The more you pursue distractions, the less effective any particular distraction is, and so I'd had to up various dosages, until, before I knew it, I was checking my e-mail every ten minutes, and my plugs of tobacco were getting ever larger, and my two drinks a night had worsened to four, and I'd achieved such deep mastery of computer solitaire that my goal was no longer to win a game but to win two or more games in a row--a kind of meta-solitaire whose fascination consisted not in playing the cards but in surfing the streaks of wins and losses.
- Thomas Berger,
- H. P. Lovecraft,
- Charles W. Chesnutt,
- Gore Vidal,
- Sidney Sheldon,
- Donna Tartt,
- Anne Rivers Siddons
It was this other side of Avery - the fact that he so visibly had an other side - that was helping me finally understand all three of the dimensions in Kafka: that a man could be a sweet, sympathetic, comically needy victim and a lascivious, self-aggrandizing, grudge-bearing bore, and also, crucially, a third thing: a flickering consciousness, a simultaneity of culpable urge and poignant self-reproach, a person in process.
everyone that day, and in the months that followed, that Patty’s greatest warming influence was on Walter himself. Now, instead of speeding by his neighbors in his angry Prius, he stopped to lower his window and say hello. On weekends, he brought Patty over to the patch of clear ice that the neighborhood kids maintained
I had a nightmare about the Avery? sweet-tempered German shepherd, Ina. In the dream, as I was sitting on the floor in the Avery? living room, the dog walked up to me and began to insult me. She said I was a frivolous, cynical, attention-seeking?fa? whose entire life had been phony. I answered her frivolously and cynically and chucked her under the chin. She grinned at me with malice, as if to make clear that she understood me to the core. Then she sank her teeth into my arm. As I fell over backward, she went for my throat.