A very enjoyable read with a few big twists and turns. Beautifully written.

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Dates 29 June 2012 – 15 July 2012
Time spent reading 9 hours, 20 minutes
Highlights 37
Comments 14
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  • Richard Ingram Richard Ingram
  • Martin Hwasser Martin Hwasser
  • Lisa Sanchez Lisa Sanchez
  • Jakob Fricke Jakob Fricke

had magic in her pink palms and her cheeks lit to a lovely flame

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Love this.

She was a shabby-eyed, pretty young woman with a disheartening intensity.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

The description in this book so far is just fab.

'Registered at the Hotel Palace at Vevey are Mr. Pandely Vlasco, Mme. Bonneasse'

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Did newspapers really publish details of who was staying where? Amazing.

well they were having words and she tossed some sand in his face. So naturally he sat on top of her and rubbed her face in the sand.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran


In her mother's lap afterward Rosemary cried and cried.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Rosemary reminds me of Ginger Rogers, another film star who had an exceptionally (and in my opinion, bizarrely) close relationship with her mother.

"I want to give a really bad party. I mean it. I want to give a party where there's a brawl and seductions and people going home with their feelings hurt and women passed out in the cabinet de toilette. You wait and see."

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Love this. Reminds me of the description in one of Steinbeck's books (Cannery Row?) as to what a great party looks like.

as one picks up the striking of a clock in the middle with only the rhythm of the first uncounted strokes lingering in the mind.

"These are Barban's duelling pistols—I borrowed them so you could get familiar with them. He carries them in his suitcase."

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Never mess with a man who carries duelling pistols.

there were only seven people, about the limit of a good party.

one of those uneventful times that seem at the moment only a link between past and future pleasure but turn out to have been the pleasure itself.

Ooo-ooo-tweet, de tweetest thing, wasn't she dest too tweet?

They were still in the happier stage of love. They were full of brave illusions about each other, tremendous illusions, so that the communion of self with self seemed to be on a plane where no other human relations mattered.

Often a man can play the helpless child in front of a woman, but he can almost never bring it off when he feels most like a helpless child.

he lay athwart them like the wreck of a galleon, dominating with his presence his own weakness and self-indulgence, his narrowness and bitterness.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

This is brilliant.


Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Interesting old word for psychiatrist.

Sometimes she speaks of 'the past' as people speak who have been in prison. But you never know whether they refer to the crime or the imprisonment or the whole experience.

it was hard to think of deliberately cutting life down to the scale of an inherited suit.

he wanted to be good, he wanted to be kind, he wanted to be brave and wise, but it was all pretty difficult. He wanted to be loved, too, if he could fit it in.

Mountain-climbing cars are built on a slant similar to the angle of a hat-brim of a man who doesn't want to be recognized.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Funicular railways.

he had, perforce, hardened himself about her, making a cleavage between Nicole sick and Nicole well. This made it difficult now to distinguish between his self-protective professional detachment and some new coldness in his heart.

England was like a rich man after a disastrous orgy who makes up to the household by chatting with them individually, when it is obvious to them that he is only trying to get back his self-respect in order to usurp his former power.

a fine athlete playing secondary defense in any sport is really resting much of the time, while a lesser man only pretends to rest and is at a continual and self-destroying nervous tension.


Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

With a name like mine I should probably go here for a holiday one day.

you never knew exactly how much space you occupied in people's lives.

Rosemary took a cocktail and a little wine, and Dick took enough so that his feeling of dissatisfaction left him.

The black band on his arm reminded her to say: "I'm so sorry to hear of your trouble."

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

I didn't realise the tradition of wearing black armbands when in mourning went back so far. Today it seems that only sportspeople wear them.

The English are the best-balanced race in the world.

She had achieved the elusiveness that gives hidden significance to the least significant remarks.

they nodded at the night concierge who returned the gesture with the bitter servility peculiar to night servants.

He had possessed the arrogance of a tall member of a short race, with no obligation save to be tall.

This corner of Europe does not so much draw people as accept them without inconvenient questions.

Tell him I'll be in my room here at the hotel from three to five, and again from seven to eight, and after that to page me in the dining-room.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Didn't realise that paging was a word in the 1920s.

gray as rats

Needless to say I feel badly about the evening—but how about no postmortems?

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Often a good idea.

But women marry all their husbands' talents and naturally, afterwards, are not so impressed with them as they may keep up the pretense of being.

The hour with the hair-dresser seemed one of the wasteful intervals that composed her life, another little prison.

"If you don't like nice people, try the ones who aren't nice, and see how you like that! All people want is to have a good time and if you make them unhappy you cut yourself off from nourishment."