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Paul Jenkins (born 6 December 1965) is a British comic book writer, screenwriter, novelist, and narrative director.
- All page numbers are from the hardcover first edition published by St. Martin's Press ISBN 978-1-250-02615-6
- Wil Morgan awoke from his regular anxiety dream, in which he had just finished second in a World’s Biggest Failure competition.
- Chapter 1 (p. 1; opening words)
- Outside, the city streets were gray and sodden. Indeed, Wil often fancied this was the city where they had invented the color gray.
- Chapter 1 (p. 3)
- He began to think of better days, all of which lay in the opposite direction from the one he was facing.
- Chapter 1 (p. 8)
- He stopped in his tracks to consider what might be Actually Occurring, as opposed to Apparently Occurring.
- Chapter 2 (p. 38)
- Life is not about how you use your eyes; it’s about having vision.
- Chapter 2 (p. 39)
- Your eyes only see what your mind lets you believe!
- Chapter 2 (p. 44; catchphrase repeated often in the book)
- Ignoring the old man, Wil reasoned, was the first step to figuring him out.
- Chapter 3 (p. 55)
- It was apparent that he was out of his league, and that the only way to compete would be to play along until everyone reverted to ignoring him. At that point, he’d be able to slip out the back door and return to his previously scheduled life.
- Chapter 3 (p. 63)
- The cat leaned into Wil’s leg and rubbed a little bit, just to let Wil know that he had officially been given permission to exist.
- Chapter 4 (p. 76)
- He was also willing to bet that not a single part of his next three or four minutes was going to make any sense, yet somehow it would all fit quite neatly into Mrs. Chappell’s version of reality.
- Chapter 4 (p. 77)
- Wil tried a vacant stare, just to see if he could beat the old lady at her own game.
- Chapter 4 (p. 78)
- Wil had always suspected Mrs. Chappell’s cats were onto something: if one can act as if everything is right with the world while all around clowns dressed in snorkels, flippers, and tutus are throwing bowls of neon-green custard at each other then, by golly, everything is right with the world.
- Chapter 5 (p. 91)
- There was evidence of neither angels nor ambulance workers, which Wil took to be a positive sign.
- Chapter 6 (p. 101)
- Wil had always been a hopeless romantic, with “hopeless” being the operative word.
- Chapter 6 (p. 107)
- The next morning, Wil Morgan awoke from a fitful night’s sleep and a rather disturbing variation of his anxiety dream in which he’d arrived too late to register for the World’s Biggest Failure competition and had been disqualified.
- Chapter 7 (p. 112)
- “I think you’re missing the point.”
“I think I’m not alone in that.”
- Chapter 7 (p. 118)
- Wil felt like a nun at a fashion show: he was clearly out of his comfort zone, and would probably be better off sticking to his usual habits.
- Chapter 7 (p. 122)
- Wil allowed his voice to trail off. The chances of a rational explanation at this point were in exact proportion to the chances of Lucy believing it.
- Chapter 7 (p. 125)
- Hindsight would later suggest to Wil that things coincidentally began to fall down at exactly the same time he began to relax. He wasn’t to know this at the time, of course. Otherwise it would’ve been foresight.
- Chapter 8 (p. 129)
- Wil knew that he had done something that might never be undone: his Dad might forgive the years of lies, but he would never forgive this one moment of absolute truth.
- Chapter 8 (p. 142)
- But even a man who has paid his rent doesn’t have forever.
- Chapter 8 (p. 144)
- Wil opened his eyes to find Thursday glaring in at him through his window; apparently, the universe was already in a foul mood.
- Chapter 9 (p. 149)
- His museum took a stance against conventional thinking, and the slow death of intellect that comes with mediocrity.
- Chapter 11 (pp. 201-202)
- We all know that life isn’t fair. But life should at least come with a printed copy in large type in case of misunderstandings and overbilling.
- Chapter 11 (p. 202)
- You know, Mr. Dinsdale, this all sounds delightfully bananas but I’m kinda monkeyed out this week.
- Chapter 12 (p. 206)
- The Quantum Needle was theoretically used to repair any tears in the fabric of the space-time continuum, though how it actually worked in the field was a matter of some debate. When Wil had pressed the question, Mr. Dinsdale had simply mumbled, “quantum physics,” which seemed to be his standard response to any question he didn’t know the answer to.
- Chapter 12 (p. 208)
- “Wil,” said Barry with a weight of sadness that only a parent can know, “I tried as hard as I could.”
- Chapter 12 (p. 219)
- That’s it! That’s the utterly random mental chaos I was looking for! No one’s going to predict that response! Anything Else?
- Chapter 15 (p. 279)
- “I see where you’re going with this, Wil. Bravo!”
“Do you?” replied Wil. “Because honestly, Mr. Dinsdale, if you know where I’m going, perhaps you’d be kind enough to give me directions!”
- Chapter 15 (p. 281)
- Wil had learned as a child that the best way to deal with goons—the more muscle-bound the better—was to confuse them. For while the human bicep was something anyone with a little patience could build up to an impressive size, the human brain was less a variable and more something a person was born with. Goons, in his experience, were rarely born with very large ones.
- Chapter 15 (pp. 282-283)
- He’d carefully judged the measure of his opponent’s resolve, and knew that a man as greedy and weak willed as Marcus James would always be the one to crack first under duress.
- Chapter 15 (p. 290)