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Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss
  

Talk to the Hand

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Following on from her bestselling book on punctuation, Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss turns her attention to the sorry state of modern manners with equal wit. She is fast becoming a national treasure.

If you like Lynne Truss you might also like to read books by Arabella Weir and Clare Brown.

Synopsis

Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss

“Talk to the hand âcause the face ainât listening,” the saying goes. When did the world get to be so rude? When did society become so inconsiderate? Itâs 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 hasnât 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 canât 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 whoâs 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.

Reviews

‘Talk to the Hand … seems, like Eats, Shoots & Leaves, to have tapped into a vein ­â€“ itâs a zeitgeist. People are beginning to get really fed up, so maybe weâll have some kind of quiet revolution.â
— Judy Finnegan, Richard and Judy

About the Author

Lynne Truss

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 also a regular presenter on Radio 4 and a guest presenter for many other programmes. She lives in Brighton.

Below is a Q & A with this author.

Do you have a favourite punctuation mark?

I do! When I was writing Eats, Shoots & Leaves, I remember saying that this was going to be a new experience for me, because usually (when I was writing plays or novels) I would fall in love with one of the characters. “No chance of that this time,” I said. But in fact I fell in love with the colon. I realised how manly it was. However, I think you have to be a very strange or special person to understand what I mean by that.

What is the most embarrassing mistake you have ever made?

It’s not very good, I’m afraid. I was about 22, and at a party, talking to some parents about whether they should get some injections for their kids, and I said it was probably very important to have them intoxicated. I meant innoculated, you see. I felt like killing myself afterwards.

What is the worst mistake you have ever seen?

I don’t recall. I try to remember only the funny ones. The funniest one I know about is “RESIDENTS REFUSE TO GO IN THE BINS”.

Aside from errors in punctuation and bad manners, do you have any other pet hates?

I don’t actually hate punctuation errors: they make me sad. Meanwhile, the rudeness of the modern world (which was the subject of my last book, Talk to the Hand – it wasn’t just about manners) also makes me more suicidal than angry. However, since you ask, what I do really hate is cyclists on pavements. Or cyclists sailing across pdestrian crossings when the lights are against them. Or cyclists going the wrong way down a one-way street. I would like new laws passed so that citizens would be within their rights to push cyclists off their bikes, if discovered committing any of those outrages.

What is the furthest you have ever gone to correct someone’s punctuation?

Sorry, I don’t go out of my way at all to correct punctuation. Occasionally, if I’m feeling very larky, I will correct a sign and then add my signature underneath – sort-of like the mark of Zorro. But I actually don’t go around correcting people in a serious way, because I know it hurts their feelings.

What are you reading at the moment?

Because I’m just starting to write my first stage play, I’ve been reading a lot of plays; also books about playwriting. Alan Ayckbourn’s The Crafty Art of Playwriting is full of good advice. I’ve just read Lionel Shriver’s Double Fault (a novel about tennis players), and a new American biography of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. Last night, I started Julia Briggs’s book about Virginia Woolf, which looks great. Julia Briggs gave a talk about the book at the Charleston Literary Festival in May that was quite the most impressive talk I’ve ever been to.

What was your favourite childhood book?

I loved Pooh best, I think. But Lewis Carroll has had the most lasting effect on my imagination, and I often invoke the Alice books, assuming that everyone knows them off by heart, as I do. When I was about ten, I learned all the poems – “Jabberwocky”, “The Walrus and the Carpenter”, “You Are Old, Father William” – and recited them to my bored classmates. I do see Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as one of the most important books ever written.

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Book Info

Publication date

14th October 2006

Author

Lynne Truss

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Author's Website

www.lynnetruss.com/

Publisher

Profile Books Ltd

Format

Paperback

Categories

The Real World
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ISBN

9781861979797

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