Brian Kessler: What the hell did I know about California? For some people it was still a place of hopes and dreams, a chance to start over. The idea was if you could get there everything would be okay, and if it wasn’t okay there, well, it probably wasn’t going to be okay anywhere.
Early Grayce: Tell me, big shot, how you gonna write a book about something you know nothing about?
Early Grayce: Some day me and Adele be walking down the road and we’ll see your book and we’ll buy it and put it on our coffee table.
Carrie Laughlin: Too graphic. Too overt. Not suitable for mass consumption.
Early Grayce: Cold weather makes people stupid and that’s a fact.
Brian Kessler: When you dream there are no rules. People can fly. Anything can happen. Sometimes there’s a moment as you’re waking and you become aware of the real world around you, but you are still dreaming. You may think you can fly but you better not try.
Early Grayce: Reebs. That’s what we used to call them when we was kids. It’s beer spelled backwards.
Matt Kessler: Early lived in the moment. He did whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. I don’t know if I was fascinated or frightened by him.
Matt Kessler: Early seemed harmless. Primitive, but harmless. Of course the fact of the matter was he had killed his landlord less than an hour before we met him. He was even wearing the guy’s ring. Who knows what he did with the finger?
Adele: Early don’t eat breakfast. He thinks its a conspiracy put together by the cereal people.
Carrie: He hits you?
Adele: Oh, only when I deserve it.
Brian Kessler: When you first meet people all you notice are the differences between you and them, but as time passes you start noticing the similarities. I guess that’s how all friendships begin.
Adele Corners: He has the eyes of an angel.
Brian Kessler: He can’t help the way he was raised,I feel sorry for him.
Brian Kessler: I’ll never know why Early Grayce became a killer. I don’ know why any of them did. When I looked into his eyes I felt nothing, nothing. That day I learned any one of us is capable of taking another human life. But I also learned there is a difference between us and them: it’s feeling remorse. Dealing with it. Confronting a conscience. Early never did.
Brian Kessler: I remember once going on a school trip to the top of the Empire State Building. When I looked down at the crowds of people on the street they looked like ants. I pulled out a penny and some of us started talking about what would happen if I dropped it from up there and it landed on someone’s head. Of course I never crossed that line and actually dropped the penny. I don’t think Early Grayce even knew there was a line to cross.
Brian Kessler: I’d always wanted to be a writer, but there’s a big difference between writing a magazine article and writing a book. I know I wrote a magazine article. Everything I ever wanted to know about serial killers fit nicely on those four pages. The article got me a book deal with a little cash up front, but between the rent and the convertible the advance was gone. I owed a book and I was stuck. What little I knew about serial killers I learned in a university library. The only thing I knew for certain was that people didn’t kill each other in libraries.