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The Diviners

Critique • Quotes • At the movies

The Diviners, first editionFirst edition
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First publication

Literature form


Writing language

Author's country

Approx. 182,000 words

Notable lines

The river flowed both ways.

— First line

"By their garbage shall ye know them," Christie yells like a preacher, a clowny preacher. "I swear, by the ridge of tears and by the valour of my ancestors, I say unto you, Morag Gunn, lass, that by their bloody goddamn fucking garbage shall ye christly well know them. The ones who eat only out of tins. The ones who have to wrap the rye bottles in old newspapers to try to hide the fact that there are so goddamn many of them. The ones who have fourteen thousand pills bottles the week, now. The ones who will be chucking out the family albums the moment the grandmother goes to her ancestors. The ones who're afraid to flush the safes down the john, them with flush johns, in case it plugs the plumbing and Melrose Maclaren has to come and get it unstuck and might see, as if Mel would give the hundredth part of a damn. I tell you, girl, they're close as clams and twice as brainless. I see what they throw out, and I don't care a shit, but they think I do, so that's why they cannot look at me...."


We think there is one planet called Earth, but there are thousands, even millions, like a snake shedding its skin every so often, but with all the old skins still bunched around it. You live inside the creature for quite a while, so it comes as a shock to find you're living now in one of the husked-off skins, and sometimes you can touch and know about the creature as it is now and sometimes you can't.


Morag returned to the house, to write the remaining private and fictional words, and to set down her title.

— Last line


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