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Talk To The Hand. The Utter Bloody Rudeness of Everyday Life [Hardcover]

Lynne Truss
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 Oct 2005
Sticklers unite! The Queen of Zero Tolerance takes on the sorry state of modern manners, in the spirit of her three million copy worldwide bestseller, Eats, Shoots & Leaves. "Talk to the hand 'cause the face ain't listening," the saying goes. When did the world get to be so rude? When did society become so inconsiderate? It's a topic that has been simmering for years, and Lynne Truss says that it has now reached boiling point. Taking on the boorish behaviour that has become a point of pride for some, Talk to the Hand is a rallying cry for courtesy. Like Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Talk to the Hand is a spirited conversation, not a stuffy guidebook. It is not about forks, for a start. Why hasn't your nephew ever thanked you for that perfect Christmas present? What makes your builder think he can treat you like dirt in your own home? When you phone a utility with a complaint (and have negotiated the switchboard), why can't you ever speak to a person who is authorised to apologise? What accounts for the appalling treatment you receive in shops? Most important, what will it take to roll back a culture that applauds rudeness and finds it so amusing? For anyone who's fed up with the brutality inflicted by modern manners (and is naturally too scared to confront the actual yobs), Talk to the Hand is a colourful call to arms - from the wittiest defender of the civilised world.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books; First Edition edition (24 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861979339
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861979339
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 318,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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'Funny and buoyant...' -- The Sunday Times, October 24, 2005

'It's a zeitgeist...people are beginning to get really fed up, so maybe we’ll have some kind of quiet revolution.' -- As seen on Richard & Judy, November 24, 2005

'Trademark Truss...(very) readable, (very) funny, (very) engaging.' -- The Observer, October 23, 2005

'a personal manifesto for our times...take its lessons to heart.' -- New Statesman, October 31, 2005

'highly perceptive, passionately argued and extremely funny...a brilliantly nailed truth about contemporary life.' -- Sunday Telegraph, October 30, 2005

