Alex Garland Quotes

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  • Show people your stuff, listen carefully to their responses, but ultimately don't value anyone's opinion above your own. Be influenced by writers you dislike as well as writers you like. Read their stuff to figure out what's wrong. Find a balance between the confidence that allows you continue, and the self-critical facility that enables you to improve. Get the balance wrong on either side, and you're screwed.

  • The thing about tourism is just that it's incredibly powerful. It's like a gun and it's incredibly easy to be irresponsible with it. And the speed of the impact that tourism can have on a place can be quite breathtaking. It doesn't take years, it takes months. That's how quickly it works. And it can be quite a bleak thing to witness.

  • I can kid people, including myself, into believing that something on the page will work. But when you film it, you just think, "Oh ...".

  • Every dream that anyone ever has is theirs alone and they never manage to share it. And they never manage to remember it either. Not truly or accurately. Not as it was. Our memories and our vocabularies aren't up to the job.

    Alex Garland (2005). “The Coma”, p.135, Penguin
  • I do all this alone, everything I achieve, I achieve alone, because it's my head I'm locked into, and I share this space with nobody but myself.

  • I think everything I write is from an atheist perspective. I mean, it's partly from an atheist perspective because I'm an atheist, and I'm just not really interested in religious-based questions.

    "Biography/ Personal Quotes".
  • My first attempt at writing was very unstructured and formless, with shifting points of view. I was trying to understand how long form might work, and I realized I had something shapeless. It was a total car wreck. But I still felt I could pull it off. So I ditched that attempt and started writing in the opposite manner, in first person, with a driving narrative.

  • By the time the plane was airborne I'd forgotten England even existed.

    Alex Garland (2005). “The Beach”, p.92, Penguin
  • Tourists went on holidays while travellers did something else. They travelled.

  • I did keep a travel diary once and it was a big mistake. All I remember of that trip is what I bothered to write down.

    Alex Garland (2005). “The Beach”, p.149, Penguin
  • Trust me, it's paradise. This is where the hungry come to feed. For mine is a generation that circles the globe and searches for something we haven't tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It's probably worth it.

    "The Beach". February 2, 2000.
  • Waking was the most reliable part of a dream, as built into dreams as death is to life. You dream, you wake: you live, you die.

    Alex Garland (2004). “The Coma”, Riverhead Books (Hardcover)
  • I used to think about video games, "This is clearly an amazing, new narrative medium, and it's going to be mind-blowing when people get to grips with what's possible within this medium." It took us a century to get really good at film. Video games are at a much earlier stage.

  • The truth is, I hadn't grown up really wanting to be a writer. The whole thing was a weird aberration in some ways, and I didn't feel personally connected to the level of success I had with it - the success of sorts, I guess.

  • Of course witnessing poverty was the first to be ticked off the list. Then I had to graduate to the more obscure stuff. Being in a riot was something I pursued with a truly obsessive zeal, along with being tear-gassed and hearing gunshots fired in anger.

    Alex Garland (2005). “The Beach”, p.126, Penguin
  • The thing video games had to learn was to write, which is not to let people choose their own stuff, but actually prescribe it. To say, "This character is not a blank canvas that you can project onto. I'm going to tell you what this character is like. And I'm going to tell you what happens to them. You're going to feel involved in other ways." Video games made the mistake of thinking everything had to be projectable, and this doesn't do that at all.

  • Vietnam, me love you long time. All day, all night, me love you long time.

    Alex Garland (2005). “The Beach”, p.8, Penguin
  • I carry a lot of scars. I like the way that sounds. I carry a LOT of scars.

  • Personally I don't think there's any real intrinsic difference between comic books, movies, theatre, novels. I know there's sure to be some differences of some sorts. I've worked on novels, films, and video games, and in an adaptation, I guess one of the issues is that I have to be in love with the thing I'm adapting before I do it. So that can cause a problem. You can be too scared of it. You could be too reverential. But at the same time you want to try to capture this thing that you're obsessed by. You're fixated for a reason. What's the reason? You try to get ahold of it.

  • It slightly depends on your perspective, sort of how you look at these things, but when I sit down to write a script, I'm not planning to write a script; I'm planning to make a film, and so I only see the script as being just a step there.

    "Biography/ Personal Quotes".
  • The success that comes from my books is not something I feel very comfortable with. Past a certain point you have to accept the idea that the success is a lot to do with the timing and luck and that divorces you from it massively. There are aspects of it that I haven't got used to at all. But I've enjoyed some parts of it massively. It relates to the same reason I did a lot of backpacking — partly for the experience — it's something to tell my grandkids. It's a weird chain of events to have in your life.

    "Beach nut". Interview with Sue Wheat, February 11, 2000.
  • I've never been to Comic-Con, but I'm certainly aware from this side of the Atlantic that it's a very important part of film marketing now, even when the films are not directly linked to a comic.

    "Biography/Personal Quotes".
  • I don’t keep a travel diary. I did keep a travel diary once and it was a big mistake. All I remember of that trip is what I bothered to write down. Everything else slipped away, as though my mind felt jilted by my reliance on pen and paper. For exactly the same reason I don’t travel with a camera. My holiday becomes the snapshots and anything I forget to record is lost.

  • You fish, swim, eat, laze around, and everyone's so friendly. It's such simple stuff, but... If i could stop the world and restart life, put the clock back, i think I'd restart it like this. For everyone.

    Alex Garland (2005). “The Beach”, p.105, Penguin
  • I wrote a whole novel before The Beach. Unpublishable. Junk. But, for some reason I stuck at novels and wrote a second. Still not sure why I didn't give up. Stubborn, maybe.

    Interview with Dennis Widmyer, July 30, 2007.
  • As for me... I'm fine. I have bad dreams, but I never saw Mister Duck again. I play video games. I smoke a little dope. I got my thousand-yard stare. I carry a lot of scares. I like the way that sounds. I carry a lot of scares.

  • Though I walk through the valley of death I will fear no evil, for I am the evilest motherfucker in the valley

    Alex Garland (2005). “The Beach”, p.72, Penguin
  • Dream life, I realized, was only confusing when you were awake. It was from the perspective of waking life that dream life seemed fractured and lacking consequence, lacking any certainty that one thing led to another. But from within dream life, the world was generally coherent. Not exactly an unconfusing world-just no more confusing than any other.

    Alex Garland (2004). “The Coma”, Riverhead Books (Hardcover)
  • Well, if there's an infinite amount of chances for something to happen, then eventually it will happen - no matter how small the likelihood.

    Alex Garland (2005). “The Beach”, p.62, Penguin
  • The first I heard of the beach was in Bangkok, on the Ko Sanh Road.

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    Alex Garland quotes about: Beach Books Dreams Film Mistakes Perspective Travel Writing