Web benfenton.com

Favorite Quotes

"And some of her stories have a Zen strangeness that sticks in the just-waking mind like Velcro." Stephen King, My Morning People, Entertainment Weekly #874/875

"You'll never convince a doorknob that there's anything more in life than getting pushed, pulled, and turned."
John Dunning, The Bookman's Wake

"I was like a dog with my nose out the window of a car: The neighborhood smelled glorious to me, even if I couldn't show you where it was on a map." Alan Alda, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed

"Maybe I was turning into an eccentric whose apartment had become a macrocosmic metaphor for her own fevered mind." Maureen Corrigan, Leave Me Alone I'm Reading

"Every literary person, then, is a conservationist in the fight for increasingly endangered consciousness. Antitechnology radicalism is not the answer to this endangerment, and neither is dourness about phenomena such as video games. But an enjoyment or even love of digital distraction needs fortification with something that appreciates and rewards the inner life. Without such fortification one is wading in the shallow end of an intellectual kiddie pool." Tom Bissell, from Bookmark Now

"My family lived in a bay-windowed house on the outskirts of town, where paved streets gave way to vast flat housing tracts and the tallest objects for miles were the orange bulldozers standing like mastodons in the dirt." Diane Ackerman, The Moon by Whale Light

"Their speed became so great that even on a rather empty road the inexcusably bad drivers, the manifestly half-witted pedestrians and men with horses, the hen that they actually ran over and the dogs and hens that Feverstone pronounced "damned lucky," seemed to follow one another almost without intermission. Telegraph posts raced by, bridges rushed overhead with a roar, villages streamed backward to join the country already devoured, and Mark, drunk with air and at once fascinated and repelled by the insolence of Feverstone's driving sat saying, "Yes," and "Quite," and "It was their fault," and stealing side-long glances at his companion.. The long straight nose and the clenched teeth, the hard bony outlines beneath the face, the very way he wore his clothes, all spoke of a big man driving a big car to somewhere where they would find big stuff going on." C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength

"Down toward one end of the village, among the small houses, a dog complained about the cold and the loneliness. He raised his nose to his god and gave a long and fulsome account of the state of the world as it applied to him. He was a practiced singer with a full bell throat and great versatility of range and control." John Steinbeck, The Moon Is Down

"We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that it is not true." Robert Wilensky

"The difference between a well-educated person and one who is not is about one thousand well-chosen books."
David C. Major and John S. Major, 100 One-Night Reads

"A fool and his books are soon parted."
Holbrook Jackson

"Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well want. Anything at all ... as long as you tell the truth." Stephen King, On Writing

"Once more it was dog-hot, the sun glaring out of the white-haze sky and lying on everything like melted brass." Stephen King, Bag of Bones

"Ceylon is in reality a kind of postlapsarian treasure island, where every sensual gift of the tropics is available, both to reward temptation and to beguile and charm. So there are cinnamon and coconut, coffee and tea; there are sapphires and rubies, mangoes and cashews, elephants and leopards; and everywhere a rich, hot, sweetly moist breeze, scented by the sea, spices, and blossoms.
"And there are the girls--young, chocolate-skinned, ever-giggling naked girls with sleek wet bodies, rosebud nipples, long hair, coltish legs, and scarlet and purple petals folded behind their ears--who play in the white Indian Ocean surf and who run, quite without shame, along the cool wet sands on their way back home." Simon Winchester, The Professor and the Madman

"Suddenly villages like Camerton, Foxcote, Timsbury, Writhlington, and High Littleton, hitherto sleepy and forgotten places of wisteria-covered houses and fields with heavy-uddered cows drowsing in the afternoon sun, became crowded with burly men in hard leather caps and black smocks, and the sound of hammering and pickaxing and the irregular thudding of Newcomen steam engines displaced the music of skylarks and church bells." Simon Winchester, The Map That Changed the World.

"Up here there always seemed to be a cool onshore breeze blowing up over the summit. It was tangy with salt and seaweed, and the way it cooled the perspiration was so blessed a feeling that we would race downhill into it with wing-wide arms, and it would muss our hair and tear at our uniform caps, and we would fly down toward the beach and to the surging Channel waves that chewed back and forth across the pebbles and the sand.
"... Once in a while we might glance back at them as they stood, black and hooded like carrion crows, fingering their rosaries and muttering prayers or imprecations--but if they disapproved of us tearing off our gray uniforms and plunging headlong into the surf, so what? This was summer, here was the sea, and we were schoolboys--a combination of forces that even these storm troopers of the Blessed Visitation could not overwhelm." Simon Winchester, The Map That Changed the World

"The book trade does provide a certain shelter for those whose humors might ill-suit them for work elsewhere. I bought my 1920 copy of Morley's The Haunted Bookshop in Renaissance Books, a creaky old warehouse in Milwaukee... The sullen clerk there did not return my greetings or my farewell, did not say a word, and did not show a single facial expression except irritation that I had interrupted his customerless routine. What this routine actually consisted of I can only guess, though by his countenance, I seem to have caught him halfway into sucking through a bagful of lemons." Paul Collins, Sixpence House

Copyright 2000-2099 Ben Fenton.com