Monday, January 2, 2012

Book Review: Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss

However, my favourite anecdote concerns a neighbour of mine in Brighton who works in a shop where everything costs a pound – a job he does with considerable dignity, I have to say. One morning, as he was opening the shop, he had a very imperious customer who first ticked him off about opening three minutes late, then demanded personal service, and finally complained about the lack of range in the bathroom cleaners. My friend was not rude to this man. He said merely, “I think you’re labouring under a misapprehension, sir.” And then, when the man said, “What misapprehension?” he said, “That this is Harrods, and that you’re the effing Duke of Westminster.” -- Lynne Truss

I picked this book up one day while out "boutiquing" with a friend.  I couldn't resist the title.

I finally got a chance to read it one long night while sitting up with that very same friend in the Emergency department of Victoria Hospital.  I read a good deal of it out loud in an effort to keep myself awake and entertain my friend.  I have to say that this book has some moments that are hysterically funny followed by some really boring attempts to interject a little reality and research into the prose.  The book could have done without all the research.  It helped to pass the time and, while I did make it most of the way through that night, I have never bothered to finish reading it.  It just wasn't interesting enough and the use of huge words and quotes from lots of famous people and dead philosophers made large chunks of it too difficult to be a good read.

p.s. Boutiquing is an activity which involves running from one second-hand and thrift store to another looking for deals.

We kept running into the word "solopsistic" so I looked it up.    Solipsism (play /ˈsɒlɨpsɪzəm/) is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind, alone, is sure to exist. The term comes from Latin solus (alone) and ipse (self). Solipsism as anepistemological position holds that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure. The external world and other minds cannot be known, and might not exist outside the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist. Although the number of individuals sincerely espousing solipsism has been small, it is not uncommon for one philosopher to accuse another's arguments of entailing solipsism as an unwanted consequence, in a kind of reductio ad absurdum. In the history of philosophy, solipsism has also served as a skeptical hypothesis.

Surprisingly enough, I have run into the word solopsistic in another read in the past couple of weeks.

If anyone would like this book, I'll bring it with me to Ladies Day Out tomorrow.  Just because it wasn't my cup of tea doesn't mean someone else might not enjoy it.