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Ill Will: A Novel

Dan Chaon

Top 10 Best Quotes

“I realized that I had the choice. I could give this moment a meaning, or I could choose to ignore it. It just depended on the kind of story I wanted to tell myself.”

“People can find patterns in all kinds of random events. It's called apophenia. It's the tendency we humans have to find meaning in disconnected information.”

“What happened to us? It was a question that interested her. Most people seemed to believe that they were experts of their own life story. They had a set of memories that they strung like beads, and this necklace told a sensible tale. But she suspected that most of these stories would fall apart under strict examination--that, in fact, we were only peeping through a keyhole of our lives, and the majority of the truth, the reality of what happened to us, was hidden. Memories were no more solid than dreams...What happened to us? She drew smoke, considering the question. Was it possible that we would never really know? What if we were not, actually, the curators of our own lives?”

“We are always telling stories to ourselves, about ourselves...But we can control those stories...I believe that! Events in our life have meaning because we choose to give it to them”

“Their house was about a mile outside of town. The kids would play outdoors, in the backyard and the large stubble field behind the house. Dusk seemed to last for hours, and when it was finally dark they would sit under the porch light, catching thickly buzzing June bugs and moths, or even an occasional toad who hopped into the circle of light, tempted by the halo of insects that floated around the bare orange lightbulb next to the front door”

“I never understood why people from the 1980s thought there would be flying cars. It just seemed really dangerous and impractical to me, but they all talked about it, so it must have been a thing. Meanwhile, my dream for the future was that it wouldn't involve mass extinction and large-scale water shortages and cannibalism.”

“And he saw now that it wasn't real. That it had never been real. He could feel that other life shrinking and losing its possibility, and he knew that it was something that he should never, ever, think of again.”

“Your Mom's Car. Think about that. Try to wrap your brain around the supernatural and spiritual implications that the name bears down you. Your Mom's Car, holding its hand out straight, fingers curled, a zombie reaching for your neck.”

“You look up for a moment and you're not sure which life is real. You've split yourself into so many honeycombed parts that they barely notice each other---all of them pacing, concurrently, parallel streams of though, and each one thinks of its self as me.”

“You know what you learn when you study the legal system? Poor people pass down damage the way rich people pass down an inheritance.”

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Book Keywords:

summer, personification, nostalgia, life-philosophy, future-prediction, poverty, perception, cars, apocalypse, metaphor, memory, meaning, dead-parents, childhood-trauma

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