American Rust (2009)
- [Y]ou have to save yourself before you can save anyone else.
- Mental note if you make it to forty remember on how all those fucks treated her. Stop being an asshole while you're still young.
- Maybe all people with minds like Isaac's were the same. She knew he would make a much larger contribution than she ever would - he cared only about things much bigger than his own life. Ideas, truths, the reasons things were. As if he himself, his own existence, was somehow incidental.
- There's parts of me I don't understand, he said, and shrugged.
- There'd always been something about the boy, he was smart and stupid at the same time. As if he was meant to do everything the wrong way. Junior league ball, the boy was twelve, they subbed him in for the pitcher, good arm but he chokes, eight runs straight, loses the game. Afterward acting like nothing happened. It made no sense. The feeling that gave you, watching your son lose the game, but he just shrugged it off, didn't care.
- I wonder if I am going crazy or if I do not love my family enough, or if it is the opposite, if I love them too much. If I am the only sane person I know.
- She wondered how people would remember her. She had not made enough to spread her wealth around like Carnegie, to erase any sins that had attached to her name, she had failed, she had not reached the golden bough. The liberals would cheer her to death. They would light marijuana cigarettes and drive to their sushi restaurants and eat fresh food that had traveled eight thousand miles. They would spend all of supper complaining about people like her, and when they got home their houses would be cold and they’d press a button on a wall to get warm. The whole time complaining about big oil. (p. 82)
- To be a simple animal like my father, untroubled by consciousness, or conscience. To sleep soundly, at east with your certainties, men as expendable as beef. (p. 161)
- What would I tell her? That I have always known I belonged here? That one day some action will be required that will prove my life's value? A forty-six-year-old man, waiting for fate to take over... it likely already has. (p. 269)