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I See Rude People: One Woman's Battle to Beat Some Manners Into Impolite Society
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I See Rude People: One Woman's Battle to Beat Some Manners Into Impolite Society

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  347 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
We all just suck it up every day. You leave the house for a latte and somebody'll flip you the bird on your way and force their loud cellphone conversation on you once you're there.
It doesn't have to be that way, says award-winning syndicated columnist Amy Alkon. Her hilarious stories of her in-your-face encounters with rude people and businesses will inspire you to stan
Paperback, 215 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by McGraw-Hill
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I wondered while I read this - how much rudeness is justified when your excuse is that you're trying to make other people not act in a way that you consider rude?

It was also interesting how much trouble she had getting cooperation from others - maybe her own rudeness and confrontational attitude had something to do with that?
Shannon H
Jun 20, 2012 Shannon H rated it really liked it
For a non-fiction book, this was quite an enjoyable read. I read it on my Kindle, but according to Amazon, the paperback is 224 page. I went through it in under 24 hours (including the acknowledgements). So, it clearly held my attention and, while not a page-turner in the sense of a thrilling mystery or action-packed novel, I was obviously turning the pages… quickly.

I figured this would happen, since Ms. Alkon’s writing voice is, in my opinion, hilarious. It’s not that she says things I don’t th
May 17, 2010 Lauren rated it liked it
Let me begin with a complaint: two of the ruder things (at least in my opinion) that people regularly do (smoking and bathing in Axe and other stinky scented products) are not included. I consider this a major shortcoming. With that out of the way, I liked this little book and its insights into how rude modern society is and how unaware people are of how their actions affect others. But most of my enjoyment of this book stems from Ms. Alkon's determination to end modern ill manners - she's this ...more
Aug 24, 2014 Stven rated it it was ok
Whatever made me want to read this book? I can't remember. It's not very interesting. Some of the conflicts are interesting -- she's mad about public cell phone use, she's mad about police who won't investigate her stolen car even when she phones them to tell them where she just saw it, she's mad about Bank of America who give her money away to a fraudster with a fake driver's license and then won't investigate it, she's mad about getting phone calls from companies who want to waste her time -- ...more
Jun 29, 2010 Mary rated it really liked it
Very interesting! The author does seem to 'cross the line' in her effort to combat rudeness on occasion, but she has a point! And since she is a journalist, she uses her encounters in her writing. I really liked the section on how American parents have abdicated their responsibility for discipline and that the kids are in charge in many families; she compares that with French parents and it's eye-opening. She takes on Bank of America, telemarketers (charges them for the time they steal from her ...more
Mar 11, 2010 Susan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: friends, colleagues
Recommended to Susan by: NY Times
We don't have to take rudeness lying down - but be CAREFUL...

Amy Alkon seems to have a talent to stay out of the way of scary rude people, but can call the rest of them to the mat. She says what I feel. She's inspiring to those who prefer to be doormats to rudeness.

We were able to see her at a signing. It was a treat. She attracted a few hecklers, understandable. They were expecting Emily Post's granddaughter or something. This is NOT that kind of book. It's a woman's story of how SHE has tackle
Jun 03, 2013 Anne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Amy Alkon is one of the cleverest writers out there. Her wit is a sharp instrument, and she uses it not just to get a laugh here and there, but also to make you think. She's fearless as she calls rude people on their behavior - from the guy talking on his cell phone and holding up the line (because he's talking, not paying) to telemarketers who unashamedly call all hours of the day. In addition, she also goes into detail about some of the reasons we're seeing an increase of rudeness and selfish ...more
Jessica Robinson
Nov 28, 2009 Jessica Robinson rated it liked it
I could make a terrible joke about how RUDE it is for me to give this such an average rating and how I hope Alkon doesn't SEE it, but I'm not a soulless monster. Eh, the book was fun and light, despite Alkon's tendency to use the bare bones of science and psychology to support her claims. I thought her chapters were a bit disjointed and I disagreed with some of her main complaints (I don't really think that people should have to sequester themselves to talk on their cellphones so long as they're ...more
Dec 21, 2009 Laurie rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
I decided to read this book after seeing Amy Alkon, who writes the blog, on the Dr. Phil show. We all know from daily living how manners have deteriorated in recent decades, but Amy does not just sit back and take it. She speaks up. She takes pictures of cars that cut her off in traffic and posts them on her blog. She bills telemarketers for interrupting her dinner and even took one of them to court (and won!). She tracked down the thief who stole her pink Rambler and harassed ...more
Jun 08, 2014 Lisa rated it it was ok
Much of this book is a rant and the author patting herself on the back for attacking bad behavior for the good of humanity. Her willingness to relentlessly go after corporate nuisances in the form of telemarketing is amusing. The discussion of "underparented" children includes many valid points.

