With a sudden flash of prophetic inspiration he felt he knew why there was so much evil in the world – the price you paid for being good was simply quite out of proportion, preposterously over-valued. And as prime consumers of the commodity of goodness the human race had decided that as far they were concerned they were just not prepared to pay the going rate any more. He turned over in his bed and furiously punched his pillows, tears of frustration at his own weakness pricking his eyes. That is, he thought, except for a few silly mugs, except for a few soft, stupid bastards like himself.
– A Good Man in Africa av William Boyd (s233)