Monday, September 11, 2006
The Long Dark Tea-Time of The Soul
As part of my Douglas Adams kick, I read The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul:
- "She stared at them with the worried from of a drunk trying to work out why the door is dancing." (p. 17)
- "The room was not a room to elevate the soul. Louis XIV, to pick a name at random, would have found it not sunny enough, and insufficiently full of mirrors. He would have desired someone to pick up the socks, put the records away, and maybe burn the place down. Michelangelo would have been distressed by its proportions, which were neither lofty nor shaped by any noticeable inner harmony or symmetry, other than that all parts of the room were pretty much equally full of old coffee mugs, shoes and brimming ashtrays, most of which were now sharing their tasks with each other. The walls were painted in almost precisely that shade of green which Raffaello Sanzio would have bitten off his own right hand at the wrist rather than use, and Hercules, on seeing the room, would probably have returned half an hour later armed with a navigable river. It was, in short, a dump, and was likely to remain so for as long as it remained in the custody of Mr. Svlad, or "Dirk" Gently, né Cjelli." (p.20) - man, this sounds like my old apartment. God, that place needed a navigable river.
- "He lay there with a terrible sense of worry and guilt about something weighing on his shoulders. He wished he could forget about it, and promptly did." (p.21)
- "The mail on the doormat consisted of the usual things: a rude letter threatening to take away his American Express card, an invitation to apply for an American Express card, and a few bills of the more hysterical and unrealistic type." (p. 21)
- "...his method of "Zen" navigation, which was simply to find any car that looked as if it knew where it was going and follow it. The results were more often surprising than successful, but he felt it was worth it for the sake of the few occasions when it was both." (p. 29)
- "There was an air of tension and of sadness and of things needing to be cleaned out from under the bed." (p.45)
- "She was of course the last person to judge somebody by the colour of their skin - or if not absolutely the last, she had at least done it as recently as yesterday afternoon." (p. 63) - I laughed and laughed and laughed when I read this. I love the way Adams plays with language like this.
- "Glue technology had obviously not progressed in that country to the point where things could be successfully held together with it." (p. 77)
- "...they had been translated from the Chinese via the Japanese and seemed to have enjoyed many adventures on the way." (p. 77)
- (after rear-ending Kate:)
- "'Do you have a lawyer?'
- 'Yes, I do, as a matter of fact,' said Kate. She said it with vim and hauteur.
- 'Is he any good?' said the man in the hat? 'I'm going to need one. Mine's popped into prison for a while.'" (p. 119-120)
- "I've had the sort of day that would make St. Francis of Assisi kick babies." (p. 122) - sounds like my life of late.
- "It was widely reported in the press. I expect you missed it through being conconscious. I myself missed it through rampant apathy." (p.123)
- "The idea was fantastically, wildly improbable. But like most fantastically, wildly improbably ideas, it was at least as worthy of consideration as a more mundane one to which the facts had been strenuously bent to fit." (p.124)
- "The sound of Michael Jackson in the other bar mingled with the mournful intermittence of the glass-cleaning machine in this one to create an aural ambience which perfectly matched the elderly paintwork in its dinginess." (p.126)
- "... at the small corner table she had found away from the fat, T-shirted hostility of the bar." (p. 126)
- "I don't see why I still read his books. It's perfectly clear his editor doesn't." (p.126)
- "The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbably lacks. How often have you been presented with an apparently rational explanation of something which works in all respects other than one, which is just that it is hopelessly improbable? Your instinct is to say, "Yes, but he or she simply wouldn't do that." (p.132) - oh ya, been there.
- "... caught in the middle of a rush hour traffic jam that had started in the late nineteen seventies and which, at a quarter to ten on this Thursday evening, still showed no signs of abating..." (p. 148)
- "The same two damn people who had been the bane of his life for the entire day (he allowed himself this slight exaggeration on the grounds of extreme provocation) had now flagrantly and deliberately disappeared in front of his eyes." (p.213)