About the Author

Lynne Truss is one of Britain's top comic writers and is the author of the number one bestseller Eats, Shoots & Leaves. It has sold over three million copies worldwide and won the British Book of the Year award in 2004. She has also written four comic books, Going Loco, Making the Cat Laugh, Tennyson's Gift and With One Lousy Free Packet of Seed, all available from Profile Books. She is a regular presenter on Radio 4, a Times columnist and a guest presenter for many other programmes. She lives in Brighton.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
198 of 204 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and provocative 10 Nov 2005
By A Customer
Being a fan of Lynne Truss's writing I was looking forward to reading what she had to say on modern manners, and I haven't been disappointed. Although I enjoyed Eats, Shoots and Leaves I have to confess that the issue of punctuation is not one that is close to my heart, whereas who hasn't wanted to punch the pillock having a noisy conversation on their mobile on the train, or the person who blithley ignores us as we hold open a door for them. However this book is not merely a rant, although the parts that are verging on it are probably the funniest, rather it is an attempt to understand why people today appear to be so ill-mannered. Truss explores whether it is merely perception, or if modern manners have changed then what has precipitated it and why do we feel so aggreived by it. This is something that anyone can relate to, and wrapped up in the same great writing that made Eats, Shoots and Leaves the number one read last Christmas this book will be enjoyed enormously by anyone who reads it. And you never know, it just might start the modern manners revolution!
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111 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and readable 3 Nov 2005
By B. Yeoh
Truss attacks rudeness and boorishness after her campaign on how we use punctuation today. If you liked her last book, you’ll probably like this. However, if you didn’t like her last one, I’m not sure this would convert you.
Truss is amusing and her writing is very readable. She takes on computer lingo, irresponsible mobile use, eating in public (some thing my father abhorred) and many other such social grievances.
A book to dip into and at times sympathise with. I’m sure it will make a good Christmas present, but let’s not take it too seriously else we would be forever grumpy!
As Oscar Wilde wrote in Lady Windermere's Fan
'Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.'
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Grumpy Old Women (and Men)! 1 Mar 2006
By Tealady2000 VINE VOICE
I enjoyed this book, but there's little doubt it is slip-streaming behind the highly successful 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves'. This book has much more of a 'Grumpy Old Woman' feel to it as it really is just a succession of grumbles, unlike E,S&L which had plenty of grumbles but also lots of practical advice about good punctuation. Personally I quite like these Grumpy Old So-And-So books because we all have things that irk us and it's quite nice to hear someone else articulating the same complaints. I think most people would agree that Britain is a pretty rude place these days and there are lots of funny anecdotes here. But there are some strange inconsistencies too. For example, early on in the book, Lynne Truss says she doesn't like using a title like Miss or Ms. (This means that on application forms she ticks the 'Other' box for 'Title' with the amusing consequence that she gets mail addressed to 'Other Lynne Truss'). However later on in the book she is critical of youngsters who don't address adults by any sort of title! So in summary this book is an entertaining rant against rudeness but NOT as good as E,S&L. Borrow a friend's copy rather than buying it!
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84 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A doughty follow-up for the panda lovers 24 Oct 2005
By A Customer
If you liked Eats Shoots and Leaves - and so many of us did - then you'll love this funny and pertinent appraisal of an aspect of modern life that so badly needed the Truss Treatment. There are so many things to like here. It is both an earnest and a humourous book that deals with the alienation and atomisation of the individual in an ever more crowded society that cares less and less about 'other people'. She manages to deal with the subject that more heavy-handed authors would fall foul of: she is able to negotiate the politics of the debate over rudeness without being drawn into facile class commentary or supericial assumptions about the impertinence or mannerlessness of the young. Most importantly, she achieves all this whilst raising a smile and the odd laugh, too. Great fun and thought provoking to boot.
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81 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Call To Arms For The Civilised 14 Nov 2005
…The humblest lip-reading TV viewer can spot a labio-dental fricative (or “F”) being formed on the lips of a footballer, with the result that when a permanently livid chap such as Wayne Rooney, with his veins sticking out on his neck, and jug-ears burning with indignation, hurls seventeen assorted labio-dental fricatives at the referee, there is no interpreting this as “ Actually, it was a bit of a dive, sir, but now I’ve learned my lesson and I shan’t be doing it again”. Sports is supposed to be character –forming, but people are turning out like Wayne Rooney, and we are deep trouble.
It is sentences like the one mentioned on Pages 32 and 33 that make this book a joy to behold.
Turn to page 45 and here we read:
Please, thank you, excuse me, sorry-little words, but how much they mean. Last week, a young woman sitting opposite me on a train picked up my discarded Guardian and just started reading it, and I realised afterwards that, had I wanted to do something similar, I would have used the maximum of politeness words (“ Excuse me, sorry, may I? Thank You”) instead of none at all.
What should civilised society do in the present age when the values held firm a generation ago are quickly being eroded? Here Lynne Truss takes a detailed look at modern day society and alerts us to what is wrong with it and how best to address matters that are of grave concern. The reader is urged to take a pro-active stance if he/she takes the view values are taking a downward spiral.
Social commentary at its finest!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Here's one Truss that's a ball-breaker and not a ball-supporter
I don't know about talk to the hand but there's no doubt that Lynne Truss talks through her ass (and I'm not saying she has a pet quadruped belonging to the Equidae family as her... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Taranis
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun book that makes you think...
'Eats shoots and leaves' was always going to be a hard act to follow! This is an interesting little book with some great lines, but it is a little tedious in places.
Published 16 months ago by LadyGrey
2.0 out of 5 stars Deposits Book in Recycling Bin, and Leaves
A book about how people aren't as nice as they used to be, peppered with uninteresting anecdotes. The author states how she got annoyed seeing someone wearing a T-shirt with "Bored... Read more
Published on 24 Jan 2012 by Johns
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny but depressing
This book was quite entertaining, Lynne Truss has a lovely style which is very funny and I really connect with. Read more
Published on 7 Nov 2009 by Sulkyblue
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time
Huge disappointment, even thought twice about donating it to the charity shop for fear of somebody else losing money on this rubbish.
Published on 29 Feb 2008 by I. S. Thompson
1.0 out of 5 stars Trash
This is utter trash, I can't really be bothered to write a full review becuase it doesn't deserve it. Read more
Published on 1 Sep 2007 by J. Bridge
1.0 out of 5 stars The wrong title
This book should be re-titled 'An old woman's diatribe on (British) manners', because that's basically what it is. Read more
Published on 7 Aug 2007 by ARWoollock
4.0 out of 5 stars So insightful!!!
Let us face it, we have all thought, at some point or other, that there is something alarmingly wrong with today's society! Read more
Published on 21 Mar 2007 by Nadia Al Hazmi
3.0 out of 5 stars And your point is...?
Disappointing read (or rant). It was very repetitive with no conclusion. The only interesting point she made was that we as consumers are now being made to do all the work that a... Read more
Published on 23 Feb 2007 by Felixbelix
5.0 out of 5 stars "Excuse me, do you have.."
I enquired about this title in the bookshop but the assistant was so rude to me I was momentarily blinded by bathos and fled..
Published on 25 Dec 2006 by K. M. Riches
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