This book attempts to provide a short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years.

The human head is of the same approximate size and weight as a roaster chicken. I have never before had occasion to make the comparison, for never before today have I seen a head in a roasting pan.

This is a true story about friendship that runs deeper than blood. This is my story and that of the only three friends in my life that truly mattered. Two of them were killers who never made it past the age of 30.

This is a love story, which, like all great love stories, is ultimately a story of loss.

I’ve been a bad, bad girl. I’ve been careless with a delicate man. And it’s a sad, sad world when a girl will break a boy just because she can.

The moment I heard how McAra died, I should have walked away. I can see that now.

Imagine this: You’ve just spent three weeks painstakingly replicating a Picasso painting from scratch—you’ve scrutinized documentation about the artist’s creative process; you’ve practiced his brushstrokes, so your work will look convincing; you’ve even painted in noted preliminary images, then covered them up, because that’s what he did. You’ve toiled over this, all for mere seconds of screen time in a film.

Pimps make the best librarians. Psycho killers, the worst. Ditto con men.

Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away. That is, running away in the heat of anger with a knapsack on her back.

I was 12 going on 13 the first time I saw a dead human being. It happened in the summer of 1959. A long time ago. But only if you measure in terms of years.

Get over that sorrow, girl. The world is always going to be made of this.

As I took my first steps on a patrol as a New York City police officer, heading out from the precinct onto East 156 Street toward the projects on Courtlandt Avenue in the South Bronx, a deep voice called out, “There’s a new sherrif in town!” We had been told that people would know we were rookies by the shine on our leather gear and the dim, soft expressions on our faces—people can smell new cop like they smell new paint.

I am the police. And I’m here to arrest you. You’ve broken the law.

Death is my beat. I make my living from it.

The minute you die you start to fade from the world and from the memories of the people who knew you. In a generation or two you’re an old picture your great-grandchildren can no longer identify.

You’ll never see the courage I know.

Oh, America. I wish I could tell you that this was still America, but I’ve come to realize that you can’t have a country without people. And there are no people here. No, my friends. This is now the United States of Zombieland.

I have insomnia … and I drink a little. I might as well tell you. In the middle of the night, I drink scotch when I can’t sleep. Actually, I can’t sleep most nights; actually, every night. Even before I stopped delivering babies, I wanted to write about the women. Now I have time.

Thirst is deadlier than hunger. Deprived of food, you might survive for a few weeks, but deprived of liquid refreshment, you would be lucky to last more than a few days. Only breathing matters more.

All he could see, in every direction, was water.

It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed.

I think I just fell in love with a porn star.

I was never so frightened as I am now. They have left me sitting in the dark, with only the light from the window to write by.

My roommate doesn’t remember being found passed out in a snow bank in the middle of the night, a block from our house.

Alcohol, my permanent accessory.