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Hardboiled Quotes (Twitter-size edition)

Baragon, who had a nearly bottomless reservoir of patience for the mentally ill, had virtually none whatsoever for people under thirty-five.
--Jim Knipfel, The Buzzing

Dole leaned over the railing to get a better angle on the fleeing Kirk Curtly, who was now three Kirks in Dole's rifle scope, thanks to the miracle of modern alcohol.
--Tim Dorsey, Hammerhead Ranch Motel

Fourteen muggings, three rapes, a knifing on Culver Avenue, thirty-six assorted burglaries and the squadroom was being painted. Not that the squadroom didn't need painting.
--Ed McBain, Fuzz

His hand flexed slowly on the tablecloth, like a beached starfish.
--Ross MacDonald, The Wycherly Woman

There was nothing wrong with Southern California that a rise in the ocean level wouldn't cure.
--Ross MacDonald, The Drowning Pool

As a fire investigator, Bentley makes a good fisherman.
--Don Winslow, California Fire and Life

I parked the cab at a hack stand, pulled my gym bag off the front seat and walked along until I found a bar that didn't have ferns in the windows.
--Andrew Vachss, Down Among the Zero

...They don't put towns in jail. They probably should, but they don't.
--Stephen Greenleaf, Grave Error

The Shady Tree Inn was as shitty as the law would allow: paint peeling as badly as a Paradise Road stripper.
--John Ridley, Everybody Smokes in Hell


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 5th, 2011 01:37 am (UTC)
Awesome stuff! The imagery and metaphors is part of why we love hardboiled fiction, ain't it?

Some of my favorites have come from the man, Dashiell Hammett. My favorite?

"'Who shot him?' I asked.
The grey man scratched the back of his neck and said: "Somebody with a gun."

There a ton of good ones here, too: http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/16927.Dashiell_Hammett

But then again, being one of the cool kids, I'm sure you're read your share of Hammet before. Am I right?
Jun. 5th, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
Love it!

I wouldn't say I'm a cool kid (especially as I got someone's dander up by not liking Dan Fortune) but I've read a little Hammett. Red Harvest's my favorite, but I wish I'd been as assiduous about writing down quotes back then as I am now...
Jun. 5th, 2011 03:10 am (UTC)
Assiduous... now that's a good word.

But hey, now you have an excuse to go back and read all of those Hammett books ;)
Jun. 5th, 2011 03:31 am (UTC)

They're here in the house somewhere...
Jun. 5th, 2011 10:44 am (UTC)
Mmm, nice. :) But no Chandler? Here, have a couple:

"From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away." --The High Window

"Alcohol is like love," he said. "The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off."--The Long Goodbye

Jun. 5th, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
Niiiiiiiiiiiice. Thanks for playing!
Jun. 11th, 2011 04:42 am (UTC)
I really like that beached starfish line.
Jun. 11th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
Yay! It's one of my absolute favorites of all book quotes. It's so succinct and vivid.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


TP: the arm is watching you.

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