Paper Towns

Paper Towns

Quentin Jacobsen Character Analysis

The novel’s narrator and protagonist, a senior in high school who endeavors to discover the fate of his next-door neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman, after her mysterious disappearance. Quentin begins the novel as a mild-mannered nerd with a chronic fear of breaking rules, who has harbored a massive crush on Margo since they were children. As he progresses in his search, Quentin begins to question the way he has conceptualized other people — both those he cares for and those he resents — and learns to recognize the complexity and humanity of every person. Quentin is invested in understanding the ways human beings build connections with one another, and thinks deeply throughout the novel about the limitations of communication and the difficulty of truly understanding another person’s mind.

Quentin Jacobsen Quotes in Paper Towns

The Paper Towns quotes below are all either spoken by Quentin Jacobsen or refer to Quentin Jacobsen. 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:
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Speak edition of Paper Towns published in 2009.
Part 1, Chapter 1 Quotes

It was so pathetically easy to forget about Chuck, to talk about prom even though I didn’t give a shit about prom. Such was life that morning: nothing really mattered much, not the good things and not the bad ones. We were in the business of mutual amusement, and we were reasonably prosperous.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Ben Starling, Radar, Chuck Parson
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 1, Chapter 3 Quotes

“Did you know that for pretty much the entire history of the human species, the average life span was less than thirty years? You could count on ten years or so of real adulthood, right? There was no planning for retirement. No planning for a career. There was no planning … And now life has become the future. Every moment of your life is lived for the future.”

Related Characters: Margo Roth Spiegelman (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 1, Chapter 6 Quotes

Even though I could see her there, I felt entirely alone among these big and empty buildings, like I’d survived the apocalypse and the world had been given to me, this whole and amazing and endless world, mine for the exploring.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 53
Explanation and Analysis:

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“It’s a paper town. I mean, look at it, Q: look at all those cul-de-sacs, those streets that turn in on themselves, all the houses that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the paper convenience store. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I’ve lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anone who cares about anything that matters.

Related Characters: Margo Roth Spiegelman (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 1, Chapter 8 Quotes

“I didn’t need you, you idiot. I picked you. And then you picked me back … And that’s like a promise. At least for tonight. In sickness and in health. In good times and in bad. For richer, for poorer. Till dawn do us part.”

Related Characters: Margo Roth Spiegelman (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen
Page Number: 70
Explanation and Analysis:

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And I wanted to tell her that the pleasure for me was in planning or doing or leaving: the pleasure was in seeing our strings cross and separate and then come back together.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 4 Quotes

[M]aybe Margo needed to see my confidence. Maybe this time she wanted to be found, and to be found by me. Maybe — just as she had chosen me on the longest night, she had chosen be again. And maybe untold riches awaited he who found her.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 7 Quotes

I refused to feel any kind of sadness over the fact that I wasn’t going to prom, but I had — stupidly, embarrassingly — thought of finding Margo, and getting her to come home with me just in time for prom, like late on Saturday night, and we’d walk into the Hilton ballroom wearing jeans and ratty T-shirts, and we be just in time for the last dance, and we’d dance while everyone pointed at us and marveled at the return of Margo, and then we’d fox-trot the hell out of there and go get ice cream at Friendly’s.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 8 Quotes

Standing before this building, I learn something about fear. I learn that it is not the idle fantasies of someone who maybe wants something important to happen to him, even if the important thing is horrible … This fear is bears no analogy to any fear I knew before. This is the basest of all possible emotions, the feeling that was with us before we existed, before this building existed, before the earth existed. This is the fear that made fish crawl onto dry land and evolve lungs, the fear that teaches us to run, the fear that makes us bury our dead.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 140-141
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 9 Quotes

YOU WILL GO TO THE PAPER TOWNS
AND YOU WILL NEVER COME BACK

Related Characters: Margo Roth Spiegelman (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen, Ben Starling
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 10 Quotes

“Let me give you some advice: let her come home. I mean, at some point, you gotta stop looking up at the sky, or one of these days you’ll look back down and see that you floated away, too.”

