Bullet in the Brain

Anders is visiting a bank just before closing time, when two masked men wearing blue business suits enter the premises. They begin to threaten both the bank staff and the customers with guns, using clichéd phrases from gangster movies to intimidate their victims. One robber, who carries a pistol, singles out Anders for rough treatment when Anders’ sarcastic commentary begins to sound disrespectful. As one of the story’s antagonists, the robber clashes with Anders in multiple ways: he physically threatens him with a gun, but he also introduces psychological tension into the story. At the beginning of “Bullet in the Brain,” Anders personality is overwhelmingly cynical, which prevents him from sensing the danger he is in. When Anders looks into the robber’s reddened eyes, however, Anders begins to realize his cynicism has put him in harm’s way. Unfortunately, this insight cannot change Anders’ behavior entirely, and Anders laughs at the robber’s clichéd speech, leading the robber to shoot him. While the robber’s actions force Anders to come to a gradual realization about the cost of cynicism, this realization does not happen soon enough to save Anders’ life.

Robber Quotes in Bullet in the Brain

The Bullet in the Brain quotes below are all either spoken by Robber or refer to Robber. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Cynicism and Respect Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Bullet in the Brain published in 2009.
Bullet in the Brain Quotes

“Oh, bravo,” Anders said. “‘Dead meat.’” He turned to the woman in front of him. “Great script, eh? The stern, brass-knuckled poetry of the dangerous classes.”

Related Characters: Anders (speaker), Robber
Page Number: 264
Explanation and Analysis:
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The barrel tickled like a stiff finger and he had to fight back the titters. He did this by making himself stare into the man's eyes, which were clearly visible behind the holes in the mask: pale blue and rawly red-rimmed. The man's left eyelid kept twitching. He breathed out a piercing, ammoniac smell that shocked Anders more than anything that had happened, and he was beginning to develop a sense of unease.

Related Characters: Anders, Robber
Page Number: 265
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Anders burst out laughing. He covered his mouth with both hands and said, “I'm sorry, I'm sorry,” then snorted helplessly through his fingers and said, “Capiche-oh, God, capiche,” and at that the man with the pistol raised the pistol and shot Anders right in the head.

Related Characters: Anders, Robber
Page Number: 266
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Robber Character Timeline in Bullet in the Brain

The timeline below shows where the character Robber appears in Bullet in the Brain. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Bullet in the Brain
Cynicism and Respect Theme Icon
One bank robber comments on the closed position and asks about the person who works in that spot.... (full context)
Cynicism and Respect Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
This comment gets one robber’s attention, and he calls Anders a “bright boy,” asking him if he told Anders to... (full context)
Cynicism and Respect Theme Icon
The pistol tickles Anders, and he tries not to laugh. Instead, he looks the robber in the eyes, which are red and raw-looking. For the first time, Anders begins to... (full context)
Cynicism and Respect Theme Icon
The robber, seeing this expression, asks Anders if he thinks the robber is “comical.” Anders answers, “No,”... (full context)
Cynicism and Respect Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Anders, upon hearing this clichéd gangster speech, cannot stop himself from laughing. In retaliation, the robber raises the gun and shoots Anders in the head. (full context)