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The Angel of Darkness

Caleb Carr

Top 10 Best Quotes

“She has that quality, does the Hudson, as I imagine all great rivers do: the deep, abiding sense that those activities what take place on shore among human beings are of the moment, passing, and aren't the stories by way of which the greater tale of this planet will, in the end, be told.”

“It didn’t make any more sense to me then than it does now, how life can pile troubles up on a man what don’t deserve them, while letting some of the biggest jackasses and scoundrels alive waltz their way through long, untroubled existences.”

“There's plenty of stories that need telling what never get told, just because people can't bear the listening.”

“Still, it's an interesting technique--leaving one person behind in order to find her or him somewhere else. And *in* someone else.”

“Whatever poor team of maidservants had to stuff her into the kind of tight-waisted gown she was wearing that evening earned their pay as sure as any coal miner, that much was certain. The”

“No, since we began this case, another possibility has presented itself to me--the thought that, although my mother cared for her children, their welfare was simply not her first priority. And the real question is not why that should have been so, but why it should have been such a difficult theory to either formulate or accept--why, indeed, it should have taken a murder case to make me think of it. After all, a man who makes his children of secondary or even minor importance, though he may be criticized by some, is hardly held to be unusual. Why should we believe any differently of a woman?”

“Maybe memory was just a wicked curse, and the kind of mind what could wipe out painful recollections a blessing. Maybe .....”

“It isn’t really possible for men to understand how much the world doesn’t want women to be complete people. The most important thing a woman can be, in our society—more important, even, than honest or decent—is identifiable. Even when Libby’s evil—perhaps most of all when she’s evil—she’s easy to categorize, to stick to a board with a pin like some scientific specimen. Those men in Stillwater are terrified of her because being terrified lets them know who she is—it keeps them safe. Imagine how much harder it would be to say, yes, she’s a woman capable of terrible anger and violence, but she’s also someone who’s tried desperately to be a nurturer, to be a good and constructive human being. If you accept all that, if you allow that inside she’s not just one or the other, but both, what does that say about all the other women in town? How will you ever be able to tell what’s actually going on in their hearts—and heads? Life in the simple village would suddenly become immensely complicated. And so, to keep that from happening, they separate things. The normal, ordinary woman is defined as nurturing and loving, docile and compliant. Any female who defies that categorization must be so completely evil that she’s got to be feared, feared even more than the average criminal—she’s got to be invested with the powers of the Devil himself. A witch, they probably would have called her in the old days. Because she’s not just breaking the law, she’s defying the order of things.”

“A man can be a bachelor, and still be a man—because of his mind, his character, his work. But a woman without children? She’s a spinster, Stevie—and a spinster is always something less than a woman.”

“but as anybody who’s ever been involved with the law will tell you, facts aren’t always or even usually what decides a case.”

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Book Keywords:

humanity, society, time, rivers, women, memory, mystery

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