Lee Child quotes

  • Imagine the uproar if the Federal government tried to make everyone wear a radio transmitter around their neck so we can keep track of their movements. But people happily carry their cell phones in their purses and pockets.
    -- Lee Child

    #Cells #Phones #Government

  • Spread love and understanding,” Reacher said. “Use force if necessary.
    -- Lee Child

    #Understanding #Use #Force

  • Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
    -- Lee Child

    #Hoping For The Best #Worst #Plans

  • I don't want to put the world to rights... I just don't like people who put the world to wrongs.
    -- Lee Child

    #Rights #People #World

  • So long as readers keep reading and my publishers keep publishing, I plan to keep on writing. I'd have to be an idiot to be burnt-out in this job.
    -- Lee Child

    #Jobs #Reading #Writing

  • Don't get it right - get it WRITTEN!
    -- Lee Child

  • I'm a rich man. To have everything you need is the definition of affluence.
    -- Lee Child

    #Men #Needs #Definitions

  • The way to write a thriller is to ask a question at the beginning, and answer it at the end.
    -- Lee Child

    #Writing #Answers #Way

  • I was in the machine. My whole life. Then the machine coughed and spat me out. So I thought, OK, if I'm out, I'm out. All the way out. I was a little angry and it was probably an immature reaction. But I got used to it.
    -- Lee Child

    #Immature #Way #Machines

  • A person less fortunate than yourself deserves the best you can give. Because of duty, and honor, and service. You understand those words? You should do your job right, and you should do it well, simply because you can, without looking for notice or reward.
    -- Lee Child

    #Jobs #Giving #Honor

  • I need a stimulating environment to write because my books are driven at 100 miles per hour at a time.
    -- Lee Child

    #Book #Writing #Needs

  • People who wear glasses, without them they always look unfocused, vulnerable. Out in the open. A layer removed.
    -- Lee Child

    #Glasses #People #Looks

  • I had a teacher once, grade school somewhere. Philippines, I think, because she always wore a big white hat. So it was somewhere hot. I was always twice the size of the other kids, and she used to say to me: count to ten before you get mad, Reacher. And I've counted way past ten on this one. Way past.
    -- Lee Child

    #Teacher #Kids #School

  • The British regulatory system was revised, so that bigger profits were encouraged, which removed the option of big spending on programming. Quality just fell off a cliff, and all the old hands either left or were fired for being too expensive.
    -- Lee Child

    #Hands #Quality #Cliffs

  • I'm not afraid of death. Death's afraid of me.
    -- Lee Child

    #Not Afraid #Not Afraid Of Death #Afraid Of Death

  • To fill a small bag means selecting,and choosing, and evaluating. There's no logicial end to that process. Pretty soon I would have a big bag, and then two or three. A month later I'd be like the rest of you.
    -- Lee Child

    #Mean #Two #Months

  • He picked up the wrench and broke the guy’s wrist with it, one, and then the other wrist, two, and turned back and did the same to the guy who had held the hammer, three, four. The two men were somebody’s weapons, consciously deployed, and no soldier left an enemy’s abandoned ordnance on the field in working order. The doctor’s wife was watching from the cabin door, all kinds of terror in her face. "What?" Reacher asked her.
    -- Lee Child

    #Men #Order #Two

  • Reacher said, "So here's the thing Brett. Either you take your hand off my chest, or I'll take it off your wrist.
    -- Lee Child

    #Hands #Said #Wrists

  • This was like July 13th, 1943, the pivotal day of the Battle of the Kursk. We were like Alexander Vasilevsky, the Soviet general. If we attacked now, this minute, we had to keep on and on attacking until the enemy was run off his feet and the war was won. If we bogged down or paused for breath even for a second, we would be overrun again.
    -- Lee Child

    #Running #War #Feet

  • People, Reacher was certain about. Dogs were different. People had freedom of choice. If a man or a woman ran snarling toward him, they did so because they chose to. They were asking for whatever they got. His response was their problem. But dogs were different. No free will. Easily misled. It raised an ethical problem. Shooting a dog because it had been induced to do something unwise was not the sort of thing Reacher wanted to do.
    -- Lee Child

    #Dog #Men #People

  • I'd never believed in luck. Never had any cause to. Never relied on it, because I never could.
    -- Lee Child

