- Government wars aren't my wars; they've got nowt to do with me, because my own war's all that I'll ever be bothered about.
- I realized it might be possible to do such a thing, run for money, trot for wages on piece work at a bob a puff rising bit by bit to a guinea a gasp and retiring through old age at thirty-two because of lace-curtain lungs, a football heart, and legs like varicose beanstalks.
- "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner", from New and Collected Stories (1958; repr. London: Robson, 2003), p. 24.
- Everybody thinks they'll never get married at your age. So did Jack, he told me. You think you can go on all your life being single, I remember he said, but you suddenly find out that you can't.
- Whatever people say I am, that's what I'm not.
- You can always rely on a society of equals taking it out on the women.
- The Death of William Posters (London: W. H. Allen, 1965), p. 87.
- Few writers who have managed to acquire his reputation can have been so much at the mercy of crude emotion.
- Makes Room at the Top look like a vicarage tea-party.
- The Daily Telegraph, reviewing Saturday Night and Sunday Morning; cited from The Bookseller, October 25, 1958, p. 1641.
- Also used as a tagline for the 1960 film adaptation.