Paul Wilson

 

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57 Hours: A Survivor's
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Prague: A Traveller's Literary Companion

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Thursday, December 15, 2021

 
MANNERS

Two years after her surprise best seller on the parlous state of punctuation, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves," Lynne Truss is back with another engaging rant, called "Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door." By now, her fame has ensured her book’s simultaneous publication all over the English-speaking world, and she’s been getting boffo reviews in Canada, I hope not just out of politeness. But this being Canada, you never know. As a culture, we’re courteous to a fault; we don’t do deliberate rudeness as well as the Brits. So let me break ranks here and say that, as entertaining and smart as her new jeremiad is, it doesn’t apply to the Canada I know, certainly not in the way her lament on punctuation did. As a result, I ended up reading it for pure fun, as social anthropology, as a portrait – and an alarming one at that – of a Britain coming apart at the seams, not as something I feel I need to take to heart. If things were that effing bad here, I hope I’d be as effing pipped as she is. Or does it mean that I live in a bubble, like George Bush?

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