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The Fifth Heart

Dan Simmons

Top 10 Best Quotes

“the world often seemed more like a template for fiction than something that should be indulged in for its own sake.”

“Forcing school children to recite a national pledge doesn’t sound very American to me,” said James. “No,” agreed Holmes. “It sounds German. Very German.”

“But he had once told Watson that the “less or fewer” issue, along with the use of “I” in such sentences as “He gave the money to Sheila and I”, inflicted on the public by people who considered themselves well-educated, could be drastically reduced in frequency—if not actually abolished—by a few well-aimed pistol shots and an explanatory note that would be pinned to the victims’ chests.”

“even the Pyramids and other “great works” were as ephemeral as a castle of sand on the beach at Brighton.”

“Holmes smiled tightly. “I discovered, Mr. James,” he said as he leaned closer, “that I was not a real person. I am…how would a literary person such as yourself put it? I am, the evidence has proven to me most conclusively, a literary construct. Some ink-stained scribbler’s creation. A mere fictional character.”

“takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature”

“The strongest beings are those who sing themselves into existence.”

“no nation was better at creating metaphors for itself than America; in this case, the vision of a beautiful, sane, safe, marble future that is all dream and no marble to sustain it.”

“Henry James hated epilogues and refused to use them in his fiction. He said that life granted us no “epilogues”, so why should art or literature?”

“Clemens laughed until he began coughing again. “Don’t you see, James?” he said at last. “You and I are only minor characters in this story about the Great Detective. Our little lives and endings mean nothing to the God-Writer, whoever the sonofabitch might be.”

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