Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Homeand Bolt the Door

Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Homeand Bolt the Door

by Lynne Truss
     
 

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"Talk to the hand, ’cause the face ain’t listening," the saying goes.

When did the world stop wanting to hear? When did society become so thoughtless? It’s a topic that has been simmering for years, and Lynne Truss says it’s now reached the boiling point. Taking on the boorish behavior that for some has become a point of pride, Talk to

Overview

"Talk to the hand, ’cause the face ain’t listening," the saying goes.

When did the world stop wanting to hear? When did society become so thoughtless? It’s a topic that has been simmering for years, and Lynne Truss says it’s now reached the boiling point. Taking on the boorish behavior that for some has become a point of pride, Talk to the Hand is a rallying cry for courtesy. Like Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Talk to the Hand is not a stuffy guidebook, and is sure to inspire spirited conversation.

Why hasn’t your nephew ever thanked you for your carefully selected gift? What makes your contractor think it’s fine to snub you in the midst of a major renovation? Why do crowds spawn selfishness? What accounts for the appalling treatment you receive in stores (if you’re lucky enough to get a clerk’s attention at all)? Most important, what will it take to roll back a culture that applauds those who are disrespectful? In a recent U.S. survey, 79 percent of adults said that lack of courtesy was a serious problem. For anyone who’s fed up with the brutality inflicted by modern manners (or lack thereof), Talk to the Hand is a colorful call to arms—from the wittiest defender of the civilized world.

Editorial Reviews

According a CNN report, 79 percent of Americans think that lack of courtesy is a serious problem. To Brighton, England, resident Lynne Truss, "serious problem" hardly covers this manners catastrophe. The famously meticulous author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves contends that rudeness is a rampant epidemic that undermines what remains of civilization. Her Talk to the Hand provides a "zero tolerance" manual on wretchedly bad behavior, from cell phone exhibitionism to "Talk to the hand, 'cause the face isn't listening" obstinacy.
Bob Morris
Do you feel unappreciated for holding doors open? Are you barely able to keep yourself from knocking down errant skateboarders? Do you ask cabdrivers to turn down radio talk shows and mutter viciously when young people saunter four abreast on the sidewalk…Well, without knocking anyone down on the way, hurry to the bookstore…for a copy of Talk to the Hand. Lynne Truss, the finger-wagging stickler from England who lamented the collapse of punctuation in Eats, Shoots & Leaves, has returned with a rant about manners.
—The New York Times Book Review
Time
Behind Truss's larky manner, she's a fiery vigilante.
New York Times
Ms. Truss's witty analysis and fussbudget tactics" are "contagious.
USA Today
Truss is an entertaining well-read scold in a culture that could use more scolding.
Boston Sunday Globe
Truss is "a reformer with the soul of a stand-up comedian."
Village Voice
You'll find her outrage supremely vindicating.
Publishers Weekly
This isn't a book about good manners, per se. Instead, the British author of Eats, Shoots and Leaves sets out "to mourn... the apparent collapse of civility in all areas of our dealing with strangers; then to locate a tiny flame of hope in the rubble." It's a plea to show some consideration to others, especially in certain areas: (1) "Was That So Hard to Say?" ("thank you"); (2) "Why am I the One Doing This?" (e.g., punching doggedly through the automated switchboard); (3) "My Bubble, My Rules" (forcing others to listen to a private conversation on a mobile phone); (4) "The Universal Eff-Off Reflex" (outrage when antisocial behavior is pointed out); (5) "Booing the Judges" (active disrespect for the umpire, the older person, anyone in authority); and (6) "Someone Else Will Clean It Up" (e.g., rubbish tossed out the car window). Truss expounds on these themes with fine ire, mordant humor and many examples, but it must be said that the result is not so much a book as a heavily padded magazine article. Not that this will bother the many book buyers who will tuck it lovingly into the Christmas stockings of their somewhat discomfited nearest and dearest. Agent, Anthony Goff. (On sale Nov. 8) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In her previous work, the best-selling Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, Truss linked proper punctuation with respect for the English language. Now, she aims her wry wit at what she sees as the incivility of everyday life in the 21st century, as exemplified by the current expression, "Talk to the hand, coz the face ain't listening." Truss examines the death of civil language, the transfer of customer service from those who serve the customers to the customers themselves, the refusal to live by any rules but one's own, the pervasiveness of profanity, the dismissal of criticism, and the universal lack of responsibility. Each examination is not merely an opportunity to rant but a thoughtful and well-researched effort to understand the behavior. Two of the most engaging (and surprising) discussions focus on the public use of cell phones and the increasingly knee-jerk use of a certain profanity, in all its variations. Although Truss makes use of some British expressions and celebrities, and indeed concentrates more on Britain than the United States, American readers can nevertheless appreciate her passion and irreverence. Highly recommended for public libraries, especially where Eats, Shoots & Leaves has been popular.-M.C. Duhig, Carnegie Lib. of Pittsburgh Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592401710
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/08/2005
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.58(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

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Frank McCourt
If Lynne Truss were Roman Catholic I'd nominate her for sainthood.
—(Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes and 'Tis)

Meet the Author

Lynne Truss is a writer and journalist who started out as a literary editor with a blue pencil and then got sidetracked. The author of three novels and numerous radio comedy dramas, she spent six years as the television critic of The Times of London, followed by four (rather peculiar) years as a sports columnist for the same newspaper. She won Columnist of the Year for her work for Women’s Journal. Lynne Truss also hosted Cutting a Dash, a popular BBC Radio 4 series about punctuation. She now reviews books for the Sunday Times of London and is a familiar voice on BBC Radio 4. She lives in Brighton, England.

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