Hello. This post is a collection of 30 quotes from the book - The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. I hope you enjoy reading these quotes.
The Lincoln Highway Quotes
Sometimes a man’s bad luck becomes too great to surmount, no matter how much time you give.
A farmer with a mortgage was like a man walking on the railing of a bridge with his arms outstretched and his eyes closed. It was a way of life in which the difference between abundance and ruin could be measured by a few inches of rain or a few nights of frost.
To deface the pages of a book was to adopt the manner of a Visigoth. It was to strike a blow against that most sacred and noble of man’s achievements—the ability to set down his finest ideas and sentiments so that they might be shared through the ages.
Me, I love surprises. I love it when life pulls a rabbit out of a hat. [...] But some people just don’t like being caught off guard—even by good news.
Most people need a ladder and a telescope to make sense of two plus two. That’s why it’s usually more trouble than it’s worth to explain yourself.
When the man of the house is a drunk, you can tell. You can tell from the look of the furniture and the look of the front yard. You can tell from the look on the faces of the kids.
Not all worth knowing can be found between the covers of compendiums, my boy. Let’s simply say that my academy was the thoroughfare, my primer experience, and my instructor the fickle finger of fate.
You can’t keep fighting the war, but you can’t lay down your manhood either. Sure, you can let yourself get beat up a time or two. That’s your prerogative. But eventually, you’re going to have to stand up for yourself like you used to.
Whenever I come to a new town, I like to get my bearings. I want to understand the layout of the streets and the layout of the people. In some cities this can take you days to accomplish. In Boston, it can take you weeks. In New York, years.
The willingness to take a beating: That’s how you can tell you’re dealing with a man of substance. A man like that doesn’t linger on the sidelines throwing gasoline on someone else’s fire; and he doesn’t go home unscathed. He presents himself front and center, undaunted, prepared to stand his ground until he can’t stand at all.
What wisdom the Lord does not see fit to endow us with at birth, He provides through the gift of experience.
Just because something’s new doesn’t mean it’s better; and often enough, it means it’s worse.
For most people, it doesn’t matter where they live. When they get up in the morning, they’re not looking to change the world. They want to have a cup of coffee and a piece of toast, put in their eight hours, and wrap up the day with a bottle of beer in front of the TV set.
For most people, rules were a necessary evil. They were an inconvenience to be abided for having the privilege of living in an orderly world. And that’s why most people, when left to their own devices, were willing to stretch the boundaries of a rule. To speed on an empty road or liberate an apple from an untended orchard.
Well, that’s life in a nutshell, ain’t it. Lovin’ to go to one place and havin’ to go to another.
The city of Los Angeles has so much panache it could bottle it and sell it overseas. It’s where the movie stars have lived since the beginning of movie stars.
Making a fresh start isn’t just a matter of having a new address in a new town. It isn’t a matter of having a new job, or a new phone number, or even a new name. A fresh start requires the cleaning of the slate. And that means paying off all that you owe, and collecting all that you’re due.
Traveling salesmen are not simply hardworking men, they are the foot soldiers of capitalism!
The problem with Manhattan was that it was so terribly permanent. What with its towers made of granite and all the miles of pavement stretching as far as the eye can see. Why, every single day, millions of people went pounding along the sidewalks and across the marble-floored lobbies without even putting a dent in them.
You cannot live another man’s life for him. If a man has got the least bit of pride, he wouldn’t want you to.
Life on a work farm is designed to dull your wits. They wake you at dawn, work you till dusk, give you half an hour to eat, half an hour to settle down, and then it’s out with the lights. Like one of those blindered horses in Central Park, you’re not supposed to see anything other than the next two steps in front of you.
I don’t put much stake in apologies. They always seem a day late and a dollar short.
If I learned anything in the war, it’s that the point of utter abandonment—that moment at which you realize no one will be coming to your aid, not even your Maker—is the very moment in which you may discover the strength required to carry on. The Good Lord does not call you to your feet with hymns from the cherubim and Gabriel blowing his horn. He calls you to your feet by making you feel alone and forgotten. For only when you have seen that you are truly forsaken will you embrace the fact that what happens next rests in your hands, and your hands alone.
Questions can be so tricky, like forks in the road. You can be having such a nice conversation and someone will raise a question, and the next thing you know you’re headed off in a whole new direction. In all probability, this new road will lead you to places that are perfectly agreeable, but sometimes you just want to go in the direction you were already headed.
No know-it-all gets under your skin like a young know-it-all.
There are few things more beautiful to an author’s eye, than a well-read copy of one of his books.
Everything of value in this life must be earned. That it should be earned. Because those who are given something of value without having to earn it are bound to squander it. I believe that one should earn respect. One should earn trust. One should earn the love of a woman, and the right to call oneself a man.
When we’re young, so much time is spent teaching us the importance of keeping our vices in check. Our anger, our envy, our pride. But when I look around, it seems to me that so many of our lives end up being hampered by a virtue instead. If you take a trait that by all appearances is a merit—a trait that is praised by pastors and poets, a trait that we have come to admire in our friends and hope to foster in our children—and you give it to some poor soul in abundance, it will almost certainly prove an obstacle to their happiness. Just as someone can be too smart for their own good, there are those who are too patient for their own good, or too hardworking.
Wouldn’t it have been wonderful, if everybody’s life was like a piece in a jigsaw puzzle. Then no one person’s life would ever be an inconvenience to anyone else’s. It would just fit snugly in its very own, specially designed spot, and in so doing, would enable the whole intricate picture to become complete.
There are surely a lot of big things in America. The Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty are big. The Mississippi River and the Grand Canyon are big. The skies over the prairie are big. But there is nothing bigger than a man’s opinion of himself.
Hello, I am Deepak Kundu, an avid book reader and quotes collector. I hope you enjoyed reading the above quotes from The Lincoln Highway book by Amor Towles.