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Terry Pratchett Quotes

71 of the best book quotes from Terry Pratchett
01
“It is said that the Devil has all the best tunes. This is broadly true. But Heaven has the best choreographers.”
02
″‘Oh, all right,’ said Crowley wretchedly. ‘No one’s actually going to get killed. They’re all going to have miraculous escapes. It wouldn’t be any fun otherwise.‘”
03
“You don’t have to test everything to destruction just to see if you made it right.”
04
″‘Oh dear,’ said Aziraphale. ‘It’s him.’ ‘Him who?’ said Crowley. ‘The Voice of God,’ said the angel. ‘The Metatron.’ The Them stared. Then Pepper said, ‘No, it isn’t. The Metatron’s made of plastic and it’s got laser cannon and it can turn into a helicopter.‘”
05
“Firstly, that God moves in extremely mysterious, not to say, circuitous ways. God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players,* to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.”
06
“He ought to tell Crowley. No, he didn’t. He wanted to tell Crowley. He ought to tell Heaven.”
07
″‘... it’s not enough to know what the future ​is. You have to know what it means.‘”
08
″‘It’s like you said the other day,’ said Adam. ‘You grow up readin’ about pirates and cowboys and spacemen and stuff, and jus’ when you think the world’s all full of amazin’ things, they tell you it’s really all dead whales and chopped-down forests and nuclear waste hang-in’ about for millions of years. ’Snot worth growin’ up for, if you ask my opinion.‘”
09
“It has been said that civilization is twenty-four hours and two meals away from barbarism.”
10
″‘Best not to speculate, really,’ said Aziraphale. ‘You can’t second-guess ineffability, I always say. There’s Right, and there’s Wrong. If you do Wrong when you’re told to do Right, you deserve to be punished. Er.‘”
11
“The trouble with trying to find a brown-covered book among brown leaves and brown water at the bottom of a ditch of brown earth in the brown, well, grayish light of dawn, was that you couldn’t.”
12
″‘I told you. On his eleventh birthday. At three o’clock in the afternoon. It’ll sort of home in on him. He’s supposed to name it himself.‘”
13
“Crowley: the angel who did not so much fall as saunter vaguely downwards”
14
“‘Of course, we knew something was going on,’ Aziraphale said. ‘But one somehow imagines this sort of thing happening in America. They go in for that sort of thing over there.‘”
15
“Aziraphale relaxed. ‘You know, Crowley,’ he said, beaming, ‘I’ve always said that, deep down inside, you’re really quite a—’ ‘All right, all right,’ Crowley snapped. ‘Tell the whole blessed world, why don’t you?‘”
16
″‘DON’T THINK OF IT AS DYING,’ said Death, ‘JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.‘”
17
″‘A demon can get into real trouble, doing the right thing.’ He nudged the angel. ‘Funny if we both got it wrong, eh? Funny if I did the good thing and you did the bad one, eh?‘”
18
″‘I don’t see what’s so triflic about creating people as people and then gettin’ upset ‘cos they act like people,’ said Adam severely. ‘Anyway, if you stopped tellin’ people it’s all sorted out after they’re dead, they might try sorting it all out while they’re alive.‘”
19
″‘Don’t tell me from genetics. What’ve they got to do with it?’ said Crowley. ‘Look at Satan. Created as an angel, grows up to be the Great Adversary. Hey, if you’re going to go on about genetics, you might as well say the kid will grow up to be an angel. After all, his father was really big in Heaven in the old days. Saying he’ll grow up to be a demon just because his dad became one is like saying a mouse with its tail cut off will give birth to tailless mice. No. Upbringing is everything. Take it from me.‘”
20
“‘Hello? Aziraphale! For Go—, for Sa—, for somebody’s sake! Aziraphale!‘”
21
Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.
22
“Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom.”
23
“There is always time for another last minute.”
24
“This is very similar to the suggestion put forward by the Quirmian philosopher Ventre, who said, “Possibly the gods exist, and possibly they do not. So why not believe in them in any case? If it’s all true you’ll go to a lovely place when you die, and if it isn’t then you’ve lost nothing, right?” When he died he woke up in a circle of gods holding nasty-looking sticks.”
25
“They wonder how the snow plough driver gets to work, or how the makers of dictionaries look up the spelling of words.”
26
“Do I detect a note of unseasonal grumpiness? No sugar piggywiggy for you, Albert.”
27
“Real children do not go hoppity skip unless they are on drugs.”
28
“They always gives me bath salts,” complained Nobby. “And bath soap and bubble bath and herbal bath lumps and tons of bath stuff and I can’t think why, ‘cos it’s not as if I hardly ever has a bath. You’d think they’d take the hint, wouldn’t you?”
29
“She’d become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do.”
30
“Mister Teatime had a truly brilliant mind, but it was brilliant like a fractured mirror, all marvelous facets and rainbows but, ultimately, also something that was broken.”
31
“Some things are fairly obvious when it’s a seven-foot skeleton with a scythe telling you them.”
32
“Susan says, don’t get afraid, get angry.”
33
“Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.”
34
“She’d sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she’d beat herself to death with her own umbrella.”
35
“Hello, inner child, I’m the inner babysitter!”
36
“Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.”
37
“Everything starts somewhere, though many physicists disagree. But people have always been dimly aware of the problem with the start of things.”