Related Characters: Detective Otis Warren (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen, Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 151
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 14 Quotes

“You know your problem, Quentin? You keep expecting people not to be themselves. I mean, I could hate you for being massively unpunctual and for never being interested in anything other than Margo Roth Spiegelman, and for, like, never asking me about how it’s going with my girlfriend — but I don’t give a shit, man, because you’re you.”

Related Characters: Radar (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen, Ben Starling
Page Number: 194
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 15 Quotes

“I know it’s impossible for you to see peers this way, but when you’re older, you’ll start to see them — the bad kids and the good kids and all kids — as people. They’re just people, who deserve to be cared for. Varying degrees of sick, varying degrees of neurotic, varying degrees of self-actualized.”

Related Characters: Connie Jacobsen (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen, Tom Jacobsen
Page Number: 198
Explanation and Analysis:

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“The longer I do my job … the more I realize that humans lack good mirrors. It’s so hard for anyone to show us how we look, and so hard for us to show anyone who we feel.”

Related Characters: Tom Jacobsen (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen, Connie Jacobsen
Page Number: 198
Explanation and Analysis:

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The fundamental mistake I had always made — and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make — was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 16 Quotes

I couldn’t help but think about school and everything else ending. I liked standing just outside the couches and watching them — it was a kind of sad I didn’t mind, and so I just listened, letting all the happiness and the sadness of this ending swirl around in me, each sharpening the other. For the longest time, it felt kind of like my chest was cracking open, but not precisely in an unpleasant way.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Ben Starling, Radar, Lacey Pemberton
Page Number: 215
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 17 Quotes

“I know you want to find her. I know she is t he most important thing to you. And that’s cool. But we graduate in, like, a week. I’m not asking you to abandon the search. I’m asking you to come to a party with your two best friends who you have known for half your life.”

Related Characters: Ben Starling (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen, Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 211
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 19 Quotes

It is so hard to leave — until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 229
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 3, Hour 12 Quotes

I blame her for this ridiculous, fatal chase — for putting us at risk, for making me into the kind of jackass who would stay up all night and drive too fast. I would not be dying were it not for her. I would have stayed home, and I have always stayed home, and I would have been safe, and I would have done the one thing I have always wanted to do, which is grow up.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 268
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 3, Agloe Quotes

“Oh bullshit. You didn’t come here to make sure I was okay. You came here because you wanted to save poor little Margo from her troubled little self, so that I would be oh-so-thankful to my knight in shining armor that I would strip my clothes off and beg you to ravage my body.”

Related Characters: Margo Roth Spiegelman (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen
Page Number: 284
Explanation and Analysis:

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“People love the idea of a paper girl. They always have. and the worst thing is that I loved it, too. I cultivated it, you know … Because it’s kind of great, being an idea that everybody likes. But I could never be the idea to myself, not all the way.”

Related Characters: Margo Roth Spiegelman (speaker), Quentin Jacobsen
Page Number: 293-294
Explanation and Analysis:

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She can see it in my face — I understand now that I can’t be her and she can’t be me. Maybe Whitman had a gift I don’t have. But as for me: I must ask the wounded man where he is hurt, because I cannot become the wounded man. The only wounded man I can be is me.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Related Symbols: “Song of Myself”
Page Number: 298
Explanation and Analysis:

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Imagining isn’t perfect. You can’t get all the way inside someone else. I could never have imagined Margo’s anger at being found, or the story she was writing over. But imagining being someone else, or the world being something else, is the only way in.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 299
Explanation and Analysis:

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When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 302
Explanation and Analysis:

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After we kiss, our foreheads touch as we stare at each other. Yes, I can see her almost perfectly in this cracked darkness.