I had difficulty understanding, though, how publicly shaming people for inconsiderate use of cell phones was anything other than responding to bad behavior with more bad behavior. Certainly there are obn
Jul 01, 2010 Tawnya rated it it was ok
I like the idea of the Dunbar principle, holding each other accountable, and calling people out on rude behavior. I also like the idea of teaching kids restaurant manners. I didn't get the whole Bank of America chapter. It was so long and didn't fit well with the rest of the book. Worth the read? Sure.
Nov 13, 2009 Valerie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all my students
Recommended to Valerie by: the title
I bought this, because I work at a high school, and, consequently, I think about manners a lot. Her specific examples about not just taking it when people are rude to you were very inspiring. I especially liked her invoicing for time wasted, I've done that, even if you don't get money it is great fun. Check out her blog:
Jul 04, 2015 K rated it did not like it
Shelves: bpl-s-overdrive
At one point, Alkon describes a letter she's written as "co-written by the angry eighth-grader in me." That's sort of the way the whole book felt. (Also having posted other people's home phone numbers on her blog so her readers could harass them, I'm not entirely convinced she should be throwing stones about another blogger's readers leaving nasty comments on her blog.)
Oct 22, 2015 Kristin rated it did not like it
I am bothered by rude people as much as Alkon. Unfortunately for her, I also have no patience for people who whine and complain, which is what a good amount of this book is. But for the last chapter, everything is a complaint or a self-congratulatory memoir about how good she is at "getting" the bad guy.
Liz Logan
Jul 29, 2015 Liz Logan rated it it was amazing
My new idol and inspiration for creative retribution against those who do her wrong. Also: very funny.
Nov 28, 2015 Kay rated it it was amazing
This author is spot on. More people need to read this book! I was cheering her all the way thru it.
I'm sick of rudeness, and it won't get any better!
Dec 21, 2010 Traci rated it it was amazing
I love this book! The subtitle is "One woman's battle to beat some manners into impolite society." Yeah, I've felt that way quite a lot as I get older; I find myself wanting to go up to people and say "Didn't your mother teach you any better?" Seems like rude people are everywhere you turn around, making one wonder why we ever walk out our front doors in the first place.

No one is safe from Alkon: lax parents, internet bullies, rude drivers, negligent businesses, telemarketers, car thieves, and
Apr 30, 2010 Clare rated it really liked it
Sh*t! It would break my heart if I found out that author/columnist Amy Alkon didn't pick up her dog's poop.

This book fills the Revengerella part of my heart that longs to rage at cell phone users, business cheats (Bank of America, you better watch out) and "underparenting." Instead of just sitting in silence and fuming, like I tend to do, Amy Alkon takes on the people who have lost all sense of social shame and are public boors, like the people who let their dog poop on the sidewalk in front of
Heidi Ward
I'm not sure Amy Alkon and I would agree on much if we were having a political conversation, but she's fierce and right on the mark in this funny and informative book. As the title implies, she attacks America's growing solipsism and declining courtesy. Helpfully, she does it via hilarious tales that teach you how to use your brain and some basic research skills to take back your personal space, wasted time and lost money.

Cell phone oversharers? She's got that, recounting the incident and shari
Michelle Cristiani
Sep 11, 2010 Michelle Cristiani rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
Amy Alkon has balls. She takes pictures of rude drivers. She tracks down bigwigs of companies that telemarket, and calls them at home. She traces IP addresses of people who leave bullying comments on message boards. She single-handedly traced someone who stole her car, and called him until she got her car back and damages paid.

Alkon is the person we shy people cheer for, the one who shushes the loud cell-phone user, or asks the jerky kid to stop kicking her seat on a plane. She is a champion of
Cj Sime
Aug 02, 2010 Cj Sime rated it liked it
Recommended to Cj by:
Within 4 paragraphs of opening this book, I knew that I had found a kindred spirit. Though Amy Alkon uses much more colorful language than I do, I found myself nodding in agreement with her missions to get her car back as well as stop telemarketing. And if there was ever a time I would pull the "You go girl!" it would probably be on the sidelines of her fight to recivilize America.

