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A Good Talk: The Story and Skill of Conversationby Daniel Menaker
Synopses & Reviews
A GOOD TALK is an analysis of and guide to that most exclusively human of all activities-- conversation.
Drawing on over forty years of experience in American letters, Menaker pinpoints the factors that drive and enliven every good conversation: the vagaries (and joys) of subtext; the deeper structure and meaning of conversational flow; the subliminal signals that guide our disclosures and confessions; and the countless other hurdles we must clear along the way. Moving beyond self-help musings and "how to" advice, he has created a stylish, funny, and surprising book: a celebration of "the most excusively human of all activities."
In a time when conversation remains deeply important-- for building relationships, for relaxing, even for figuring out who we are-- and also increasingly imperiled (with Blackberries and texting increasingly in vogue), A GOOD TALK is a refreshing celebration of the subtle adventures of a good conversation.
"A fiction writer and former editor at the New Yorker and Random House, Menaker (The Treatment) regards conversation as 'a human art of great importance produced by all people everywhere.' His witty approach is evident almost immediately, as he speculates on the creation of human language, moving on to the general rules of conversation, London coffeehouses as a forum for ideas, greetings, and name-droppers: 'They wrap the pig of name-dropping in a blanket of casualness, or even criticalness, and seem to actually believe you won't taste the inner wiener.' At the book's core is a conversation between Menaker and an anonymous female writer. Taped in a Brooklyn restaurant, this lengthy transcript is analyzed in detail to show how the participants take risks, seek a 'common ground,' interject humor, and discover perceptive insights about each other. Interview tactics and prepared remarks are covered, along with e-mail embarrassments, dating stratagems, sarcastic barbs, compliments, and interruptions. However, what makes a lasting impression is the parade of anecdotes about life in the corridors of the New Yorker and Random House, leaving the reader yearning for a full-scale Menaker memoir." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Drawing on over 40 years of experience in American letters, Menaker pinpointsthe factors that drive and enliven every good conversation.
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