Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, ... Cover Art

Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door (Hardcover)

By: Lynne Truss

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Editorial Reviews
Lynne Truss is the pundit of pet peeves. She's taken on the ignorance of basic grammar with Eats, Shoots & Leaves, now she bravely rallies against the abysmal state of manners. And while she uses the Jerry Springer-esque phrase of 'talk to the hand' as her title, it's obvious she'd like to have snarkily dubbed it "Learn Some Effing Manners People!"--only she's too polite to do so. (It should be noted that while she's shocked by 6-year-olds using the f -word, she's hopeful that it's so overused that it'll soon sink into obsolescence.) To hammer across her points on politesse, Truss pulls quotations from an astonishing range of sources. Sociologist Erving Goffman is a favorite, but the Simpsons (of cartoon fame, not Jessica & Ashlee), Evelyn Waugh, and W.B. Yeats are also tapped. What her rant boils down to though is unsurprising: modern communication is at the root of rude behavior. Mobile phones and iPods have left us existing in our own little "bubble worlds," she says. "It used to be just CIA agents with earpieces…who regarded all the little people as irrelevant scum. Now it's nearly everybody." These self-produced bubbles make it easy for rudeness to rule. If someone forgets to hold a door or say "Thank you," it's because, Truss says, they're zoned out in their personal space, and will likely be offended if their lack of manners is pointed out. (The ruder the person, she says, the more easily offended.) Truss certainly earns many chuckles throughout her somewhat rambling musings, but her concern about society's decline is serious. To that end, she offers the words of Willy Loman's wife in Arthur Miller's most famous play on modern-day morality (and we all remember what happens in its last act): "Attention must be paid."--Erica Jorgensen

A Note from Lynne Truss

Dear Amazon customer and fellow stickler,

There’s an odd thing I’m finding about my new book, Talk to the Hand. The moment I start describing it to people ("Basically, it’s about the rudeness of everyday life – "), they jump straight in with stories about all the rudeness they’ve encountered in the past ten years. When I was trying to tell people about punctuation, engaging their attention was a victory. Well, not this time. "And another thing!" they say, banging the table. "What about cell phones? What about cold callers?" I make a feeble stab at outlining my six good reasons to stay home and bolt the door, also my theory of the alienation of modern life, which is that fundamentally we expect to be met half-way in our dealings with strangers and are continually shocked that this courtesy no longer pertains – but who am I kidding? I never get further than the first good reason (the decline of "please", "thank you", and "excuse me") because people are agreeing so vehemently, and I’m saying "Absolutely" and "You’re right" and "Actually, some of this is in the book." The thing is: there is nothing original in being against rudeness. Everyone is against rudeness. In fact, very, very rude people object to it strongly. But why does it matter to us so much? Are we so scared of other people? Why do we spend so much of our time saying, "Oh, that’s so RUDE"? All I can say is, you could find out from reading the book! But if you'd rather not, best wishes to all sticklers.

Your special pal,

Lynne Truss

The Lynne Truss Collection

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: 2006 Calendar

Making the Cat Laugh

Short Desription

“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.

Praise for Lynne Truss's #1 New York Times bestseller Eats, Shoots and Leaves:

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

“Ms. Truss's witty analysis and fussbudget tactics” are “contagious.”
—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Her scholarship is impressive and never dry."
—Edmund Morris, The New York Times Book Review

"Truss brings a droll sensibility to that driest of topics […] She's a reformer with the soul of a stand-up comedian."
—Jan Freeman, Boston Sunday Globe

"You can't help but be seduced by Truss's passion."
—Mary Ambrose, Boston Sunday Globe

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