There is nothing better than finishing a great novel than taking in the last line. Especially when it encapsulates all of the emotion and power of the book itself. These last lines are some of the very best.
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
–F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
‘It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.’
–Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.
–Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)
Come, children, let us shut up the box and the puppets, for our play is played out.
–William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair (1847–48)
“Meet Mrs Bundren,” he says.
–William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying (1930)
Everything we need that is not food or love is here in the tabloid racks. The tales of the supernatural and extraterrestrial. The miracle vitamins, the cures for cancer, the remedies for obesity. The cults of the famous and the dead.
–Don DeLillo, White Noise (1985)
The knife came down, missing him by inches, and he took off.
–Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (1961)
I don’t hate it he thought, panting in the cold air, the iron New England dark; I don’t. I don’t! I don’t hate it! I don’t hate it!
–William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom! (1936)
The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky—seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.
–Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902)
He loved Big Brother.
–George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
For some reason this made him laugh and he began to imitate the siren as loud as he could.
–Nathanael West The Day of the Locust (1939)
But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before.
–Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)
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