The Recurring Nightmare of Wilhelm

'The remaining man, Wilhelm, was also uneasy, but his mind was troubled not by what lay inside the crate but by lingering thoughts of his own.'

New York Traffic

'The two car accidents happened so early in his life that neither brought forth feelings of mortality at the time. It made sense that he survived them. Why not?'

‘Get Your Ass to Mars’

'I slip into my uniform, crumpled on the floor where I left it a mere six hours ago. My limbs are wet with exhaustion, cold, and I am unappreciative of the red glow outside our window.'

Hating The Leopard

'There is no such thing as the indispensable book or author, and the world would be exactly the same if Kafka, Proust, Faulkner, Mann, Nabokov and Borges had never existed.'

False River

'When Greta rang with the news about Bertie dying, I said I was in the lobby of my hotel, but really I’d just walked into the reception area at Lake Lawn Cemetery.'

Unused Book Titles

In his notebooks, the ever-inventive Raymond Chandler kept a list of possible titles for books, all of which we think deserve to be written.

John Kennedy Toole’s Hot-Dog Carts

'Going to New Orleans after a fresh reading of A Confederacy of Dunces gives the city a different flavour. Every sign begins to read like a knowing wink.'

Becoming Westerly

'It’s funny how the ocean calls out to you. It’s not about checking wave cams on the Internet, or reading the surf forecast. It’s a feeling in your bones and blood, something like the way dogs sense earthquakes.'

What Was It Like? I’ll Tell You

'He sipped like a hummingbird drinking dew from a curled leaf; his face was long enough to wrap twice around his neck.'

The Collected ‘Maxims’ of W.G. Sebald

'He had weary eyes that made it tempting to identify him with the melancholy narrators of his books, but he also had a gentle amiability and wry sense of humour.'