    #Luck #Causes

  • I know I'm smarter than an armadillo
    -- Lee Child

    #Armadillos

  • I'm not a vagrant. I'm a hobo. Big difference.
    -- Lee Child

    #Differences #Vagrants #Hobos

  • I do a little fact checking now and then. Other than that its impact is simply that email has revolutionized communication for me, and my website has built up a community of readers, which is a lot of fun.
    -- Lee Child

    #Fun #Communication #Impact

  • For men, as they get bogged down with responsibilities, commitments, bureaucracy, it is a fantasy just to think of shedding everything literally, walking away with nothing at all, and just hitting the road.
    -- Lee Child

    #Commitment #Responsibility #Thinking

  • I had a brief theater background and loved the backstage world there's more backstage work in television, so I saw a job advertised and applied, and got it. That was back in 1977, when getting jobs was easy.
    -- Lee Child

    #Jobs #Television #World

  • Full of thrills and tension - but smart and human too.
    -- Lee Child

    #Smart #Tension #Humans

  • So, how to stay inside the world of entertainment without actually getting another job? I felt the only logical answer was to become a novelist. So I wrote the first book - driven by some very real feelings of desperation - and it worked.
    -- Lee Child

    #Jobs #Real #Book

  • I'm opposed to censorship of any kind, especially by government. But it's plain common sense that producers should target their product with some kind of sensitivity.
    -- Lee Child

    #Government #Common Sense #Target

  • You do not mess with the special investigators.
    -- Lee Child

    #Special #Mess

  • They found out about him in July and stayed angry all through August. They tried to kill him in September. It was way too soon. They weren't ready. The attempt was a failure. It could have been a disaster, but it was actually a miracle. Because nobody noticed.
    -- Lee Child

    #July #August #Miracle

  • L.A. has a fantastic car scene and because the climate is so gentle, cars can last forever.
    -- Lee Child

    #Car #Forever #Climate

  • Most actors are small, anyway - at least compared to me.
    -- Lee Child

    #Actors

  • What do I miss about the UK? Sadly, almost nothing. Maybe the midnight sun, in June in the north. That's all.
    -- Lee Child

    #June #Missing #Midnight

  • Writing is showbusiness for shy people. That's how I see it.
    -- Lee Child

    #Writing #People #Shy

  • Intensely vivid characters, terrible crimes, and a brutal deep-frozen landscape all prove beyond a reasonable doubt that cold nurtures good and evil as readily as heat ... and that Giles Blunt is a really tremendous crime novelist.
    -- Lee Child

    #Character #Evil #Doubt

  • For me the end of a book is just as exciting as it is for a reader.
    -- Lee Child

    #Book #Ends #Exciting

  • British crime stories tend to be very internal, psychological, claustrophobic, very limited in terms of geography.
    -- Lee Child

    #Stories #Crime #Psychological

  • All of us write wish fulfillment.
    -- Lee Child

    #Writing #Wish #Fulfillment

  • A calm environment is for after I finish work.
    -- Lee Child

    #Calm #Environment

  • I felt alienated by the experience and decided to stay away from corporate employment.
    -- Lee Child

    #Stay Strong #Employment

  • I have the 'thing' worked out - the trick or the surprise or the pivotal fact. Then I just start somewhere and let the story work itself out.
    -- Lee Child

    #Stories #Facts #Surprise

  • It's always tense when you move a character from a book to the screen. Always tense.
    -- Lee Child

    #Moving #Book #Character

  • She's a reflection of my fascination with the diversity of America she's totally normal in New York, but a freak in Texas. There are dozens of such clashes in America.
    -- Lee Child

    #New York #Reflection #America

  • I wanted readers to be genuinely unsure as to whether she's telling the truth or lying. It meant making her partly sympathetic, and partly unsympathetic, which wasn't easy.
    -- Lee Child

    #Lying #Telling The Truth #Easy

  • I just felt from personal observation that there is nothing more dislocated or alienated than a lifelong military person trying to cope in civilian life. It's like two completely separate planets.
    -- Lee Child

    #Military #Two #Trying

  • I had been coming to America very frequently for many, many years, so I had plenty of exposure - and maybe the best kind of exposure, because I think first impressions are very important. Maybe I notice stuff that is just subliminal to people who live here all the time.
    -- Lee Child

    #Thinking #America #Years

  • I love visiting LA. It's an endlessly fascinating city, and is, of course, America's entertainment capital. Each time I go, I fall in love with it all over again. That said, it's not the sort of place I'd want to live.
    -- Lee Child

