17 Memorable The Stranger in the Lifeboat Quotes by Mitch Albom

Check out Mitch Albom's The Stranger in the Lifeboat quotes which explore the question: to save your life, what are you willing to believe?

When I travel, I like to read a book that’s on theme for the trip. In Paris, I read Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, when I’m at the lake, I pick up Thoreau’s Walden or Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and when I was last in Las Vegas, I reached for Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale.

This December while cruising through the western Caribbean, I found myself in search of a book. Anchored near what would normally be sunny Belize, the skies were heavy with rain and a storm was heading our way.

I parked myself in a covered, secluded corner of the mostly empty pool deck, ordered a Dark & Stormy, and downloaded The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom.

The stranger in the lifeboat quotes mitch album

The novel focuses on the lives of ten people struggling to survive in a lifeboat after their ship explodes. After 3 days adrift, they pull on board a new survivor who claims to be “the Lord,” but he can only save them if they all believe he is who he says he is.

While the book is about the various personalities in the lifeboat and their psychological struggles to process and cope with their dire situation, the book also contains several twists that further complicate matters.

I wouldn’t say that I loved the book, but I did find it incredibly thought-provoking. It was particularly effective as from time to time, I would look out towards the open sea stretching out in front of me. I would try to imagine what it would be like to be out in that liquid vastness for days in one of these small lifeboats.

I hope I never get to find out.

With that chilling thought, here are the most notable The Stranger in the Lifeboat quotes by Mitch Albom with chapter and page numbers included.

17 The Stranger In The Lifeboat Quotes by Mitch Albom

1.“The distance between death and life is not as great as you imagine.” “Really?” Yannis turned his way. “Then why don’t people come back to Earth after they die?” The stranger smiled. “Why would they want to?” Chapter 1, pg. 32

2. “It has always been a mystery to me, Annabelle, how beauty and anguish can share the same moment.” Chapter 2, pg. 35

3. “I wonder if this is what dying is like, Annabelle. At first, you are so tightly connected to the world you cannot imagine letting go. In time, you surrender to a drifting phase. What comes next, I cannot say. Some would say that you meet the Lord.” Chapter 2, pg. 46

4. “The power of misery is its long shadow. It darkens everything within view.” Chapter 3, pg. 62

5. “…the sight of most of us in dress clothes, now soaked and ripped as we huddled inside a raft, was a grim reminder of how little the natural world cares for our plans.” Chapter 4, pg. 87

6. “Maybe laughter after someone dies is the way we tell ourselves that they are still alive in some way. Or that we are.” Chapter 4, pg. 91

7. “It is a unique suffering to be denied the thing your body most craves. All your concentration funnels down to one thought: How can I get it?” Chapter 4, pg. 96

8. “Worry is something you create.” “Why would we create worry?” “To fill a void.” “A void of what?” “Faith.” Chapter 4, pg. 96

9. “We all know we are going to die, but deep down, we don’t believe it. We secretly think there will be a late reprieve, a medical advance, a new drug that staves off our mortality. It’s an illusion, of course, something to shield us from our fear of the unknown. But it only works until death presents itself so plainly that you cannot ignore it.” Chapter 5, pg. 111

10. “After she died, I felt heavy all the time. My breathing was labored, my posture stooped. I worried that I was ill. I realize now this was merely the weight of love that had nowhere to go.” Chapter 6, pg. 140

The stranger in the lifeboat quotes

11. “It takes so much to make you feel big in this world. It only takes an ocean to make you feel tiny.” Chapter 7, pg. 156

12. “When someone passes, Benjamin, people always ask, ‘Why did God take them?’ A better question would be ‘Why did God give them to us?’ What did we do to deserve their love, their joy, the sweet moments we shared?” Chapter 12, pg. 241

13. “Beginnings and endings are earthly ideas. I go on. And because I go on, you go on with me. Feeling loss is part of why you are on Earth. Through it, you appreciate the brief gift of human existence, and you learn to cherish the world I created for you. But the human form is not permanent. It was never meant to be. That gift belongs to the soul.” Chapter 12, pg. 241

14. “Despair has its own voice. It is a prayer unlike any other.” Chapter 13, pg. 254

15. “Survive this voyage. And once you do, find another soul in despair. And help them.” Chapter 13, pg. 256

16. “This world can be a trying place, Inspector. Sometimes you have to shed who you were to live who you are.” Epilogue, pg. 265

17. “In the end, there is the sea and the land and the news that happens between them. To spread that news, we tell each other stories. Sometimes the stories are about survival. And sometimes those stories, like the presence of the Lord, are hard to believe. Unless believing is what makes them true.” Epilogue, pg. 267

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