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The Looking Glass War

John le Carré

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Do you know what love is? I'll tell you: it is whatever you can still betray.”

“There were times when he confronted his own image as a man confronts an empty valley, and the vision propelled him forward again to experience as despair compels us to extinction. Sometimes he was like a man in flight, but running toward the enemy, desperate to feel upon his vanishing body the blows that would prove his being; desperate to imprint upon his sad conformity the mark of real purpose, desperate perhaps, as Leclerc had hinted, to abdicate his conscience in order to discover God.”

“He was witnessing an insane relay race in which each contestant ran faster and longer than the last, arriving nowhere but his own destruction”

“For Heaven’s sake, Adrian, do you think Intelligence consists of unassailable philosophical truths? Does every priest have to prove that Christ was born on Christmas Day?”

“knowing perhaps that a weak claim was worse than none.”

“haunted by sad faces which moved through the rain like driftwood in a forgotten harbour.”

“Why do they consent or refuse, why do they lie or tell the truth? Why do any of us?”

“When we met him he was a man without love. Do you know what love is? I’ll tell you: it is whatever you can still betray.”

“The row of villas which lines Western Avenue is like a row of pink graves in a field of grey; an architectural image of middle age. Their uniformity is the discipline of growing old, of dying without violence and living without success. They are houses which have got the better of their occupants, whom they change at will, and do not change themselves. Furniture vans glide respectfully among them like hearses, discreetly removing the dead and introducing the living. Now and then some tenant will raise his hand, expending pots of paint on the woodwork or labour on the garden, but his efforts no more alter the house than flowers a hospital ward, and the grass will grow its own way, like grass on a grave.”

“The houses sat decently in their own gardens, the curtains drawn, first lace and then brocade, petticoats and skirts. It was like a bad water-colour, the dark things drawn too heavy, the sky grey and soiled in the dusk, the paint too worked.”

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Book Keywords:

love, espionage, reflection, betrayal

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