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Talk To The Hand Unabridged Cd by Lynne…

Talk To The Hand Unabridged Cd (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Lynne Truss

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1,981503,409 (3.36)52
Title:Talk To The Hand Unabridged Cd
Authors:Lynne Truss
Info:Penguin Audio USA (2005), Edition: Abridged, Audio CD
Collections:Read but unowned, Stewart's Read
Tags:Y08, culture

Work details

Talk to the Hand : The Utter Bloody Rudeness of Everyday Life (or six good reasons to stay home and bolt the door) by Lynne Truss (2005)



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Wow, I can't remember being this disappointed with a book...well, I was going to say "in a long time," but I might more accurately say "ever." In terms of disparity between my expectations and the reality, this is the most disappointing book I've ever read. I give it one star, and a glance over my reviews will demonstrate that I almost never do that.

I read, and loved, Truss's previous work, [b:Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation|8600|Eats, Shoots & Leaves The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation|Lynne Truss|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1309285488s/8600.jpg|854886]. It was funny, erudite, and most importantly, it was self-righteous and self-important in exactly the right places and right amounts. That it dealt with a topic dear to my heart (the gradual erosion of literacy through shoddy grammar and punctuation) only made it more enjoyable for me.

So when I sat down to read Talk to the Hand, I expected something similar: a humorous yet fiery diatribe, rich with research and examples, only in this case railing against the decline of personal manners rather than grammar. What I got was a crotchety, unfunny whine-fest that continually tried to extrapolate bad manners into low overall moral character. She takes the flamethrower to entire armies of strawmen in this book, as I've simply never met anyone as rude as some of her examples. Her stories about eight-year old kids cussing out their parents in public sound exactly like the "what is our country coming to" chain e-mails I used to get forwarded to me by my fifty-something aunts and cousins years ago, and they ring horribly false. In addition, she lets some rather ugly biases slip with blithe references to "shaven-headed bling bling gangstas" and such.

Worst of all, this wasn't even a fun read. Unlike her last book, which was so stuffed with content that the pages flew by, this one dragged and was amazingly repetitive. Honestly, I was a little worried when I found myself fighting the temptation to skim the end of the introduction, thinking "OK, I get it, I get it, I get it..." This book felt like a 20-page magazine article stretched into a 200-page book. And Truss's decision to sanitize the word fuck into Eff (e.g. Eff this, Eff you, you Effing such-and-such) was jarring, off-putting, and made large stretches of the book just plain annoying to slog through. All in all, this was a grumpy, miserable, spittle-flecked little book, and I can't discourage you strongly enough from picking it up. Stick to the book with the pandas on the cover. ( )
  benjamin.duffy | Jul 28, 2013 |
Listened to this on audio. Very short and entertaining. More of a comment on British society than ours, but makes you think about the value of simple kindness and courtesy. ( )
  goygirrl | May 1, 2013 |
Hilarious skewering of today's rudeness epidemic. Funny, in England they think we're still polite in the US! ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Essays (first published as a newspaper or magazine column, I believe) by the author of [b:Eats Shoots and Leaves|12795634|Eats, Shoots and Leaves|Lynne Truss|http://www.goodreads.com/images/nocover-60x80.jpg|17943719]. As often happens with this sort of thing, the essays, which are doubtless quite enjoyable when read one at a time, begin to pall when read all in a clump. Good for curmudgeons. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
Not quite as electrifying (personally) as Eats, Shoots & Leaves, but quite enjoyable all the same. I particularly enjoyed Truss's criticism of automated phone recordings (e.g. when you call the cable company), and how, despite the multitude of polite words the automated voices use, these systems are the opposite of polite because they do not attempt to meet the customer halfway; they are entirely for the company's convenience. Her examination of private/public space was also interesting; with the advent of cell phones, ipods, tablets, etc., people act as if they are in private even when they are in public, and expect to be left alone in their personal space bubble.

"It is no accident...that adherence to 'manners' has broken down just as money and celebrity have largely replaced birth as the measure of social status." (12)

...all the important rules surely boil down to one: remember you are with other people; show some consideration. (12)

Manners were never enforceable, in any case. Indeed, for many philosophers, this is regarded as their chief value: that they are voluntary. (13)

Manners are about imagination, ultimately. They are about imagining being the other person. (24)

When you ask, "Why?" these days, you instantly lose status. Asking, "Why?" usually signals the end of all meaningful exchange. So they get away with it, the bastards. (75)

Count the role models for respectfulness, and...you will have to admit there is only one: Babe. That's it. Just one small sturdy imaginary sheep-pig stands between us and total moral decay. (172-173) ( )
  JennyArch | Apr 3, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Talk to the Hand does occasionally read like a thank-you letter extended ambitiously to the second side of the notepaper. Yet it addresses an important subject with intelligence and humour, and for that we should certainly be grateful.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Independent, Susie Boyt (Nov 4, 2005)
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Other people are quite dreadful. The only possible society is oneself.

Oscar Wilde
An apology is a gesture through which an individual splits himself into to parts: the part that is guilty of the offense, and the part that dissociates itself from the delict and affirms a belief in the offended rule.

Erving Goffman
Fuck off, Norway.

Paul Gasciogne, on being asked if he had a message for the people of Norway.
First words
If you want a short-cut to an alien culture these days, there is no quicker route than to look at a French phrase book. (Introduction)
The trouble with traditional good manners, as any fool knows, is judging where to draw the line.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143058037, Audio CD)

Sticklers unite! The Queen of Zero Tolerance takes on the sorry state of modern manners in the spirit of her one-million-copy-selling, number-one New York Times bestseller, Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

Unabridged CDs - 2 CDs, 3 hours

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:06:27 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

An evaluation of the way discourteous behavior has become commonplace and even applauded in today's society is a humorous call to arms that challenges ill manners and the practices that support them.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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Average: (3.36)
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