“The shape and feel of being fourteen—the taste of apple-flavoured bubblegum in his mouth, the humiliation of a spot on his chin, the unending turmoil of that endless struggle to stay afloat in a roiling sea of emotions, and the thousands of hours spent out on the gravel, determined to master an utterly valueless skill—the Frisbee, the yoyo, the Hacky Sack, the Boomerang—in the unshakeable belief that in this lay his salvation. Half of him battling to become visible, the other half just wanting to disappear. God, how had he ever endured it?”
"Skippy muore" è un romanzo corale e tragicomico di Paul Murray sulla bulimia dei sentimenti di adolescenti e di adulti mai davvero cresciuti. Imperdibile.
Edizione italiana: ISBN Edizioni. Traduzione di Beniamino R. Ambrosi
“Life makes fools of all of us sooner or later. But keep your sense of humor and you'll at least be able to take your humiliations with some measure of grace. In the end, you know, its our own expectations that crush us.”
“Since when has love ever looked for reasons, or evidence? Why would love bow to the reality of things, when it creates a reality of its own, so much more vivid, wherein everything resonates to the key of the heart?”
“Ignoring is what you are supposed to do with bullies, so they get bored and leave you alone. But the problem in school is that they don't get bored, because whatever else there is to do is more boring still.”
“To hear people talk, you would think no one ever did anything but love each other. But when you look for it, when you search out this love everyone is always talking about, it is nowhere to be found; and when someone looks for love from you, you find you are not able to give it, you are not able to hold the trust and dreams they want you to hold, any more than you could cradle water in your arms.”
“Gradually the awful truth dawns on you: that Santa Claus was just the tip of the iceberg - that your future will not be the rollercoaster ride you'd imagined, that the world occupied by your parents, the world of washing the dishes, going to the dentist, weekend trips to the DIY superstore to buy floor tiles, is actually largely what people mean when they speak of 'life'.”
“His name was Paul Eluard, and he said this thing once: There is another world, but it is in this one...It's like, you know, inside every stove there's a fire. Well, inside every grass blade there's a grass blade, that's just like burning up with being a grass blade. And inside every tree, there's a tree, and inside every person there's a person, and inside this world that seems so boring and ordinary, if you look hard enough, there's a totally magical beautiful world. And anything you would want to know, or anything you would want to happen, all the answers are right there where you are right now. In your life.”
“Never frown even when ur sad, coz u never know whose falling in love with ur smile!”
“-so that for these few moments it actually seems that Ruprecht could be right, that everything, or at least the small corner of everything that is the Seabrook Sports Hall, is resonating to the same chord, the same feeling, the one that over a lifetime you learn a million ways to camouflage but never quite to banish - the feeling living in a world of apartness, of distances you cannot overcome; it's almost as if the strange out-of-nowhere voice is the universe itself, some hidden aspect of it that rises momentarily over the motorway-roar of space and time to console you, to remind you that although you can't overcome the distances, you can still sing the song -- out into the darkness over the separating voids, towards a fleeting moment of harmony...”
“The achievement of maturity, psychologically speaking, might be said to be the realization and acceptance that we simply cannot live independently from the world, and so we must live within it, with whatever compromises that might entail.”
“And even though it didn't work, it did sort of work, because when we're all together, it's like Skippy's there too, because each of us has his own little jigsaw piece of him he remembers, and when you fit them all together, and you make the whole picture, then it's like he comes to life.”
“Life makes fools of us all sooner or later. But keep your sense of humor and you'll at least be able to take your humiliations with some measure of grace. In the end, you know, it's our own expectations that crush us."
Well, I mean to say, one day we'll all leave here and become scientists and bank clerks and driving instructors and hotel managers -- the fabric of society, so to speak. But in the meantime, that fabric, that is to say, us, the future, is crowded into one tiny little point where none of the laws of society applies, viz., this school."
“Fascinating ... The whole thing [the school dance] seems to work on a similar principle to a supercollider. You know, two streams of opposingly charged particles accelerated till they're just under the speed of light, and then crashed into each other? Only here alcohol, accentuated secondary sexual characteristics and primitive "rock and roll" beats take the place of velocity.”
“Halley believed that a kiss was the beginning of a story, the story, good or bad, short or long, of an us, and once begun, you had to follow it through to the end.”
“[H]istory, in the end, is only another kind of story, and stories are different from the truth. The truth is messy and chaotic and all over the place. Often it just doesn't make sense. Stories make things make sense, but the way they do that is to leave out anything that doesn't fit. And often that is quite a lot.”
“Fix that hair! Close that mind! Repeat after me! Page me the second the old man croaks it! Now, are you boys ready? A Seabrook boy is always ready. Ready to work. Ready to play. Ready to listen to his teachers, especially the greatest educator of them all, Jesus. as Jesus said to me once, Greg, what's your secret? And I said, Jesus--study your notes! Get to class! Shave that beard! You show up to your first day on the job dressed like a hippie, of course they're going to crucify you, I don't care whose son you are . . .”
“Their faith in him is at once touching and alarming -- their trust that they are safe simply because he's with them, as if an adult presence warded of all possible threat, emanated an unbreachable forcefield.”
“Here at Seabrook, we judge a man by the sum of his actions, the sum. In this case we have a man with an unparalleled dediciation to this school and to the boys of this school. Does one error in judgement, however grievious, does that cancel out at a stroke all the good he’s done? The good of that care?”
“To look out the window, it might be the 1980s still, the height of the heroin plague, the police doing nothing, the politicians doing nothing. The same faces loitering in the forecourt of the boarded-up garage, proud of their intractability, the notoriety of their home. Wearing their failure like a badge of honour, generation after generation, parent and child.”