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A Drink Before the War (1994)
- Hate came in a maelstrom, and we called it several things—racism, pedophilia, justice, righteousness—but all those words were just ribbons and wrapping paper on a soiled gift that no one wanted to open.
- I'm a detective, but nuns could stonewall Sam Spade into an asylum.
- Ch. 2.
- Vanity is a weakness. I know this. It's a shallow dependence on the exterior self, on how one looks instead of what one is. I know this well...Vanity and dishonesty may be vices, but they're also the first forms of protection I ever knew.
- Ch. 7.
- Wickham is not an upwardly mobile community. It's dingy and gray as only a mill town can be. The streets are the color of a shoe bottom, and the only way to tell the difference between the bars and the homes is to look for the neon signs in the windows. The roads and sidewalks are uneven, the tar cracked and pale. Many of the people, especially the workers as they trudge home from the mills in the dying light, have the look of those who've long ago gotten used to the fact that no one remembers them. It's a place where the people are grateful for the seasons, because at least they confirm that time is actually moving on.
- Ch. 8.