Related Characters: Quentin Jacobsen (speaker), Margo Roth Spiegelman
Page Number: 305
Explanation and Analysis:

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Quentin Jacobsen Character Timeline in Paper Towns

The timeline below shows where the character Quentin Jacobsen appears in Paper Towns. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue
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Quentin Jacobsen, reflecting on his childhood, considers the possibility that every person will experience one incredible... (full context)
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Quentin remembers an experience he shared with Margo when they were nine years old. In the... (full context)
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That night, after Quentin has gone to bed following a comforting conversation with his therapist mother, Margo appears at... (full context)
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Quentin, at a loss for words, removes the window screen. He seems to assume Margo will... (full context)
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Quentin concludes, narrating once again from the present, that Margo always loved mysteries, and he wonders... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 1
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Quentin, now a senior at Winter Park High School in Orlando, arrives at school on a... (full context)
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Quentin becomes distracted from the conversation when he sees Margo in the hall. She is standing... (full context)
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Ben and Quentin meet Radar in the hall. Radar deflects conversation about his relationship with Angela by talking... (full context)
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During lunch, Ben admits he wants to go to prom even though Quentin thinks the idea is stupid. He tells Quentin he has already been rejected by one... (full context)
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Talking with Radar after lunch, Quentin and Ben tell him about their conversation with Angela. They tease Radar about the real... (full context)
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After school, Quentin follows the same unremarkable routine he follows every day, watching television and eating dinner with... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2
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...is dressed in black and wearing black face paint. Standing outside his window, she tells Quentin that she needs to use his mother’s minivan. When Quentin reminds her that she has... (full context)
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Margo and Quentin’s conversation comes to a sudden close when Margo’s father appears outside and orders her back... (full context)
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Waiting for Margo to return, Quentin collects his car keys. He remembers his disappointment when, on his sixteenth birthday, his parents... (full context)
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Driving through Jefferson Park, Margo tells Quentin that her parents don’t care about her sneaking out, but are only worried about being... (full context)
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Quentin asks Margo where they are going. She tells him that their first stop is the... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3
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In the parking lot at Publix, Margo gives Quentin a list of items to buy and a hundred-dollar bill with which to pay for... (full context)
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When he returns to the car, Quentin worries aloud that Duke University, where he plans to attend college, will revoke his admission... (full context)
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At Wal-Mart, Margo and Quentin buy a device called The Club, which is designed to lock a car’s steering wheel... (full context)
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Quentin suspects Margo is rambling to avoid his question, and he asks her again why she... (full context)
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...to come with him to a bar after he gets off work. The employee assumes Quentin is Margo’s younger brother. When Quentin, clearly embarrassed, tells the employee that he is not... (full context)
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As the employee walks away, Quentin enjoys the feeling of Margo’s hand and takes the opportunity to put his arm around... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4
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Admiring the streetlights as they drive on the highway, Quentin quotes T.S. Eliot, calling them “the visible reminder of Invisible Light.” Margo thinks the words... (full context)
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As their conversation continues, Margo reveals that Jase has been cheating on her with Becca. Quentin is dumbfounded, and tells Margo he saw her laughing with Jase at school that morning.... (full context)
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Quentin wonders aloud why Jase would have sex with Becca. Margo suggests that, since there is... (full context)
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As he and Margo continue driving, Quentin meditates on the injustice of the fact that someone as unpleasant as Jase should get... (full context)
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Quentin and Margo reach Becca’s neighborhood and drive around looking for Jase’s Lexus. When they find... (full context)
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Outside Becca’s house, Margo and Quentin use a pair of binoculars — which Margo stashed in the car early in the... (full context)
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Margo tells Quentin they have to get into the basement while Becca is upstairs getting a lecture from... (full context)
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When they encounter Jase running blindly through the streets near Becca’s house, Quentin takes pity on him and throws Jase’s shirt out the car window. Margo is furious,... (full context)
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Quentin’s heart is still pounding from the stress and fear of being chased by Mr. Arrington.... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5
