Book Review: Talk to the Hand
The latest book from the author of Eats, Shoots and Leaves is another extremely civilized rant complete with a generous dollop of dry British wit, this time about the lack of civility in society at large. Rather than attempting to teach us “manners” a la Emily Post, Truss sensibly takes a broader approach, attempting to “save the world from philistinism and yobbery” with her “six good reasons to stay home and bolt the door.” She makes a lot of excellent points about how simple it is to show basic courtesy, the sheer annoyance of a lot of automated customer service (I personally don’t mind it most of the time but feel that there should always be a real person readily available for those who do), and the general self-centeredness of the iPod and cell phone society, not overtaxing our resources and making us smile when we’re not nodding in agreement - and sometimes when we are. Not a deep book - as the author rather pitiably reminds us, she has "gone quite pale and crosseyed" reading those so that we don't have to - but an enjoyable and accessible read on an always timely subject.
Luckily, I don’t seem to encounter a lot of this rudeness everyone always talks about, maybe because I hang out with such civilized people!
The truest sentence in the book, and the one that sums it all up for me: "In a truly egalitarian society, everyone would show respect for everyone else" – not dis respect, in other words.