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"Hunger is the kitten Willow-Lauri put in a sack, which scratches away with its small claws, causing searing pain; then more scratching, then more, until the kitten is exhausted and falls to the bottom of the sack, weighing heavily there, before gathering its strength and starting a fresh struggle. You want to lift the animal out, but it scratches so hard you dare not reach inside. You have no option but to carry the bundle to the lake and throw it into the hole in the ice."
"Here lies Dr Johan Berg. Lumps of frozen soil thud against the lid of the coffin. On the horizon, a pale-red streak wages a hopeless war against the weight of the sky, in defense of the dead man's soul. Finally, it is sapped of strength, and heavy clouds shroud the last rays of the sun. The shadows on the mourners' faces grow darker."
"Matias laughs at the story as if it were a funny anecdote. Teo, too, has to chuckle at the memory of the situation. All the same, he wonders how they can be touched by the surrounding misery, if they are merely amused by it. If they truly felt what was going on, would they still be able to laugh?"
"If this suffering is meant to be a test, who is it aimed at? Whose faith will be sanctified through the suffering of these people? Who is Job? The beggars? No, God protected Job; only all those close to him suffered. Do you equate you Job with these people, Matias? These people who starve as we versify: make your bread so it's half bark, our neighbour's grain was killed by frost. Have you ever tasted bread with bark? I haven't. We are not of the people, Matias, and we shall never cross the boundary between them and us. Only Johan crossed it: he went among the people and died of their diseases."
"As impressive as the entrance was, it was still a cave. Yes, it has good "kerb appeal, but once I stuck my head inside there really was nothing to it. If you add that to the fact that it was out of the way and you had to climb over 800 steps to get to it, it's fair to say that if it was on Location, location, location it wouldn't be on my shortlist".
"It took ages to get to where we're going. The first flight went from Heathrow to Madrid. It was full of Spanish people - angry Spanish people due to it being delayed. The Spanish are already quite animated as it is, but even more so when they are annoyed. A man sat next to me was flapping his arms about so much the pilot could have turned the engines off and we'd have stayed in the air."
"This is where Diana had her photo taken when she was having problems with Charlie. Everyone said this is why she looked so miserable, but to be honest I think it was nothing to do with him. I just think she was sick of being in India. It does have that effect on you. If you're having a low moment in your life, India isn't a great place to come to try and get over it. I'd have suggested Center Parcs to her over this place."
"When I was getting ready for my trip to India today, Luke the producer gave me a pack of 28 adult nappies. Not the usual going-away gift, is it?"..."Everyone I talk to about India has mentioned 'Delhi belly'. It's assumed that if you visit India you will get ill. I think it's the only place in the world that has this reputation. It must be a great place to open a restaurant. There's no comeback if a customer gets the shits from eating your food, except, well, 'Welcome to India'. It's as if it's on the menu: starter, main course, pudding, coffee and then the shits."
"Going to the loo is one of my favourite pastimes. It's 'me time', or at least normally it's 'me time' but in China it wasn't as it's an open-door policy, actually not even open-door 'cos there isn't a floor. It's just a room with a few toilets in it with everyone crouching. It's odd how it's something we all do in the world, but we look at it in different ways. In Britain we try to make it a pleasant thing by having comfy toilet-seat covers or toilet-roll covers. In China it's a group activity and they have no seats or toilet rolls to cover."
Ricky: I think we've got to expose him to some of the most mind-blowing degradation that we can. And that'll be funny. Nothing if funnier than Karl in a corner being poked by a stick. I am that stick and now I have the might of Sky behind me. This is one of the funniest, most expensive practical jokes I've ever done. And it's gonna be great.
Stephen: I'm hoping as well that he'll be poked by some real sticks.
Ricky: I know. What country do they poke you with sticks?
Stephen: There's gotta be a country where they poke you with sticks...
Ricky: There's bound to be. There's bound to be one of those weird little countries where, if you see a man with a round head, you're allowed to poke him with a stick. One of those unrepealed laws. Just find me that country!
"I'm quite lucky really. It's only just hit me that not many people get to go and see the things I'm seeing and get paid for the privilege. I looked at a world map in a bookshop the other day to see where I've already been. It wasn't that long ago that I was telling Ricky that he was daft for having a world map in his house. I remember saying, 'Why do you need that? It's not the sort of map you'd ever need in your glove compartment in the car, is it?'"
"Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!"
"I ha' fell into th' pit, my dear, as have cost wi'in the knowledge o'old for now living, hundreds and hundreds o' men's lives - fathers, sons, brothers, dear to thousands an' thousands, an' keeping 'em fro' want and hunger. I ha' fell into a pit that ha' been wi' th' Fire-damp crueller than battle. I ha' read on 't in the public petition, as only one may read, fro' the men that works in pits, in which they ha' pray'n the lawmakers for Christ's sake not to let their work be murder to 'em, but to spare 'em for th' wives and children that they loves as well as gentlefolk loves theirs. When it were in work, it killed i'out need; when 'tis alone, it kills wi'out need. See how we die an' no need, one way an' another - in a muddle - every day!"
"She pulls her jacket across her chest and settles into the two folding chairs she's made into a makeshift bed. She will wait for him to come back. She will stay out here in the summer night, with the deer sneezing in the woods and the frogs chirping from the trees. She will wait for him here. Under this wedding tent, she will wait. And she will say yes."
"For most of her life she had dreamed of the day she wouldn't have to stoop and scrub and haul and shine for other people. And so it came. One more demon replacing another."
"And then, out of the blue, a couple of kids climbed through Penny's window and raped and strangled her to death."
"And every time they come, they will tell those who don't know the story of the young man who was a boy here, who went away and came home and went away, who cleaned rooms and carved a canoe and on its prow painted the faces of a family. And the stories will change and the canoe will become a headboard and the family will be mermaids and the rooms will be mansions. And no one will remember us, who we were or what happened here. Sand will blow across Pacific Avenue and against the windows of the Moonstone, and new people will arrive and walk down the beach to the great ocean. They will be in love, or they will be lost, and they will have no words. And the waves will sound to them as they did to us the first time we heard them."