Talk To The Hand…

…because the face ain’t listening.

Lynne Truss has done it again with another book. She’s picked a topic that may not be that interesting and made the book work.

I bought Talk To The Hand (TTTH) a while back and somehow it remained on the shelves, looking at me but I wasn’t listening. Then, finally, I picked it up and started reading, and I enjoyed the book. It’s not as good as Eats, Shoots and Leaves, but that’s a different kind of book and a comparison is not entirely fair.

It’s hard to describe what TTTH is about. I suppose that you could say that it’s about the lack of manners and the rudeness that’s permeated our everyday life, to borrow from the book’s tagline.

I finished reading the book in a train, where our co-passengers where engaged in a loud conversation, oblivious to our presence. What was irksome was that the conversation continued on in the night after the lights were out and we were trying to sleep. Only after we asked them to stop did they actually do so. They weren’t even aware that they were being a nuisance to others. I wanted to throw the book at them but the irony of it stopped me.

The book resonates with you precisely because you are apt to encounter these kinds of incidents wherever you are. Cellphone conversations in the movie theatre, people throwing garbage wherever they feel like it, driving without regard to rules or other drivers–these are examples that I’m sure everyone has experienced.

TTTH is written as a series of connected essays, in which Truss examines her attitudes and the attitudes of society towards the “everyday rudeness in daily life”. Truss makes the material interesting to read, while sprinkling the pages with her trademark humour. I enjoyed reading the book but I think it’s one of those books that I am not sure everyone will like.

Then again, nobody’s rushing to buy books because I said they’re good.


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