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When they begin driving again, Margo directs Quentin to her friend Karin’s house, telling him how she verbally abused Karin after hearing her... (full context)
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Quentin remarks that Jase’s subdivision, Casavilla, is full of “big, ugly homes for big, ugly people.”... (full context)
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Margo admits that the escapade was intense even for her, but assures Quentin that the eighth part of their adventure will be easier. She explains that their next... (full context)
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Quentin rushes to assure Margo that she shouldn’t lose any weight. He thinks at length about... (full context)
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When they arrive at Lacey’s car, Margo jimmies the lock open. Quentin helps her hide a fish — which, like the other two, is accompanied by a... (full context)
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Back in the minivan, Quentin notices that using the spray paint can has left a blue spot on his finger.... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6
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Downtown Orlando, which consists mostly of office buildings in skyscrapers, is deserted when Margo and Quentin arrive. Though he is aware of Margo sitting next to him, Quentin feels completely alone... (full context)
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Margo directs Quentin to a towering green sculpture, known to teenagers in town as The Asparagus. As he... (full context)
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Margo tells Quentin that they are going to the top of the SunTrust Building to check their progress.... (full context)
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...floor-to-ceiling windows. Leaning against the glass, she points out their houses and Jase’s, then pulls Quentin up next to her. He leans his forehead on the glass despite being worried about... (full context)
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Quentin remarks that Orlando is beautiful, and Margo scoffs. He scrambles to justify himself, points out... (full context)
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Still staring at the city below, Margo tells Quentin that Orlando is a “paper town.” She claims that everything about the town is fake,... (full context)
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Quentin tells Margo that he won’t take her comments about “paper people” personally. Margo apologizes, saying... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 7
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Back in the minivan, Margo tells Quentin that it is his turn to choose a victim, whose punishment she has already planned.... (full context)
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Margo directs Quentin through Chuck’s subdivision, College Park. She does not remember his address, but points out a... (full context)
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Margo and Quentin climb through the bedroom window and discover, not Chuck, but an old man they have... (full context)
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Quentin and Margo successfully break into Chuck’s house. Margo spreads hair removal cream on Chuck’s right... (full context)
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Speeding away in the minivan, Margo relishes their success and Chuck’s impending humiliation. Quentin asks why Margo hates Chuck, remarking that she was always “kind of friends” with him.... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8
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Quentin flatly refuses to follow Margo to SeaWorld. He worries about getting caught, and though Margo... (full context)
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Margo is repulsed by the idea that she needed Quentin to accomplish her plans. She tells Quentin that it would have been easy for her... (full context)
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Quentin grudgingly agrees to break into SeaWorld with Margo, but tells Margo that his parents and... (full context)
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Driving to SeaWorld, Quentin thinks about Robert Joyner. He notices that the metaphor Margo once used to explain why... (full context)
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...in by wading through a drainage ditch that runs along one side of the park. Quentin is concerned there might be alligators in the ditch — a reasonable fear, since alligators... (full context)
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...the moat, Margo is bitten by a snake. Fearing the snake is a water moccasin, Quentin tries to suck the poison out of the bite. Margo soon realizes the snake is... (full context)
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Margo and Quentin wander past a row of tanks, but do not see any animals. They encounter a... (full context)
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Margo and Quentin continue walking through the park past the animals’ empty tanks. Margo talks about the anticlimax... (full context)
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Margo and Quentin stop in front of the empty seal tank. Quentin imagines spending the night with her... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 9
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As they drive home in the early morning, Quentin wonders what will change now that he and Margo have shared this experience: whether they... (full context)
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When Margo and Quentin return home, Margo gives Quentin a hug and tells him she will miss hanging out... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1
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Quentin sleeps briefly, then wakes up to get ready for school. He considers skipping school to... (full context)
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At school, Quentin notices that Margo’s car is missing from the parking lot, but is not troubled. He... (full context)
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Quentin is exhausted, and falls asleep in his first period class. During lunch, he and Ben... (full context)
