I am about to finish A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. Usually when I’m reading, there is a quote that sticks out to me that I want to blog about. But this book is so chock full of them, I just don’t know where to start. I found some of my underlines and compiled them here:
There are other ways of dying, without killing yourself. You can let parts of yourself die.
The outward manifestations of an inner combustion are never very directed.
Everyone knows how to talk, and no one knows what to say.
It was kind of liberating, saying what you really wanted, even if you couldn’t have it…We all spend so much time not saying what we want, because we know we can’t have it. And because it sounds ungracious, or ungrateful, or disloyal, or childish, or banal. Or because we’re so desperate to pretend that things are OK, really, that confessing to ourselves they’re not looks like a bad move…Surviving in whatever life you’re living means lying, and lying corrodes the soul, so take a break from the lies just for one minute.
I had that terrible feeling you get when you realize that you’re stuck with who you are, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Telling me I can do anything I want is like pulling the plug out of the bath and then telling the water it can go anywhere it wants.
I’ve run out of room. I can’t see any way forward or back.
You can take the piss out of anyone who’s unhappy if you’re cruel enough.
The story follows four people who meet on the top of a building they’re all contemplating jumping off of. They are all suicidal for different reasons. Yes, the premise sounds very dark, but the book unfurls them as it goes along so you understand what led them to this point. I have never read any book similar to this at all. There are some issues that people don’t want to talk about or read or write about, and suicide seems to be one of them.
A long time ago, I wrote down something: “Suicide – thinking about yourself too much or too little.” And this books keeps reminding me of that sentence. Those are my deep thoughts on the matter. Now I must go finish this book.