    #Falling In Love #Cities #America

  • The thriller is not a recent invention. It probably goes back to the dawn of storytelling.
    -- Lee Child

    #Dawn #Storytelling #Invention

  • The key to thrillers is vicarious pleasure.
    -- Lee Child

    #Keys #Pleasure #Vicarious

  • My mother still calls me Jim and that is about it. Everyone else calls me Lee. My wife calls me whatever.
    -- Lee Child

    #Mother #Wife #Call Me

  • I've discovered writers by reading books left in airplane seats and weird hotels.
    -- Lee Child

    #Book #Reading #Airplane

  • It's always sad if anybody you know has a personal problem.
    -- Lee Child

    #Problem #Personal Problems

  • I like food, like any other guy, but it is not the main thing in my life. I can do without it.
    -- Lee Child

    #Guy #Other Guys

  • It gives me some kind of chance to survive the night." "How are those better odds? If you come back with me, you're guaranteed to survive the night." "No," Reacher said. "If I come back with you, I'm guaranteed to die of shame.
    -- Lee Child

    #Night #Odds #Giving

  • You see something scary, you should stand up and step toward it, not away from it. Instinctively, reflexively, in a raging fury.
    -- Lee Child

    #Fear #Scary #Steps

  • I always wanted to be in the world of entertainment. I just love the idea of an audience being happy with what I am doing. Writing is showbusiness for shy people. That's how I see it.
    -- Lee Child

    #Writing #Ideas #People

  • Printing currency for foreigners to buy is the best racket a government can get into.
    -- Lee Child

    #Government #Printing #Currency

  • It's a kind of zen question: if you write a book and no one reads it, is it really a book?
    -- Lee Child

    #Book #Writing #Kind

  • Many years from now when your children ask what New York City was like just after 9/11, this will be the book you give them in response. It's an exquisite novel full of heart, soul, passion and intelligence, and it's the one this great New York author was born to write.
    -- Lee Child

    #New York #Children #Book

  • Practically any Western has a homesteader in trouble, and a mysterious rider shows up off the range, solves the problem over two or three days, and then rides off into the sunset.
    -- Lee Child

    #Sunset #Two #Three

  • Plan A is to hitch a ride out of here. But if they want a war, then plan B is to win it.
    -- Lee Child

    #War #Winning #Want

  • I have three desks. One empty for paperwork, one for the internet and email, and one for the writing computer.
    -- Lee Child

    #Writing #Email #Three

  • Now they broke my toothbrush, I don't own anything.
    -- Lee Child

    #Broke #Toothbrushes

  • Lone women shouldn't stop in the middle of nowhere for giant unkempt strangers with duct tape on their faces.
    -- Lee Child

    #Faces #Giants #Tape

  • I went to college. West Point is technically a college.
    -- Lee Child

    #College #West Point #West

  • No, I'm a man with a rule. People leave me alone, I leave them alone. If they don't, I don't.
    -- Lee Child

    #Men #People #Leave Me Alone

  • I have to warn you. I promised my mother, a long time ago. She said I had to give folks a chance to walk away.
    -- Lee Child

    #Mother #Long #Giving

  • I love Italian food but that's too generic a term for what's available now: you have to narrow it down to Tuscan, Sicilian, and so on.
    -- Lee Child

    #Italian #Term #Sicilian

  • I'm not really into gourmet food; I'm the kind of guy who just stops by a place that looks good rather than heading for the restaurant of the moment.
    -- Lee Child

    #Guy #Gourmet #Looks

  • I'd been a thriller reader all my life.
    -- Lee Child

    #Thrillers #Reader

  • He had fallen out of the ugly tree, and hit every branch.
    -- Lee Child

    #Tree #Ugly #Branches

  • I was in television drama, which is a first cousin to the movies, and I trust myself to make the right decisions.
    -- Lee Child

    #Cousin #Drama #Decision

  • I don't know what the secret is when I am writing it - it really is a surprise to me.
    -- Lee Child

    #Writing #Secret #Surprise

  • I grew up in Birmingham, where they made useful things and made them well.
    -- Lee Child

    #Grew Up #Birmingham #Made

  • I have a kind of old-fashioned, artisan approach.
    -- Lee Child

    #Kind #Old Fashioned #Artisans

  • I think my books come out very visual, which is an obvious consequence.
    -- Lee Child

