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Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door
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Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  3,010 Ratings  ·  464 Reviews
The author takes on boorish behaviour and why people behave the way they do.
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published November 8th 2005 by Gotham (first published January 1st 2005)
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Benjamin Duffy
Aug 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: humor, non-fiction
Wow, I can't remember being this disappointed with a book...well, I was going to say "in a long time," but I might more accurately say "ever." In terms of disparity between my expectations and the reality, this is the most disappointing book I've ever read. I give it one star, and a glance over my reviews will demonstrate that I almost never do that.

I read, and loved, Truss's previous work, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. It was funny, erudite, and most imp
Oct 06, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics-history
I loved Truss's first book. Her outrage at the misuse of apostrophes was appealing but also beguiling because it was so over-the-top with tongue placed firmly in cheek. This book, however, was validating (though not funny) when it was right, but worrisome when it became too far-sweeping and crotchety about social classes.

Everyone loves to feel justified in their outrage after feeling disrespected by strangers or the general public, but attacking entire classes of people (the workers, the fans,
I loved this book! I'll write a proper review soon! Fantastic read!

One of my favorite parts of this book is the authors list of reasons to show special politeness to other people that have nothing to do with class. Here's the list -

1 they are older
2 they know more than you do
3 they know less than you do
4 they got here first
5 they have educational qualifications in the subject under consideration
6 you are in their house
7 they once helped you financially
8 they have been good to you all your lif
Ivonne Rovira
May 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: only curmudgeons who loathe the young
I blame myself. Or as author Lynne Truss would have it, I blame my Effing self. I should have been wise to the kind of book Talk to the Hand: #?*! The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door would prove to be: the lament of the agéd against the young. But somehow I never even saw it coming.

Talk to the Hand rapidly degenerates into a diatribe against Generations X, Y and the Millenials.
Point out bad manners to anyone younger than thirty-five,
You know, it's very easy to read Lynne Truss--she writes smooth and amusing prose, and you're halfway through the book before you realize that it isn't going ANYWHERE.

If this woman hadn't already written a bestseller that actually gives reasonable advice I don't *really* think any editor would have considered publishing this grouchy and extended rant about nothing. Half of it doesn't even have to do with politeness (her supposed topic), or lack thereof, but about the author's personal dislikes o
Sep 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
After witnessing a congressman shout out "You lie" to a sitting US president on the news, a rapper rudely interrupt another singer's acceptance award, various sports figures acting childishly, this book is a breath of fresh air. It confirms that not all of us in today's society accept the common rudeness so commonly displayed in this day and age.

This book is also a fun read, much like Ms. Truss' "Eats, Shoots & Leaves". It's a fast read and not easily put down! Though it's not a "manners" bo
Apr 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fogies and hooligans alike
Shelves: nonfiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
From the author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to PunctuationThis was her follow up. It was okay but there really wasn't enough material for a whole book. Should've just been a clever(if occasionally whiny) article. So rather than a review, I'm just going to share my own thoughts on rudeness, society, and other things.

In my neighborhood, there is a small business whose name is based on that lovely saying, "Talk to the hand." Think a bakery called 'Talk to the Flan' or
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book quite a bit, but I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone under the age of 30. In fact, I might not even recommend it to anyone under the age of 45, and even then, only if the person is slightly cranky and curmudgeonly. Personally, I found the jokes hilarious in their overwrought-ness and flair for the disgruntled dramatic. Truss explores people today, our culture of rudeness, and how badly misbehaved we all are (Except for me. I'm great. It's everyone else who is the problem ...more
Feb 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Best buck I ever spent! Literally, this book cost me a dollar at Family Dollar in Providence (hurry and get a copy!). As I was flipping through it out of curiosity, a few things caught my eye so I figured that for a dollar I couldn't really go wrong.

