Saturday, June 12, 2010

Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss

Released: 2005

Talk to the Hand's subtitle is "The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door". Author Lynne Truss (who wrote bestselling Eats, Shoots, and Leaves about grammar gripes) presents a formal rant about rudeness in today's society.

This book was given to me as a gift from a fellow bookcrosser after I was rudely bashed in a forum on a website I will not mention here. Internet rudeness is nearly its own entity in the world of manners as people can remain anonymous and hide behind a computer to say things that would get their lights punched out if they were to say them in person.

Nevertheless, I read Talk to the Hand expecting humorous, uplifting stories and accounts of rudeness I could relate to, but I regret to say this book didn't have many of these elements. The book reads more like a personal essay on rudeness and covers only a few incidents already widely and globally acknowledged; such as talking on cell phones loudly in public and holding doors open for people without receiving thank-yous.

Furthermore, the content of Talk to the Hand just isn't very interesting or engaging, and does not provide any deep insights or breakdowns of why society is ruder now than ever before. Although the intelligent reader can speculate why rudeness occurs, this book won't be very helpful to people who are truly baffled by it and want answers and explanation.

Although Talk to the Hand's title is very appealing, my interest is not even piqued enough to read Eat, Shoots, and Leaves despite poor grammar being another pet peeve of mine! Sorry Lynne.

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


  1. I recently read Talk to the Hand, and I completely agree with you that it wasn't a particularly good book (my review). However, I hope you'll give Eat, Shoots and Leaves a chance sometime, because it is everything Talk... isn't; funny, smart and educational.

    I have another one of Truss' books on my shelf, called Tennyson's Gift - a farce with appearances by Alfred Lord Tennyson and Lewis Carroll, among others. It will be interesting to see if she can pull that one off.

  2. I read your review on your site too - and I suppose I'll give Eats, Shoots & Leaves a try after all...but only if I find a super cheap copy. ;)


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