38
“And then Jack chopped down what was the world’s last beanstalk, adding murder and ecological terrorism to the theft, enticement, and trespass charges already mentioned, and all the giant’s children didn’t have a daddy anymore. But he got away with it and lived happily ever after, without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done...which proves that you can be excused for just about anything if you are a hero, because no one asks inconvenient questions.”
39
“The phrase ‘Someone ought to do something’ was not, by itself, a helpful one. People who used it never added the rider ‘and that someone is me’.”
40
“It’s amazing how good governments are, given their track records in almost every other field, at hushing up things like alien encounters. One reason may be that the aliens themselves are too embarrassed to talk about it.”
41
“But he didn’t believe in supernatural monsters. He shivered. He hoped they didn’t believe in him.”
42
“He thought of the deep crevasses and windy caves of Underlay, and the stories of the creatures that dwelt there. Of course, he didn’t believe in them. He’d told them, because the handing on of an oral mythology was very important to a developing culture, but he didn’t believe in supernatural monsters. He shivered. He hoped they didn’t believe in him.”
43
“Most armies are in fact run by their sergeants—the officers are there just to give things a bit of tone and prevent warfare from becoming a mere lower-class brawl.”
44
“The apothecary’s name was Owlglass. He hummed to himself as he worked in his back room. He’d found a new type of blue fluff, which he was grinding down. It was probably good for curing something. He’d have to try it out on people until he found out what.”
45
“Afterward, there was that long, crowded pause in which everyone decides that although they are very shaken, and possibly upside down, they are, to their surprise, still alive.”
46
“You don’t have to chase around after creatures, Pismire had said. You watch them for long enough, and then you’ll find the place to wait and they’ll come to you. There’s nearly always a better way of doing something.”
47
“He’s a man of few words, and he doesn’t know what either of them means,” people said, but not when he was within hearing.”
48
“Correct observation followed by meticulous deduction and the precise visualization of goals is vital to the success of any enterprise.”
49
“The Carpet was full of life, but it did not know it was alive. It could be, but it could not think. It did not even know what it was. “And so from the dust came us, the Carpet People. We gave the Carpet its name, and named the creatures, and the weaving was complete.”
50
“Everywhere was connected to everywhere else, Pismire had said.”
51
″... the important thing is not how long your life is but how long it seems.”
52
“This is the story of the truck roaring through the sleeping city and out into the country lanes, smashing through streetlamps and swinging from side to side and shattering shop windows and rolling to a halt when the police chased it.”
53
“He’d seriously thought about leaving alone, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. They needed him. They needed someone to grumble at.”
54
“To get enough to eat, you needed lots of healthy hunters. But to get lots of healthy hunters, you needed enough to eat.”
55
″...yes, there it was, far below. A tiny black cube on the ground. The Thing. It was lying in a puddle, although that wouldn’t affect it. Nothing touched the Thing. It wouldn’t even burn.”
56
“I’m going to die, he thought, just because of this Thing that has never helped us at all, something that’s just a lump of stuff, and now I’m going to die and go to the Heavens.”
57
“I wonder if old Torrit is right about what happens when you die. It seems a bit severe to have to die to find out. I’ve looked at the sky every night for years, and I’ve never seen any nomes up there...”
58
“Humans had it really easy. They were big and slow, but they didn’t have to live in damp burrows waiting for daft old women to let the fire go out. They went wherever they wanted and they did whatever they liked. The whole world belonged to them.”
59
“Good old Masklin, they’d said, stout chap, you look after the old folk and we’ll be back before you know it, just as soon as we’ve found a better place. Every time good old Masklin thought about this, he got indignant with them for going and with himself for staying.”
60
“He pulled Grimma up last. She was light. They were all light, if it came to that. You didn’t get rat every day.”
characters
concepts
61
″‘It’s not cool to say yo anymore,’ said Wobbler. ‘Is it rad to say cool?’ said Johnny. ‘Cools always cool. And no one says rad anymore, either.‘”
62
“Somehow she holds the key to different times, different eras - including the Blackbury Blitz in 1941. ”
63
″ Suddenly now isn’t the safe place Johnny once thought it was as he finds himself caught up more and more with then ...”
64
“It’s May 21 1941, thought Johnny. It’s war. Johnny Maxwell and his friends have to do something when they find Mrs Tachyon, the local bag lady, semi-conscious in an alley ...as long as it’s not the kiss of life. ”
65
″...huh. Schoolteachers?′ why couldn’t they be like they were supposed to be and just chuck things at you if you weren’t paying attention? Instead they all seemed to have been worrying about him and sending notes home and getting him to see a specialist.”
66
“But there’s more to Mrs Tachyon than a squeaky trolley and a bunch of dubious black bags. ”
67
“Johnny Maxwell and his friends are transported back to 1941′s version of their home town. Can he prevent or change the effects of a bombing he knows occurred?
68
“The soldier saw a wizened little woman wearing what looked like a party dress with layers of other clothes on top, and a woolly hat with a bobble on it. She was pushing a wire cart on wheels. It had a metal label on it.”
69
“A terrible monster pulled itself over the top of the cart and spat at Johnny. It was white, but with bits of brown and black as well. It was scrawny. It had three and a half legs but only one ear.”
70
“There was a shopping cart lying on its side just inside the alley, but that wasn’t unusual. Herds of shopping carts roamed the streets of Blackbury. ”
71
“Anyway,′ said Yo-less, ‘if you changed things, maybe you’d end up not going back in time, and there you would be, back in time. I mean, except you never went in the first place, so you wouldn’t be able to come back on account of not having gone.”

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