Hitting On All Cylinders Quotes

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But not so with Mister Sam’s chauffeur, Johnson X, the invisible man. He could hold it no longer. “Shit!” he cried. “Shit!” One couldn’t tell whether it was an order or an exclamation. “Shit! Does anyone in their right state of mind, with all their pieces of gray matter assembled in the right way in they haid, with no fuses blowed in they brain, with they think-piece hitting on all cylinders — you dig me? Anyone — you — me — us — they—we — them—him or her—anyone—you dig me? believe that shittt?” His loose lips punctuated each word with a spray of spit, flapped up and down over white buck teeth like the shutter of a camera photographing missiles shot into space, curled and popped over the tonal effect of each sound, and pronounced the word “shit” as though he had tasted it and spat it out — eloquent, logical and positive.
Chester Himes (Blind Man with a Pistol (Harlem Cycle, #8))
Rooster here has missed Ned a few times himself, horse and all,' said the captain. 'I reckon his is on his way now to missing him again.' Rooster was holding a bottle with a little whiskey in it. He said, 'You keep on thinking that.' He drained off the whiskey in about three swallows and tapped the cork back in and tossed the bottle up in the air. He pulled his revolver and fired at it twice and missed. The bottle fell and rolled and Rooster shot at it two or three more times and broke it on the ground. He got out his sack of cartridges and reloaded his pistol. He said, 'The Chinaman is running them cheap shells in on me again.' LaBoeuf said, 'I thought maybe the sun was in your eyes. That is to say, your eye.' Rooster swung the cylinder back in his revolver and said, 'Eyes, is it? I'll show you eyes!' He jerked the sack of corn dodgers free from his saddle baggage. He got one of the dodgers out and flung it in the air and fired at it and missed. Then he flung another one up and he hit it. The corn dodger exploded. He was pleased with himself and he got a fresh bottle of whiskey from his baggage and treated himself to a drink. LaBoeuf pulled one of his revolvers and got two dodgers out of the sack and tossed them both up. He fired very rapidly but he only hit one. Captain Finch tried it with two and missed both of them. Then he tried with one and made a successful shot. Rooster shot at two and hit one. They drank whiskey and used up about sixty corn dodgers like that. None of them ever hit two at one throw with a revolver but Captain Finch finally did it with his Winchester repeating rifle, with somebody else throwing. It was entertaining for a while but there was nothing educational about it. I grew more and more impatient with them. I said, 'Come on, I have had my bait of this. I am ready to go. Shooting cornbread out here on this prairie is not taking us anywhere.' By then Rooster was using his rifle and the captain was throwing for him. 'Chunk high and not so far out this time,' said he.
Charles Portis (True Grit)
You heard me. Let someone else send you to your blaze of glory. You're a speck, man. You're nothing. You're not worth the bullet or the mark on my soul for taking you out." You trying to piss me off again, Patrick?" He removed Campbell Rawson from his shoulder and held him aloft. I tilted my wrist so the cylinder fell into my palm, shrugged. "You're a joke, Gerry. I'm just calling it like I see it." That so?" Absolutely." I met his hard eyes with my own. "And you'll be replaced, just like everything else, in maybe a week, tops. Some other dumb, sick shit will come along and kill some people and he'll be all over the papers, and all over Hard Copy and you'll be yesterday's news. Your fifteen minutes are up, Gerry. And they've passed without impact." They'll remember this," Gerry said. "Believe me." Gerry clamped back on the trigger. When he met my finger, he looked at me and then clamped down so hard that my finger broke. I depressed the trigger on the one-shot and nothing happened. Gerry shrieked louder, and the razor came out of my flesh, then swung back immediately, and I clenched my eyes shut and depressed the trigger frantically three times. And Gerry's hand exploded. And so did mine. The razor hit the ice by my knee as I dropped the one shot and fire roared up the electrical tape and gasoline on Gerry's arm and caught the wisps of Danielle's hair. Gerry threw his head back and opened his mouth wide and bellowed in ecstasy. I grabbed the razor, could barely feel it because the nerves in my hand seemed to have stopped working. I slashed into the electric tape at the end of the shotgun barrel, and Danielle dropped away toward the ice and rolled her head into the frozen sand. My broken finger came back out of the shotgun and Gerry swung the barrels toward my head. The twin shotgun bores arced through the darkness like eyes without mercy or soul, and I raised my head to meet them, and Gerry's wail filled my ears as the fire licked at his neck. Good-bye, I thought. Everyone. It's been nice. Oscar's first two shots entered the back of Gerry's head and exited through the center of his forehead and a third punched into his back. The shotgun jerked upward in Gerry's flaming arm and then the shots came from the front, several at once, and Gerry spun like a marionette and pitched toward the ground. The shotgun boomed twice and punched holes through the ice in front of him as he fell. He landed on his knees and, for a moment, I wasn't sure if he was dead or not. His rusty hair was afire and his head lolled to the left as one eye disappeared in flames but the other shimmered at me through waves of heat, and an amused derision shone in the pupil. Patrick, the eye said through the gathering smoke, you still know nothing. Oscar rose up on the other side of Gerry's corpse, Campbell Rawson clutched tight to his massive chest as it rose and fell with great heaving breaths. The sight of it-something so soft and gentle in the arms of something so thick and mountaineous-made me laugh. Oscar came out of the darkness toward me, stepped around Gerry's burning body, and I felt the waves of heat rise toward me as the circle of gasoline around Gerry caught fire. Burn, I thought. Burn. God help me, but burn. Just after Oscar stepped over the outer edge of the circle, it erupted in yellow flame, and I found myself laughing harder as he looked at it, not remotely impressed. I felt cool lips smack against my ear, and by the time I looked her way, Danielle was already past me, rushing to take her child from Oscar. His huge shadow loomed over me as he approached, and I looked up at him and he held the look for a long moment. How you doing, Patrick?" he said and smiled broadly. And, behind him, Gerry burned on the ice. And everything was so goddamned funny for some reason, even though I knew it wasn't. I knew it wasn't. I did. But I was still laughing when they put me in the ambulance.