This book has it all. It is hilarious, laugh out loud funny--mainly, I believe, because the author is British and Brits have such a way with words. It's also insightful, revealing, and thought-provoking. I found myself at once relieved to hear from
Mar 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Author Truss brought us "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves" and now brings us "Talk to the Hand.." Respect, courtesy, kindness, and consideration are discussed here. Current society all over the world is generally rude, impatient, lax, condescending, and disrespectful (I think we are all aware of this, but if we we are, then why is this problem still so prevalent?). My favorite lines include:
- "...the individual personality wastes no time bolstering its defenses"
- "... it's become fashionable never to lo
Nov 19, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a 200 page rant (the author acknowledges this) against the death of courtesy in our society. And she's right She talks about such discourtesies as talking on cell phones in restaurants, movie theaters, etc. She talks about having conversations interrupted when the other participant in the conversation takes a call on her cell. She talks about the overall rude behavior of clerks, waiters, cashiers, etc. Other subjects include the modern trend of companies to foist their work off onto the ...more
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lynne Truss's "Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door" is a thoughtful, and at times, sarcastic and caustic, look at the decline of good manners in western society. As she states near the end of the book, "Rudeness is bad. Manners are good." She argues, quite forcibly, that by showing good manners people are giving respect toward others. Even some empathy factors in how we conduct ourselves in society. There is a moral r ...more
Nov 22, 2007 rated it liked it
From a blog post I wrote in 2005:

I adored Lynn Truss' first book, Eat, Shoots & Leaves. It was a great rant against the deterioration of our grammar skills. As someone who cringes every time she sees people use 'loose' instead of 'lose', 'you're' instead of 'your' or 'irregardless' in any fashion I found myself agreeing with every word of that text.

Truss' new book, Talk to the Hand - The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door, is another
Jun 01, 2007 rated it liked it
The Queen of Apostrophe turns into Ms. Manners, even though she swears that this book is not a manners manual. She also swears that she’s not some grumpy old woman. She just wants to rant about how eff-ing rude everyone has become. For a book that complains about rudeness, there’s plenty of F-word for you in this book.

Turss attempts at some humor in this book, but to be fair to her, I don’t think her main point was being funny. A lot of people seem to be disappointed that this book is not as ha
Jan 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Punctuation maven Lynne Truss (author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves) takes a stab at rudeness, ubiquitous in society today. Her book is very funny in spots and deadly serious in others, becoming a bit of a diatribe at times, but Truss is dead on in targeting this pervasive problem. If you mourn the disappearance of please, thank you, you're welcome, excuse me, and I'm sorry, and often wonder why parents tolerate outrageous public behavior in their little darlings, this book is for you!
May 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2010
Yuck. What a whiner.
Ben Goodridge
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I guess it was too much to ask that a book about the rise of cultural rudeness wouldn't get preachy here and there. It takes a pretty thick skin to go forth into modern society these days; as social observation, the book is pretty good, but as advice, some finger-wagging is bound to be inevitable. It might be literally impossible to write about etiquette without placing yourself higher on the social scale than those you want to inform.

Outrage is addictive, as anyone who watches a family member f
Dimitris Hall
Got this one in 2010 in Dundee, Scotland for £1.99 from a shop called The Works. Why can't there be such massive book sales in Greece? For all the uncouthness Talk to the Hand wants to subscribe them to, the Brits seem to know perfectly well the importance of a cheap book.

The following two excerpts are two of the parts I thought were interesting in this otherwise unmemorable book:

...meanwhile the choice impulse is being exploited to the utmost degree. "More choice than ever before!" say the adve
Christian Schwoerke
Oct 17, 2015 rated it liked it
This very easy-to-read, entertaining, seemingly desultory discourse has a very serious subject, which can be summed up as an appeal for the virtues of civility, living life socially with others in ways that indicate shared concern for each other. Since making a direct appeal to others for better behavior is very un-English—they still haven’t forgiven E. M. Forster for blurting out “just connect”—Truss must illustrate just how easy it would be to either become a hermit or push a button that erase ...more
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I liked Truss' first book about grammar "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" which was hilarious. So when I saw this book at the bookstore selling for a discounted price, I snatched it up. It's a plea to show some consideration to others, especially in certain areas: (1) "Was That So Hard to Say?" ("thank you"); (2) "Why am I the One Doing This?" (e.g., punching doggedly through the automated switchboard); (3) "My Bubble, My Rules" (forcing others to listen to a private conversation on a mobile phone); (4) ...more
Sandra Visser
For hundreds of years, we have had books on manners. The subject preoccupies us. What is acceptable behaviour? After how long should you write your thankyou note? What sort of wedding gift is appropriate for the second marriage of a widowed ex-hermit, twelfth in line to the throne, whose fiancée is set to inherit all of Wiltshire south of Devizes?

