The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure

The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure

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by Catherine Blyth
     
 

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Read Catherine Blyth's posts on the Penguin Blog.

Reclaim the pleasures and possibilities of great conversation with this sparkling guide from the witty pen of an Englishwoman wise to its art

Every day we use cell phones and computers to communicate, but it's easy to forget that we possess a communication technology that has been inSee more details below

Overview

Read Catherine Blyth's posts on the Penguin Blog.

Reclaim the pleasures and possibilities of great conversation with this sparkling guide from the witty pen of an Englishwoman wise to its art

Every day we use cell phones and computers to communicate, but it's easy to forget that we possess a communication technology that has been in research and development for thousands of years. Catherine Blyth points out the sorry state of disrepair that conversation has fallen into-and then, taking examples from history, literature, philosophy, anthropology, and popular culture, she gives us the tools to rebuild.

The Art of Conversation isn't about etiquette, elocution, or knowing how to hold your teacup with your little finger crooked just so. It's about something simple and profound: connecting. Conversation costs nothing, but can bring you the world, because it transcends the ability to talk to anyone. What transforms encounters into adventures is how we listen, laugh, flirt, and flatter. Blyth celebrates techniques for reading and changing minds, whether you're in a bar or a boardroom.

As Alexander Pope nearly wrote, "True ease in talking comes from art, not chance, as those move easiest who have learned to dance." When you have read The Art of Conversation, you'll not only know the steps, but hear the music like never before.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

British journalist Blyth was once described as "the person you hope you'll find at the next cocktail party-or the person you'd like to be." The next best thing is a close encounter with Blyth on the printed page. Adopting a chatty, conversational manner to write about conversation, Blyth mixes personal anecdotes into a salmagundi of selected quotes from anthropology, history, literature, philosophy and pop culture to analyze and give advice on the dynamics of good conversation, not to mention the perfect riposte for every situation. She examines everything from small talk to pillow talk, from riotous raconteurs to crashing bores, from flattery to false smiles. The key is listening: "Good conversation is a team sport; pace and energy keep it alive." Blyth probes layers of language, humor as social engineering, baiting, lies, flirting, evasions and failed shoptalk, such as how "miscommunication lost Xerox the PC." Witty, eloquent and insightful, Blyth's book is a delightful encouragement to rediscover conversation as the best communication technology. (Jan.)

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From the Publisher
"In this handy guide to civilized banter, Blyth reintroduces the craft of modern discourse."
Elle

"The Art of Conversation will make your next foray into a bar or business reception much more entertaining [...] it will help both wallflowers and those lost in cyberspace achieve conversational connections."
Los Angeles Times

"Witty, eloquent and insightful, Blyth's books is a delightful encouragement to rediscover conversation as the best communication technology."
Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440685491
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/26/2008
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
248,620
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"In this handy guide to civilized banter, Blyth reintroduces the craft of modern discourse."
-Elle

"The Art of Conversation will make your next foray into a bar or business reception much more entertaining [...] it will help both wallflowers and those lost in cyberspace achieve conversational connections."
-Los Angeles Times

"Witty, eloquent and insightful, Blyth's books is a delightful encouragement to rediscover conversation as the best communication technology."
-Publishers Weekly

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