    #Book #Thinking #Obvious

  • Slippery slope. I carry a spare shirt, pretty soon I'm carrying spare pants. Then I'd need a suitcase. Next thing I know, I've got a house and a car and a savings plan and I'm filling out all kinds of forms.
    -- Lee Child

    #Car #House #Pants

  • I was fired from my television job, simple as that. Well, downsized, really, a classic 1990s situation.
    -- Lee Child

    #Jobs #Simple #Television

  • I write in the afternoon, from about 12 until 6 or 7. I use an upstairs room as my office. Once I get going I keep at it, and it usually takes about six months from the first blank screen until 'The End.
    -- Lee Child

    #Writing #Office #Use

  • A handgun at two hundred feet is the same thing as crossing your fingers and making a wish.
    -- Lee Child

    #Two #Feet #Wish

  • Some old guy once said that the meaning of life is that it ends.
    -- Lee Child

    #Guy #Meaning Of Life #Life Is

  • I don't need validation, recognition or praise. What I need are facts and the facts are that one of my books gets sold, somewhere in the world, every second.
    -- Lee Child

    #Book #Validation #Needs

  • Never forget a Favor, Never forgive a Slight!
    -- Lee Child

    #Forgiving #Favors #Never Forget

  • I don't care about the little guy. I just hate the big guy. I hate big smug people who think they can get away with things.
    -- Lee Child

    #Hate #Thinking #People

  • Evaluate. Long experience had taught me to evaluate and assess. When the unexpected gets dumped on you, don’t waste time. Don’t figure out how or why it happened. Don’t recriminate. Don’t figure out whose fault it is. Don’t work out how to avoid the same mistake next time. All of that you do later. If you survive.
    -- Lee Child

    #Mistake #Long #Work Out

  • People spend thousands of dollars on stereos. Sometimes tens of thousands. There is a specialist industry right here in the States which builds stereo gear to a standard you wouldn't believe. Tubed amplifiers which cost more than a house. Speakers taller than me. Cables thicker than a garden hose. Some army guys had that stuff. I'd heard it on bases around the world. Wonderful. But they were wasting their money. Because the best stereo in the world is free. Inside your head. It sounds as good as you want it to. As loud as you want it to be.
    -- Lee Child

    #Believe #Army #Garden

  • I said nothing. I’m good at saying nothing. I don’t like talking. I could go the rest of my life without saying another word, if I had to.
    -- Lee Child

    #Talking #Saying Nothing #Said

  • Anecdotally his fitness reports rated him well above average in the classroom, excellent in the field, fluently bilingual in English and French, passable in Spanish, outstanding on all man-portable weaponry, and beyond outstanding at hand-to-hand combat. Susan knew what that last rating meant. Like having a running chainsaw thrown at you
    -- Lee Child

    #Running #Men #Average

  • hit them fast, hit them hard, and hit them a lot
    -- Lee Child

  • I'm twenty-nine, yes really, I'm from Aspen, Colorado, I'm six feet one, yes really, I've been at Quantico two years, yes I date guys, no I dress like this just because I like it, no I'm not married, no I don't currently have a boyfriend, and no I don't want to have dinner with you tonight.
    -- Lee Child

    #Two #Feet #Years

  • Don't be sad that roses have thorns. Be glad that thorns have Roses. Today's the day I worried about yesterday and it didn't happen.
    -- Lee Child

    #Yesterday #Rose #Thorns

  • He looked at the pain and he set himself apart from it. He saw it, examined it, identified it, corralled it. He isolated it. He challenged it. You against me? Dream on, pal. He built borders for it. Then walls. He built walls and forced the pain behind them and then he moved the walls inward, compressing the pain, crushing it, boxing it in, limiting it, beating it.
    -- Lee Child

    #Crush #Dream #Pain

  • The first day of the rest of my life.
    -- Lee Child

    #Firsts

  • The best fights are the ones you don't have", a wise man once said to me.
    -- Lee Child

    #Wise #Fighting #Men

  • The third guy was different. He was what you got when you ate squirrels for four generations. Smarter than a rat and tougher than a goat, and jumpier than either one.
    -- Lee Child

    #Squirrels #Guy #Rats

  • That should be your town motto. It's all I ever hear. Like: New Hampshire, Live Free or Die. It should be: Despair, You Need To Leave Now.
    -- Lee Child

    #Despair #Towns #Needs