Talk to the Hand is not a book about manners or etiquette. It is about the rudeness of the modern world, and the sense of outrage that infects us every
Jun 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
Talk to the Hand. Lynne Truss. 2005. Gotham Books. 202 pages. ISBN 1592401716.

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 & 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. Interne
Lynne Truss is fabulous. This book, however, is not.

Basically, it lacks direction. A collection of essays on the six things society has embraced which will make you want to remain at home with the door barred, it takes its brief a little too intelligently, including quotes from anthropoligical texts such as Kate Fox's Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour alongside Truss's trademark middle-aged cat-lady rants. Coupled with the rather slight chapter headings it makes for an
Mar 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of non-fiction
I really enjoyed Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, so when I saw that Lynne Truss had another book out about manners, I thought I'd give it a try. It's a short and interesting read that challenges the status quo in today's society and analyzes why we behave how we do. I must admit that I wasn't nearly as engaged or entertained with this book as I was with her previous efforts, but it was worth a read.

interesting quote:
"If we looked inside ourselves and remem
Jul 30, 2011 added it
It was OK. Nowhere near as good as "Eats, Shoots & Leaves", though. In fact, in parts it came across as positively fuddy-duddy, old-fashioned and technophobic to boot. The rants about the internet seemed a little ill-conceived; Personally, I've never considered that the internet is there for my convenience or that it somehow owes it to me to be user-friendly. Nor do I have a problem with people using expressions such as "No problem!" instead of "You're welcome!" or "There you go!" instead of ...more
Jigme Datse
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this over the course of 2 weekends. For some reason I did not read much, or any of it during the week. So, I guess I was pretty good at reading this fairly quickly.

It really takes an interesting view of what is going on with manners, particularly in the UK. It's kind of hard to really understand if this is just further evolution of what we consider manners, or if this is degradation of what we consider manners.

A lot of what she talks about goes as far back as the 19th century (maybe even
Sarah Sammis
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Talk to the Hand: 08/21/09
Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss offers to do for manners what her book Eats Leaves and Shoots does for grammar and punctuation. She has six topics: basic manners, who should be doing it, personal space, rude words, respecting authority and personal responsibility.

I really hoped to learn something about the history or cultural differences of her six topics but the book doesn't follow through. Instead the book has six loosely themed rants about society today and the incon
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have written the review for this book about 100 times in my head, where I documented all sorts of rudeness and such, but it comes down to this - if you, as I, feel like somehow it has become ok and even endearing to be a belligerent a$$hole (as shown by some of the most popular Goodreads reviews and the comments section of the online version of your local newspaper) and you don't think that's a good thing, read this book and realize you aren't alone! Meanness isn't cool or endearing, so let's ...more
Apr 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
After listening to the same songs over and over again on the radio, Marcia finally convinced me to get an audio book. The author does her own reading and the book is a British, tongue-in-cheek look at rudeness and bad manners. There are some LOL moments but the only downside to this book was that there were no rudeness diffusing techniques.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Talk to the Hand 2 5 Jan 11, 2013 09:52AM  
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Lynne Truss is a writer and journalist who started out as a literary editor with a blue pencil and then got sidetracked. The author of three novels and numerous radio comedy dramas, she spent six years as the television critic of The Times of London, followed by four (rather peculiar) years as a sports columnist for the same newspaper. She won Columnist of the Year for her work for Women's Journal ...more
More about Lynne Truss...
“Manners are about imagination, ultimately. They are about imagining being the other person.” 27 likes
“Offence is so easily given. And where the 'minority' issue is involved, the rules seem to shift about: most of the time a person who is female/black/disabled/gay wants this not to be their defining characteristic; you are supposed to be blind to it. But then, on other occasions, you are supposed to observe special sensitivity, or show special respect.” 25 likes
More quotes…