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- The factory workers say that it’s impossible to do anything right. If you arrive five minutes early you are a saboteur; if you arrive five minutes late you are betraying socialism; if you arrive on time they say, "Where did you get the watch?"
- Funeral in Berlin (1964; repr. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966) pp. 144-5
- Described there as a joke current in 1960s Czechoslovakia
- Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man. Yes? Well socialism is exactly the reverse.
- Funeral in Berlin (1964; repr. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966) p. 145
- Another Czech joke
- Progress is man’s indifference to the lessons of history.
- An Expensive Place to Die, Jonathan Cape (1967) Ch. 39
- The tragedy of marriage is that while all women marry thinking that their man will change, all men marry believing their wife will never change.
- London Match (London: Hutchinson, 1985) p. 18
- "...But love is like the measles; the later in life it affects you, the more severe the consequences"
"Is there anything you can take for it?"
"Only wedding vows"
- Charity (1997; Harper Paperback, p.280)
- "When old men decided to barter young men for pride and profit, the transaction was called war."
- Eleven Declarations of War (London: Harcourt Brace, 1975) p. 11