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After school, Ben drops Quentin off at home. Quentin notices that Margo’s car is not in her driveway, and concludes... (full context)
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That night, Ben calls Quentin to report the rumors that have begun circulating about Margo’s absence: that she has moved... (full context)
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As he falls asleep, Quentin stares out his bedroom window. He cannot help but hope that Margo will come back... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 2
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At the beginning of the chapter, Quentin writes that Margo was the “queen” of Winter Park High School, and that after she... (full context)
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Quentin assures the students who have been wronged that he will handle the situation. When he... (full context)
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Later that night, while Quentin and Ben are playing a video game called “Resurrection” in Quentin’s room, Jase and Chuck... (full context)
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After Jase and Chuck leave, Ben and Quentin go back to playing “Resurrection.” Ben soon falls asleep, and Quentin is left meditating on... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 3
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The next morning is a Saturday, and Quentin comes downstairs to find his parents sitting in the dining room with Margo’s parents and... (full context)
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Detective Warren pulls Quentin aside, where the others cannot hear them. He tells Quentin that he does not approve... (full context)
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...her strings and now has finally broken them and begun to float away. He tells Quentin that his desk is littered with the files of missing people, and says that the... (full context)
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Quentin and Detective Warren return downstairs, and Detective Warren leaves with Margo’s parents to look through... (full context)
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Ben, who has been sleeping upstairs since the night before, emerges from Quentin’s room. Quentin tells Ben about the visit from Detective Warren and the Spiegelmans, and Ben... (full context)
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Glancing out the window, Quentin notices that someone has pulled down the shade in Margo’s room, which her parents raised... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4
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Quentin and Radar sit in the Jacobsen’s living room and wait for the Spiegelmans and Detective... (full context)
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In Margo’s room, Quentin is stunned to find hundreds of vinyl records lining the bookshelves. She is apparently obsessed... (full context)
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Quentin shows the album to Radar and Ben. They take the album from its sleeve and... (full context)
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Quentin knows that Walt Whitman is a nineteenth-century American poet. Radar searches Whitman’s name on Omnictionary,... (full context)
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Radar wonders aloud why Margo would leave clues for Quentin this time, when she has always left them for her parents in the past. Quentin... (full context)
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The three boys return to Quentin’s house, and after paging through Leaves of Grass without finding any obvious clues, Ben and... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 5
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On Monday morning, Quentin arrives at school to find Lacey waiting for him outside the band room. She has... (full context)
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As Quentin walks through the hallways, two freshmen whose bikes were destroyed stop to thank him for... (full context)
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At lunch, Quentin finds Ben and Lacey waiting at his locker. Lacey tells Quentin that Margo never allowed... (full context)
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In his last period of the day, Quentin reads Leaves of Grass while his teacher, Dr. Holden, lectures the class on Moby Dick.... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6
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Quentin, Radar, and Ben return to Jefferson Park. Ruthie lets them into Margo’s room, and they... (full context)
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Quentin and Radar follow Ben back to his house. They play video games and discuss Margo.... (full context)
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Quentin knows Ben’s idea is ludicrous, but he finds it oddly compelling. Still, he cannot stomach... (full context)
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Quentin remembers a former patient his mother once told him about: a nine-year-old boy who, after... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 7
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Six days after Margo’s disappearance, Quentin tells his parents about her clues. His father suspects that Margo will be coming home... (full context)
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Later that evening, Ben calls Quentin. He is preparing to go shopping with Lacey, to help her pick shoes for prom.... (full context)
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Thinking about Ben, Quentin’s mind wanders to their earlier attempt to remove the doors in Margo’s room. Suddenly, a... (full context)
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Quentin searches the address online and discovers that the place to which it refers is 34.6... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 8
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In the morning, Quentin forces himself to vomit and tells his mother that he has a stomach bug. She... (full context)
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On the outskirts of Orlando, the land becomes dry and desolate. Quentin notices a patch of undeveloped land with an unfinished blacktop road. A sign refers to... (full context)
