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Last lines of George V. Higgins

Wonderful Years, Wonderful Years ends with this beautiful quote:

“Everybody gets just about what they want. It’s just, they don’t recognize it, they get it. It doesn’t look the same as what they had in mind.”

The conclusion of Trust:

“What ever doesn’t kill us, makes us strong,” Cobb said.

“Fuck Nietzsche,” Beale said. “He’s never around when you need him.”

Brute force, but funny.

The conclusion of The Judgment of Deke Hunter:

“There are,” Hunter said, “I was talking to Gillis, the day he came in to testify, scared shitless of course, and I was trying to calm him down so he wouldn’t crap his pants and offend the jury, which I guessed he must’ve done anyway. He was worried about where we’re gonna put him, to do the five he got for pleading and talking, if we hook Teddy, and I finally got him a little more relaxed. And he looks at me and he says: ‘Ah, fuck it. What difference does it make if he does? What you lose on the swings,’ he says, Horace, ‘you make up on the merry-go-round.'”

That night, Hunter went home.

The conclusion of Style Versus Substance:

We are all very wise in Boston, and we know a lot of things; many of them are not so.

And, finally, The Friends of Eddie Coyle really is Higgins’s best book, and it has the best last lines:

“Hey, Foss,” the prosecutor said, taking Clark by the arm, “of course it changes. Don’t take it so hard. Some of us die, the rest of us get older, new guys come along, old guys disappear. It changes every day.”

“It’s hard to notice, though,” Clark said.

“It is,” the prosecutor said, “it certainly is.”


  1. Peter says:

    Cogan’s Trade:

    “You were afraid of him?” the driver said.

    “Nah,” Cogan said. He finished his beer. “Nah, it wasn’t that. It was, he knew the way things oughta be done, right?”

    “So I’m told,” the driver said.

    “And when they weren’t,” Cogan said, “he knew what to do.”

    “And so do you,” the driver said.

    “And so do I,” Cogan said.

  2. An A. A. Milne influence here, maybe?

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