50 Great Truths from the Pessimist’s Manual

50 Great Truths from the Pessimist’s Manual

Last update: 25 October, 2016

Seeing the dark side to everything can also have a place. So says Eric Marcus, the author of the Pessimist’s Manual.

Throughout his work, he has definitely managed to cause more laughter than tears, although he seeks to explore t he darker side of reality.

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Strange as it may seem, Eric Marcus is an urbanist who specializes in real estate. His grandmother found great satisfaction in seeing the negative side of life.

This inspired him to write about the worst of the worst, with a fine sense of humor.

The book compiles famous quotes by some of the world’s great minds, and others which have been created and recreated by Marcus himself.

The book jacket reads as follows: “Are you tired of smiling faces? Sick of being told: ‘Don’t worry, be happy’? Do you feel like yelling ‘Be realistic!’ back at the next person who tells you to be optimistic? You’re not alone!”

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Here are fifty of the great truths found within the Pessimist’s Manual:

  1. “What can you expect from a day that starts with getting up?” ―Wendy R. Ellner
  2. “The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he’s a baby.”Natalie Wood
  3. “There’s nothing wrong with teenagers that reasoning with them won’t aggravate.”  ―Various authors 
  4. “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.”Benjamin Franklin
  5. “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” ―Mark Twain
  6. “Quit worrying about your health. It will go away.”―Robert Orben
  7. Experience is a wonderful thing: it allows us to acknowledge a mistake every time we repeat it.
  8. “After a year of therapy, my psychiatrist said to me, “Maybe life isn’t for everyone.” ―Larry Brown
  9. “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” ―Joseph Heller
  10. “A pessimist is a person who has had to listen to too many optimists.” ―Don Marquis
  11. “Whatever you decide to do, it will probably be the wrong thing.” ―Ashleigh Brilliant
  12. “Life is easier than you’d think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, and bear the intolerable.” ―Kathleen Norris
  13. “Why torture yourself when life will do it for you?” ―Laura Walker
  14. “No good deed goes unpunished.” ―Clare Boothe Luce
  15. “It’s not true that life is one damn thing after another; it’s one damn thing over and over.” ―Edna St. Vincent
  16. “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” ―Alexander Pope
  17. “Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.” ―Lily Tomlin
  18. “Life is a tough deal where nobody gets out alive.”―Herbert Frankel
  19. “It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is rarely a mistake.” ―H.L. Mencken
  20. “When trying to make a good impression on someone, you will most assuredly commit some form of stupidity.” ―Tamara Valjean
  21. “One thing that humbles me deeply is to see that human genius has its limits while human stupidity does not.” ―Alexandre Dumas
  22. “Whenever you want to marry someone, go have lunch with his ex-wife.” ―Shelley Winters
  23. “When a husband brings his wife flowers for no reason, there’s a reason.” ―Molly McGee
  24. “There is so little difference between husbands, you might as well keep the first.” Adela Rogers St. Johns 
  25. “Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.” Maurice Chevalier
  26.  “The longer I live, the less future there is to worry about.” Ashleigh Brilliant
  27. “The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing – and then marry him.” Cher
  28. “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm(Winston Churchill).
  29. “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” ―Plato
  30. “There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.” George Bernard Shaw
  31. “One starts to get young at the age of sixty and then it is too late.” Pablo Picasso
  32. “The first half of our lives are ruined by our parents and the second half by our children.” Clarence Darrow
  33. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t the fine line between sanity and madness gotten finer?” George Price
  34. “Marriage is a story; it begins with a prince who kisses an angel and ends with a bald man staring across the table at a fat woman.” (Anonymous).
  35. “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” George Burns
  36. “Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.” Joan Crawford
  37. “Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.” Franz Kafka
  38. “Bread always falls on it’s buttered side.” English Proverb
  39. “The worthwhile problems are the ones you can really solve or help solve, the ones you can really contribute something to…. No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it.” Richard Feynman
  40. “Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  41. “When a girl marries, she exchanges the attention of many men for the inattention of one.” Helen Rowland
  42. “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” Otto von Bismarck
  43. “Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.” Mark Twain
  44. “There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey.” John Ruskin
  45. “I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.” Jackie Mason
  46. “Every man is thoroughly happy twice in his life: just after he has met his first love, and just after he has left his last one.” H. L. Mencken
  47. “One hundred thousand lemmings (rodents from Norway that hurl themselves off a cliff toward their deaths, following their leader when there is an overpopulation) can’t be wrong.” Graffito
  48.  “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” Albert Einstein
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Images courtesy of Lauren Kolodny


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.