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...an abandoned strip mall with boarded-up windows, water damage, and cracked paint. The sight shocks Quentin. It occurs to him that this is the kind of place where a person comes... (full context)
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Quentin remembers Margo saying she did not want to be found dead in Jefferson Park, the... (full context)
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Ben tells Quentin they should leave and bring the police. Radar insists they cannot leave until they have... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 9
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Quentin, Radar, and Ben walk around the back of the building and discover the bloated corpse... (full context)
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...Ben decides he is going to break through the particleboard covering the windows, and though Quentin urges him not to, he takes a running start and slams his body into the... (full context)
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...“Troll Hole” painted in orange beside it. In the room beyond, there is another hole. Quentin, Ben, and Radar climb through both holes and emerge into what Ben recognizes as an... (full context)
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...notices a patch of wall that seems to have been recently painted. Under the paint, Quentin can make out faint red graffiti. Radar drops the small flashlight they have been using,... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10
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At home, Quentin reads “Song of Myself” and tries to determine whether it is “a suicide-note kind of... (full context)
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Frustrated by his conversation with Warren, Quentin begins search for the phrase “paper town” online. He finds a comment in a discussion... (full context)
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Quentin sends an instant message to Radar, telling him his theory. Radar tells Quentin to calm... (full context)
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The next day, Quentin borrows RHAPAW and drives to Grovepoint Acres. He finds himself talking aloud to Margo, promising... (full context)
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In Holly Meadows, Quentin sees an oak tree similar to the one under which Robert Joyner’s body was lying... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11
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The next day at school, Quentin tells his friends about his trip to the pseudovisions, though he realizes there isn’t much... (full context)
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That afternoon, listening to Dr. Holden lecture about Moby-Dick during English, it occurs to Quentin that she might have helpful insights about “Song of Myself.” After class, he brings Dr.... (full context)
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Dr. Holden asks Quentin what he thinks of the poem. Quentin admits that he has mostly been reading the... (full context)
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Quentin hangs out with Ben and Radar after school, but he declines their invitation to come... (full context)
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Quentin borrows his mother’s minivan, telling her that he has decided to go to prom after... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 12
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Quentin arrives at the strip mall to find that someone has been there since his last... (full context)
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Quentin is convinced that Margo has been staying in the mall, and resolves to stay there... (full context)
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Quentin pokes through the different rooms, and finds only one that seems as though someone has... (full context)
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Quentin checks in with his father, telling him that he will be spending the night at... (full context)
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Quentin lingers over one part of “Song of Myself” in which a child asks the poet... (full context)
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Quentin realizes that the most important question is not what happened to Margo, but who she... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 13
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Quentin falls asleep, but wakes up around 3 o’clock in the morning to the sound of... (full context)
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Quentin arrives at Becca’s house and finds Ben doing a keg stand while Jase holds him... (full context)
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Chuck approaches Quentin, looking intimidating, and asks whether Quentin was the person who shaved his eyebrow. He laughs... (full context)
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Quentin wanders downstairs, looking to get away from the noise and crowd. He sees Becca and... (full context)
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Lacey asks Quentin to take her to the strip mall, and Quentin tells her about discovering Margo’s blanket... (full context)
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Around 5 o’clock, Quentin wakes Lacey. They go upstairs and find Ben carrying a sword made of empty beer... (full context)
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Driving home with Ben sleeping in the backseat, Lacey admits to Quentin that Ben “tries too hard” — that he wants badly and obviously for other people... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 14
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The next day, Quentin calls Ben. He wants to tell Ben about his discoveries in the strip mall the... (full context)
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After leaving his message to Ben, Quentin calls Radar. Radar arrives at Quentin’s house a few minutes later, and Quentin describes the... (full context)
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...account and tracking the IP addresses of people who search for the phrase “paper towns.” Quentin is surprised to learn that Radar has been working so hard to find Margo. (full context)
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Radar suggests inviting Ben to brainstorm and play video games. When Quentin refuses, Radar suggests he should be more accepting of other people. Quentin is as flawed... (full context)
