Esther's Reviews > The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure

The Art of Conversation by Catherine Blyth
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's review
Oct 14, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: non-fiction

I think in the end this book served its purpose because I am more conscious about how I listen and speak with others in my everyday life. It motivated me to want and make connections with others no matter how small or brief (the check-out person in the grocery store, other customers waiting in line, my neighbors etc...). It also inspired me to contemplate over the great joy I do have in a good conversation and reflect on specific conversations I have been a part of.

I am glad I read this book but I didn't actually like the book much. The writing style and voice was not to my liking and I found it frustrating. I often wondered and hoped that the author was a better conversationalist or at least a better journalist (her job) than a book writer, which I believe is most likely true.

Every page is filled with quotes and references but often I'm not sure how they related to the current topic and she usually did not provide context or explain the connection/application of the quote or example either.

There were "rules" and headers in bold throughout the text that I found clear, concise and understandable. For awhile, when I read a header I would think "oh, okay she is going to talk about such and such" but I would always feel dissatisfied that the topic wasn’t really covered. Often I would have a hard time gleaning from the several paragraphs how the header could be the supposed main point. It seemed possible that someone else, maybe the editor, went back and put in the headers to ensure the reader knew what they were suppose to take away from the book.

I recommend you mostly skim the book. Read a few of her witty remarks and quotes, then use the time that you saved not reading the book word for word and from cover to cover on having a good conversation with someone.
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08/22/2016 marked as: read

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