We writers, as we work our way deeper into our craft, learn to drop more and more personal clues. Like burglars who secretly wish to be caught, we leave our fingerprints on broken locks, our voiceprints in bugged rooms, our footprints in the wet concrete.
As a man gets older, if he knows what is good for him, the women he likes are getting older too. The trouble is that most of them are married.
I knew how it was with drunks. They ran out of generosity, even for themselves.
Freud was one of the greatest influences on me. He made myth into psychiatry, and I've been trying to turn it back into myth again.
Hell lies at the bottom of the human heart.
Money costs too much.
Nothing is wrong with California that a rise in the ocean level wouldn't cure.
The surprise with which a detective novel concludes should set up tragic vibrations which run backward through the entire structure.
I wanted to write as well as I possibly could to deal with life-and-death problems in contemporary society. And the form of Wilkie Collins and Graham Greene, of Hammett and Chandler, seemed to offer me all the rope I would ever need.
As I stood there absorbing Hammett's novel, the slot machines at the back of the shop were clanking and whirring, and in the billiard room upstairs the perpetual poker game was being played.
When there's trouble in a family, it tends to show up in the weakest member. And all the other members of the family know that. They make allowances for the one in trouble.
An ugly woman with an ugly gun is a terrible thing.
How can a man help breaking the law when he don't have money to live on?
I had reached the point when I could not see anything clearly ahead, I needed help, and I got it.
My half-suppressed Canadian years, my whole childhood and youth, rose like a corpse from the bottom of the sea to confront me.
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