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Waiting for Ben to arrive, Quentin asks Radar about Angela. Radar says things are good between them, that they did not... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 15
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Quentin spends Monday afternoon reading Whitman. He begins listening to the same album of Woody Guthrie... (full context)
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During dinner, Quentin’s mother tells him about meeting Chuck’s mother, Betty Parson, the previous day. She tells Quentin... (full context)
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Quentin’s father says working as a therapist has taught him that human beings “lack good mirrors,”... (full context)
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Listening to his parents’ conversation, it occurs to Quentin that he has never thought about Margo as a person — all his attempts to... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 16
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After school on Tuesday, Quentin and Lacey wait together for Ben and Radar to finish band practice. The four of... (full context)
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...is in Orlando, watching them look for her. Lacey defends the possibility of New York. Quentin thinks about how each of them have formed their own private version of Margo, each... (full context)
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Inside the strip mall, Quentin and his friends encounter another group of people exploring the building. Lacey recognizes Gus, the... (full context)
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With the explorers gone, Quentin and his friends look around the rooms. Lacey says she remembers Margo’s black notebook, though... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 17
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On Friday evening, Quentin drives to Collier Farms. The land is swampy and overgrown. Though he is full of... (full context)
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Driving to the last pseudovision on his list, Logan Pines, Quentin gets a call from Ben. Radar’s parents have left town — a black Santa collector... (full context)
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There is nothing in Logan Pines to suggest anyone has been there. Quentin finds the concrete foundation of a house that was never built. He cannot understand why... (full context)
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Quentin drives back to Jefferson Park. He arrives at Radar’s house to find Radar putting away... (full context)
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The party is relaxed, with little drinking and lots of storytelling. Ben, Radar, and Quentin reaffirm their commitment to being naked under their robes at graduation, and some of their... (full context)
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In bed, Quentin pages through “Song of Myself.” He looks at the map pinned to his wall, and... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 18
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Early the next morning, Quentin tells Radar about his new hypothesis — that the holes in the wall at the... (full context)
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Searching through a box of maps and brochures in the strip mall, Quentin and Radar discover a map called “Five Thousand American Cities.” Quentin sees pinholes in the... (full context)
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At home, Quentin studies for his Latin final and talks with Lacey over instant messenger about Margo’s black... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 19
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At school the next day, Radar tells Quentin that he has built a new program for Omnictionary, which allows users to search a... (full context)
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Reading “Song of Myself” that night, Quentin pauses over one line: “I do not ask the wounded person how he feels …... (full context)
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Quentin struggles through the rest of his final exams, and arrives at his last-ever day of... (full context)
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After school, Quentin decides to clean out his locker while Radar and Ben attend band practice to rehearse... (full context)
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Walking home, Quentin discovers that though the process of leaving is difficult, the actual act of leaving feels... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 20
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Quentin spends that afternoon and the next day trying to uncover some new insight into Margo’s... (full context)
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Quentin tells Radar about the minivan. He agrees to let Radar store a cooler full of... (full context)
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After getting out of the shower, Quentin turns on the program Radar created a few days earlier, that collects the first sentences... (full context)
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The article claims Agloe has a population of zero, but in the comments section, Quentin discovers a recent message from an anonymous user, which claims that there will, in fact,... (full context)
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Quentin discovers online that driving from Orlando to Agloe will take 19 hours and four minutes.... (full context)
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Radar and Ben convince Quentin to stop by the school on his way out of town, to explain to his... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 2
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Quentin and his friends begin playing a variation on I Spy, in which they are only... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 4
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...the store collecting provisions. As they run back to the car with their arms full, Quentin feels elated: young, goofy, and infinite. They high five one another as they merge back... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 5
