It was a difficult time to be Irish, a difficult time to be twenty-one years of age and a difficult time to be a man who was attracted to other men. To be all three simultaneously required a level of subterfuge and guile that felt contrary to my nature.
Father laughed, which upset Bruno even more; there was nothing that made him more angry than when a grown-up laughed at him for not knowing something, especially when he was trying to find out the answer by asking questions.
It has always astonished me, Georgy Daniilovich, that those who are most repulsed by autocratic or dictatorial rule are among the first to eliminate their enemies once they take on the mantle of power themselves.
If it wasn't for the fact that Bruno was nowhere near as skinny as the boys on his side of the fence, and not quite so pale either, it would have been difficult to tell them apart. It was almost (Shmuel thought) as if they were all exactly the same really.
He had never felt so ashamed in his life; he had never imagined that he could behave so cruelly. He wondered how a boy who thought he was a good person really could act in such a cowardly way towards a friend.
He suddenly became convinced that if he didn't do something sensible, something to put his mind to some use, then before he knew it he would be wondering round the streets having fights with himself and inviting domestic animals to social occasions too.
If there is one thing I've learned in more than seven decades of life, it's that the world is a completely fucked-up place. You never know what's around the corner and it's often something unpleasant.
The people I see from my window. In the huts, in the distance. They're all dressed the same.' 'Ah, those people,' said Father, nodding his head and smiling slightly. 'Those people...well, they're not people at all, Bruno.' Bruno frowned. 'They're not?' he asked, unsure what Father meant by that.
And then the room went very dark and somehow, despite the chaos that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shmuel's hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let it go.
Situations like that always made Bruno feel very uncomfortable because, in his heart, he knew that there was no reason to be impolite to someone, even if they did work for you. There was such a thing as manners after all.
The thing about exploring is that you have to know whether the thing you've found is worth finding. Some things are just sitting there, minding their own business, waiting to be discovered. Like America. And other things are probably better off left alone. Like a dead mouse at the back of the cupboard.
The moral of the story', he repeated, leaning forward and placing his hands flat on the desk in front of him, ‘is that every so often a natural disaster comes along, an act of God, and it blows all the dust away and when it does people can see that whatever's left underneath ain't so pretty. You get it?' Denton.
I married up several times. And then across once or twice. And then beneath me. I never quite found the right level somehow. Perhaps I should have married diagonally or in a slightly curved direction.
Please don't let Julian die, I asked God. And please stop me from being a homosexual. Only when I stood up and walked away did I realize that that had been two prayers, so I went back and lit a second candle, which cost me another penny.