Sunday, February 05, 2006

Best Last Lines

For the good of the order, here are my top ten last lines, again restricted to books I've read:

"As they went down the valley in the new fell dark basking nighthawks rose from the dust in the road before them with wild wings and eyes red as jewels in the headlights." --Cormac McCarthy, Child of God

"On the lips of the strange race that now dwells there their names are myth, legend, dust." --Cormac McCarthy, Outer Dark

"The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky -- seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness." --Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

"In that true cry of undying passion that seemed to ring aloud from Punta Mala to Azuera and away to the bright line of the horizon, overhung by a big white cloud shining like a mass of solid silver, the genius of the magnificent Capataz de Cargadores dominated the dark gulf containing his conquests of treasure and love." --Joseph Conrad, Nostromo

"He loved Big Brother." --George Orwell, 1984

"What on earth is less reprehensible than the life of the Levovs?" --Philip Roth, American Pastoral

"I'll pray, and then I'll sleep." --Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

"Isn't it pretty to think so?" --Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

"The old man was dreaming about the lions." --Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

"It was the devious-cruising Rachel, that in her retracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan." --Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

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