Malboros. — Nick Hornby

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There were about seventy-nine squillion people in the world, and if you were very lucky, you would end up being loved by fifteen or twenty of them. — Nick Hornby

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It was as if I were powerless to resist the temptation; my senses were overcome. I could hear the emptiness, and taste the silence, and smell the solitude, and I wanted it more than I have ever wanted anything before. — Nick Hornby

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On New Year's Eve he ould make a resolution to recover some his previous scepticism, but until then he would do as the Romans do, and smile at people even if he disapproved of them — Nick Hornby

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You have to work at relationships. You can't just walk out on them every time something goes wrong. — Nick Hornby

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I loved them, and would always love them. But there was no place where they could fit anymore, so I had nowhere to put all the things I felt. I didn't know what to do with them, and they didn't know what to do with me, and isn't that just like life? — Nick Hornby

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I couldn't bear to think about the proper future, so I just tried to make things better for the next twenty minutes or so, over and over again. — Nick Hornby

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It's like everyone's a supporting actor in the film of your life story. — Nick Hornby

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Everyone knows how to talk, and no one knows what to say. — Nick Hornby

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I decided, on the spot, to let God into my heart, in the hope that my newfound faith can somehow be used as a vicious weapon in the marital war. — Nick Hornby

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It is the act of reading itself that I miss, the opportunity to retreat further and further from the world until I have found some space, some air that isn't stale, that hasn't been breathed by my family a thousand times already. — Nick Hornby

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Maybe nobody went to see the Rolling Stones here in 1964,' said Ros. 'The dead shark was just too much fun. — Nick Hornby

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I never mind the accusations of domesticity, as long as people recognise that all of us, even the luckiest, will live lives in which we have our hearts broken, suffer the loss of loved ones, worry ourselves half to death about our kids. — Nick Hornby

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What you don't catch a glimpse of on your wedding day- because how could you?- is that some days you will hate your spouse, that you will look at him and regret ever exhchanging a word with him, let alone a ring and bodily fluids. — Nick Hornby

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Because dangling your legs over the precipice is nothing unless you're prepared to go that extra two inches, and none of us had been. We could tell each other and ourselves something different
oh, I would have done it if she hadn't been there or he hadn't been there or if someone hadn't sat on my head
but that fact of the matter was that we were all still around, and we'd all had ample opportunity not to be. — Nick Hornby

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They'd been told, several times, by colleagues ... that the sea was warmer over there [abroad], and the skies bluer, and the food was like nothing you could buy in London no matter how much you spent. But none of those colleagues had done what Tony had wanted to do when he got back: grab people by the lapels and shout at them, wide-eyed, until they agreed to book tickets. Most people in England, he thought, had no idea that within a few hours they could be somewhere that would make them begrudge every single second they'd ever spent in Hastings or Shegness or the Lake District. — Nick Hornby

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And another way of explaining it is to say that shit happens, and there's no space too small, too dark and airless and fucking hopeless, for people to crawl into. — Nick Hornby

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It made him different, and because he was different he felt uncomfortable, and because he felt uncomfortable he could feel himself floating away for everyone and everything. — Nick Hornby

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But somehow, there's less time to think since she came back. We're too busy talking, or working, or having sex (there's a lot of sex at the moment, much of it initiated by me as a way of banishing insecurity), or eating, or going to the pictures. Maybe I should stop doing these things, so as I can work it all out properly, because I know these things are important times. But then again, maybe I shouldn't; maybe this is how it's done. Maybe this is how people manage to have relationships. — Nick Hornby

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I have always been accused of taking the things I love - football, of course, but also books and records - much too seriously, and I do feel a kind of anger when I hear a bad record, or when someone is lukewarm about a book that means a lot to me. — Nick Hornby

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But I want to see Clara, Charlie's friend, who's right up my street. I want to see her because I don't know where my street is; I don't even know which part of town it's in, which city, which country, so maybe she'll enable me to get my bearings. — Nick Hornby

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I don't believe in Heaven or anything. But I want to be the kind of person that qualifies for entry anyway. — Nick Hornby