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...their new provisions as they continue on their drive, Lacey is frustrated to find that Quentin forgot the healthy food she instructed him to buy. She remarks that she cannot eat... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 6
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Stuck in traffic in South Carolina, Quentin and Radar invent a game in which they take turns imagining the lives of people... (full context)
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Radar’s alternative version of the woman’s life story makes Quentin think of all the ways human beings fail to imagine one another accurately. Radar remarks... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 7
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Quentin and his friends have agreed to sleep in shifts, so Ben and Lacey are lying... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 8
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Quentin remarks on all the new things he has learned about himself while driving: that he... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 9
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Quentin and Radar discover, as the hour approaches when they are supposed to trade places with... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 10
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As they prepare for their next gas station stop, Radar and Quentin wake Lacey and Ben. Quentin buys pants and a new t-shirt for Radar, which has... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 11
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Quentin and his friends pass through the construction zone, where it is impossible to drive faster... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 12
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It is 2:40 a.m. and Quentin is driving while Radar and Lacey sleep. Ben sits in the passenger seat. He admits... (full context)
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Quentin is annoyed at Ben for lecturing him. He is about to respond when two massive... (full context)
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As Quentin releases the steering wheel, Ben reaches over and swerves onto the shoulder of the road.... (full context)
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Quentin turns off the engine, and all four of them hear liquid pouring out from some... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 13
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As they continue driving, Radar, Lacey, and Quentin marvel aloud at what has just happened. They praise Ben lavishly for his heroism. Ben,... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 14
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As they resume driving, Quentin and his friends clean the broken glass and spilled soda from the floor of the... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 15-18
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Quentin finds comfort in the consistency created by fast food restaurants and gas station chains. He... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 19
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Quentin wakes up to find Radar and Ben evaluating possible names for the minivan. Ben wants... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 20
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As they drive through upstate New York, Quentin starts a game of Metaphysical I Spy. Ben’s first clue is: “I spy with my... (full context)
Part 3, Hour 21
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As they get close to Agloe, Lacey and Quentin begin listing everything they know about Margo, from the make of her car to the... (full context)
Part 3, Agloe
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...on highway outside Roscoe, a town near the intersection where Agloe General Store supposedly stands, Quentin and his friend spot a crumbling barn in the field beside a dirt road. Lacey... (full context)
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...a tepid hug or handshake. She seems at a loss for what to say, and Quentin is disappointed that there is not more drama in this moment — no tears or... (full context)
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With the others gone, Margo and Quentin launch into a massive fight. Margo is angry at Quentin for coming to Agloe, telling... (full context)
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Quentin’s criticisms send Margo into a fit of temper, which has the odd effect of calming... (full context)
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Lacey calls Quentin’s cell phone, asking to speak to Margo. While they talk, apparently amiably, Quentin explores the... (full context)
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Quentin asks Margo to explain her plan, to help him understand what was and wasn’t intentional,... (full context)
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Margo tells Quentin that she began planning her final night in Orlando during their junior year of high... (full context)
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Quentin asks Margo why she would come to Agloe, of all places. Margo explains that she... (full context)
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Quentin encourages Margo to come home with him, telling her she can stay with his family... (full context)
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Margo borrows Quentin’s phone and calls her family. She has a tense conversation with her mother, then talks... (full context)
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Margo and Quentin walk through the fields outside the barn, and he tells her everything that has happened... (full context)
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Quentin wakes around sunset, and sees Margo digging a few feet from him. He kneels next... (full context)
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Margo tells Quentin that she never thought of Robert Joyner as a real person, and instead thought of... (full context)
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Quentin kisses Margo. Margo asks Quentin to come to New York with her, but they both... (full context)
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Margo takes Quentin to the motel where Lacey, Radar, and Ben are staying. They promise to call and... (full context)