Bullet in the Brain

by

Tobias Wolff

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Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Bullet in the Brain published in 2009.
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Bullet in the Brain Quotes

The line was endless and he got stuck behind two women whose loud, stupid conversation put him in a murderous temper. He was never in the best of tempers anyway, Anders—a book critic known for the weary, elegant savagery with which he dispatched almost everything he reviewed.

Related Characters: Anders
Page Number: 263
Explanation and Analysis:

Anders had conceived his own towering hatred of the teller, but he immediately turned it on the presumptuous crybaby in front of him. “Damned unfair,” he said. “Tragic, really. If they're not chopping off the wrong leg or bombing your ancestral village, they're closing their positions.”

Related Characters: Anders (speaker)
Page Number: 263
Explanation and Analysis:

“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:

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:

The domed ceiling had been decorated with mythological figures whose fleshy, toga-draped ugliness Anders had taken in at a glance many years earlier and afterward declined to notice. Now he had no choice but to scrutinize the painter's work. It was even worse than he remembered, and all of it executed with the utmost gravity.

Related Characters: Anders
Related Symbols: The Painted Ceiling
Page Number: 265
Explanation and Analysis:

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:

He did not remember Professor Josephs telling his class how Athenian prisoners in Sicily had been released if they could recite Aeschylus, and then reciting Aeschylus himself, right there, in the Greek. Anders did not remember how his eyes had burned at those sounds.

Related Characters: Anders
Page Number: 267
Explanation and Analysis:

He did not remember when he began to regard the heap of books on his desk with boredom and dread, or when he grew angry at writers for writing them. He did not remember when everything began to remind him of something else.

Related Characters: Anders
Page Number: 267
Explanation and Analysis:

“Shortstop,” the boy says. “Short's the best position they is.” Anders turns and looks at him. He wants to hear Coyle's cousin repeat what he's just said, though he knows better than to ask. The others will think he's being a jerk, ragging the kid for his grammar. But that isn't it, not at all-it's that Anders is strangely roused, elated, by those final two words, their pure unexpectedness and their music.

Related Characters: Anders, Coyle’s Cousin
Related Symbols: The Baseball Game
Page Number: 268
Explanation and Analysis:

But for now Anders can still make time. Time for the shadows to lengthen on the grass, time for the tethered dog to bark at the flying ball, time for the boy in right field to smack his sweat-blackened mitt and softly chant, They is, they is, they is.

Related Characters: Anders
Related Symbols: The Baseball Game
Page Number: 268
Explanation and Analysis:
No matches.