Dennis Lehane
JO: A refrain I like throughout the book is, “Music doesn’t mean things. It is things.” RP: Yes. The struggle for composers, which Els goes through in different stages over the course of his seventy years, is precisely that battle between a music that might be a matter of life and death, as it is for Shostakovich, or a way of surviving the evils of human history, as it is for Messiaen. You align yourself to a kind of music in the service of one or another of all the different kinds of things that the human mind might want. And at the end of the day, you have this reflective feeling of saying, it’s very possible that in pursuing a kind of music that you wanted to serve a certain function, to create a certain social urgency, to solve the problems of your historical time and place, that it might also have been worthwhile to make a music that simply moves people in the most etymological sense of that word—actually just makes their bodies want to move. It’s that tension—between the music of pattern, the music of the cognitive brain; and the music of body, the music of pure spirit—that infects his life at every turn. Music is both those things! And human beings are both thinking creatures and feeling creatures. And the art that hits on all cylinders, the art that moves us intellectually and bodily and spiritually, is what we’re after. But to capture all those things in the same vessel is a very, very difficult task. And it’s a very difficult one for Els until the very end.
Richard Powers (Orfeo)
Now hitting on all sixteen cylinders, the Beatles bolted back to the woodshed for The Beatles, a blandly designed masterwork that could inspire any reasonable California citizen to launch a race war.
Chuck Klosterman (Chuck Klosterman X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century)
The revolver was chambered for .442 rounds, which meant there was only room for five. "These are large caliber bullets for such a short gun," Merritt remarked. "It's designed to stop someone at close range," Ethan said, absently arching up to rub a spot on his chest. "Being hit by one of those bullets feels like a kick from a mule." "Why is the hammer bobbed?" "To keep it from catching on the holster or clothing, if I have to draw it fast." Keeping the muzzle of the gun pointed away from him, Merritt reassembled the revolver, slid the extractor rod into place, and locked it deftly. "Well done," Ethan commented, surprised by her assurance. "You're familiar with guns, then." "Yes, my father taught me. May I shoot it?" "What are you going to aim for?" By this time, the others had come out from the parlor to watch. "Uncle Sebastian," Merritt asked, "are those pottery rabbits on the stone wall valuable?" Kingston smiled slightly and shook his head. "Have at it." "Wait," Ethan said calmly. "That's a twenty-yard distance. You'll need a longer-range weapon." With meticulous care, he took the revolver from her and replaced it in his coat. "Try this one." Merritt's brows lifted slightly as he pulled a gun from a cross-draw holster concealed by his coat. This time, Ethan handed the revolver to her without bothering to disassemble it first. "It's loaded, save one chamber," he cautioned. "I put the hammer down to prevent accidental discharge." "A Colt single-action," Merritt said, pleased, admiring the elegant piece, with its four-and-a-half-inch barrel and custom engraving. "Papa has one similar to this." She eased the hammer back and gently rotated the cylinder. "It has a powerful recoil," Ethan warned. "I would expect so." Merritt held the Colt in a practiced grip, the fingers of her support hand fit neatly underneath the trigger guard. "Cover your ears," she said, cocking the hammer and aligning the sights. She squeezed the trigger. An earsplitting report, a flash of light from the muzzle, and one of the rabbit sculptures on the wall shattered. In the silence that followed, Merritt heard her father say dryly, "Go on, Merritt. Put the other bunny out of its misery." She cocked the hammer, aimed and fired again. The second rabbit sculpture exploded. "Sweet Mother Mary," Ethan said in wonder. "I've never seen a woman shoot like that." "My father taught all of us how to shoot and handle firearms safely," Merritt said, giving the revolver back to him grip-first.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Disguise (The Ravenels, #7))