[A] pessimist gets nothing but pleasant surprises, an optimist nothing but unpleasant.— Rex Stout
The most colorful Rex Stout quotes that will transform you to a better person
Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth.
Sarcasm is not the rapier of wit its wielders seem to believe it to be, but merely a club: it may, by dint of brute force, occasionally raise bruises, but it never cuts or pierces.
Every Sherlock Holmes story has at least one marvelous scene.
Being broke is not a disgrace, it is only a catastrophe.
The only two kinds of books could earn an American writer a living are cookbooks and detective novels.
All my important decisions are made for me by my subconscious.
My frontal lobes are just kidding themselves that they decide anything at all. All they do is think up reasons for the decisions that are already made.
Everything in a story should be credible.
A guest is a jewel on the cushion of hospitality
As a professional writer of detective stories, I string along with the ballplayers. I love a ball game.
To read of a detective's daring finesse or ingenious stratagem is a rare joy.
Chili is one of the great peasant foods.
It is one of the few contributions America has made to world cuisine. Eaten with corn bread, sweet onion, sour cream, it contains all five of the elements deemed essential by the sages of the Orient: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, and bitter.
A hole in the ice is dangerous only to those who go skating.
The Glass Key is better than anything Hemingway ever wrote
Of course the modern detective story puts off its best tricks till the last, but Doyle always put his best tricks first and that's why they're still the best ones.
God made you and me, in certain respects, quite unequal, and it would be futile to try any interference with His arrangements.
MY rule is never to be rude to anyone unless you mean it.
I love to make a mistake. It is my only assurance that I cannot reasonably be expected to assume the responsibility of omniscience.
One of the hardest things to believe is that anyone will abandon the effort to escape a charge of murder. It is extremely important to suspend disbelief on that. If you don't, the story is spoiled.
It is always wiser, where there is a choice, to trust inertia.
It is the greatest force in the world.
Hemingway never grew out of adolescence.
His scope and depth stayed shallow because he had no idea what women are for.
If I'm home with no chore at hand, and a package of books has come, the television set and the chess board and the unanswered mail will have to manage without me if one of the books is a detective story.
I have never regarded myself as this or that.
I have been too busy being myself to bother about regarding myself.
There are two kinds of characters in all fiction, the born and the synthetic.
If the writer has to ask himself questions - is he tall, is he short? - he had better quit.
There are two kinds of statistics, the kind you look up, and the kind you make up.
The trouble with an alarm clock is that what seems sensible when you set it seems absurd when it goes off
The incredible thing happens at the beginning of the story always, you notice, not the end. A Sherlock Holmes story is never a trick story.
The requisitions of the income tax have added greatly to the attractions of mercenary crime.
What good is an obscenity trial except to popularize literature?
A person who does not read cannot think.
He may have good mental processes, but he has nothing to think about. You can feel for people or natural phenomena and react to them, but they are not ideas. You cannot think about them.
There are two kinds of statistics, the kind you look up and the kind you make up.
A Dickens character to me is a theatrical projection of a character.
Not that it isn't real. It's real, but in that removed sense. But Sherlock Holmes is simply there. I would be astonished if I went to 221½ B Baker Street and didn't find him.
I understand the technique of eccentricity;
it would be futile for a man to labor at establishing a reputation for oddity if he were ready at the slightest provocation to revert to normal action.
Only fools and philosophers waste time on the unknowable.
There are damn few great writers and I'm not one of them.
While I could afford to I played with words. When I could no longer afford that I wrote for money.
What do I believe in? Belief means faith, and there's only one damned thing in the world I have any faith in. That's the idea of American democracy, because it seems to me so obvious that that's the only sensible way to run human affairs.
I love books, food, music, sleep, people who work, heated arguments, the United States of America, and my wife and children. I dislike politicians, preachers, genteel persons, people who do not work or are on vacation, closed minds, movies, loud noises, and oiliness.
As I understand it, a born executive is a guy who, when anything difficult or unexpected happens, yells for somebody to come and help him.
I'm not a collector. I don't keep letters, or books, or souvenirs. But I do keep one copy of each translation of my books into a foreign language. Have you ever seen a murder story printed in Singhalese? Wow!
There is only one object on earth that frightens me: a physicist working on a new trick.
There's nothing as safe as ignorance or as dangerous.
I cannot agree that mountain climbing is merely one manifestation of man's spiritual aspirations. I think instead it is a hysterical paroxysm of his infantile vanity.
The only thing I want is something I can't have;
and that is to know if, 100 years from now, people will still buy my books.
To say that a man is a reasoning animal is a very different thing than to say that most of man's decisions are based on his rational process. That I don't believe at all.
Subtlety chases the obvious up a never-ending spiral and never quite catches it.
The constant petty behests of life permit few opportunities for major satisfactions, and when one is offered it should be seized.
There are only two kinds of books which you can write and be pretty sure you're going to make a living cook books and detective stories.
I think one or two of the later Holmes stories are among the best.
I will ride my luck on occasion, but I like to pick the occasion.
Everyone has something they don't want anyone to see;
that is one of the functions of a home, to provide a spot to keep such things.