Some musings:

1. I agree cell phone users -and frantic texters- are annoying. (though, if I am honest, I think part o
Mar 02, 2012 Dana rated it really liked it
This is a well-researched, funny, and thought provoking book. Amy tells how she has battled rude people through the years including hunting down the man who stole her car and badgering him until he returned it and taking on Bank of America when she suffered from identity theft due to their errors. In many ways, Amy herself sounds rather rude, but, objectively, what she says and does, makes sense and from the photo on the cover on the book she does NOT look like a tranny. You will have to read th ...more
Apr 08, 2011 Holyfark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amy puts rude people in their place-by sometimes being rude herself! While that might affront some people, I found it wildly hilarious and entertaining. When I correct someone out in public (and I do more often then I realized), I try to be nice, but sometimes people need a good bitch-slapping. Amy is definitely the gal to do it.

Wonderful personal stories, great advice (like freezing your credit reports), and plenty of websites for information and tools. I love that she invoices telemarketers. A
Jan 03, 2010 Judith rated it really liked it
Hilarious! Whenever you get annoyed with idiots on their cell phones, telemarketers, unruly children, bad banks, pick up this book and follow the authors lead in seeking your revenge. She has lots of good ideas about how to try to teach the world some manners. It's absolutely delightful to read about how tenaciously she has followed through with some of these clever plans, eg., charging the telemarketing company for her time, AND COLLECTING!

This book is for all of us who get annoyed at bad behav
Gail Baugniet
Jul 01, 2016 Gail Baugniet rated it really liked it
It is difficult to say how much I liked, or disliked, this book. So much of how the author dealt with situations in her life frustrated me and I could only read a chapter or two at a time. Her way is not my way. I understand her argument that if we let rude people roll over our lives, then these rude people will continue to do so.

The thing is, the way I see it anyway, is that if you call a stranger on their rudeness, they will probably stop being rude to you. But will they take out this 'tremen
Mar 02, 2015 Denise rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I love the tools and advice she offers. I enjoyed some of her anecdotes about fighting back against those who choose to disrespect in a myriad of ways. I admire her resistance to bullying of all types and her willingness to fight back and stand up for herself. I personally found some elements of her approach abrasive, but I can't determine whether it's solely because it steps WAY out of my comfort zone. I also felt like the pace of the book ...more
Mar 04, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
A fun, easy read, with some very good points about manners and the modern world. It seems like it veered off from manners into consumer horror stories (corporate manners, I guess), that were nonetheless compelling.

A few times I thought, "that is one crazy bitch" but ultimately I'm glad that she is crazy enough to pursue boorish people and companies and make them pay for their crimes against society. Because I certainly don't have the energy to do it.

I have long enjoyed Alkon's column Advice Godd
Michael Holbrook
Sep 06, 2016 Michael Holbrook rated it it was ok
A useful nugget here and there, a smile every now-and-again, but basically the author is just bragging about how she deals with personal injustice and is just so clever and smart. Well, good for her.
Nov 08, 2010 Christine rated it it was ok
If you have issues with cell phone wielders or telemarketers, then this is the book for you! While her over-the-top reactions to the noise polluters is understandable, it's interesting to see how she takes this to the next level when dealing with corporations, or thieves. Both are treated in a similar manner: Alkon illustrates that homespun justice can be effective.

To be honest, the chapter I liked best was the final one, as she discusses how doing good can make you feel happier and will spread(
Nov 29, 2009 KatieDMD rated it really liked it
Interesting take on modern society. I really enjoyed Ms. Alkon's inclusion of scientific data to explain why we behave a certain way, because it gives credibility to some of the topics she talks about. Much of the book is about her own experiences and those of her close friends/family, so there is some bias. It's very easy to read and very funny. I am also a patron of her blog/advice columns at, and am familiar with her points of view. Nevertheless, it was very enjoyable, and I ...more
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“Doubt gets a bad rap. Doubting doesn't mean you've stopped believing, but that you've started thinking. Sheep doubt nothing. Chances are you'll get further in life by questioning things than by living like something that ends up as dinner and a sweater.” 12 likes
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