Synopses & Reviews
The blue plate special, meatloaf, a cheeseburger deluxe, a milkshake in a frosty mixing canister, a hot cup of joeall served by a friendly face in a well-lighted aluminum tube. Such are the special joys of the American diner. And it was just these pleasures that photographer Stephan Schacher set out to document when he left New York on a journey through North America that would test both his stomachand his resolve. Schachers mission: to feed his hunger only at diners, and to photograph both his meal and his server every time. The result is a unique and deeply human storyquirky and nostalgic and generousof one man's quest to discover North America's diner culture and his own place in it.
Traveling from a Jersey diner to the Canadian Rockies to a shoreside clambake shack on the Pacific Ocean, Schacher's culinary adventure is documented here with a wealth of visual materials. The author's arresting photographs of succulent steaks and greasy fries, of smiling waitresses in uniforms or jeans, and brightly colored plastic dishes and table mats are supplemented by maps showing thephotographer's route across the continent.
"The content is very tongue-in-cheek and laced with humor. This isn't a full- on self-help book, but a fun way of rethinking our daily conversations. It will definitely give you some ideas on how to change up your small talk and would be fun to read aloud at a party."
- New Orleans Advocate
Homo sapiens have been speaking for hundreds of years—and yet basic communication still stymies us. We freeze up in elevators, on dates, at parties, under Dumpsters. We stagger through our exchanges merely hoping not to crash, never considering that we might soar. We go home sweaty and eat a birthday cake in the shower.
But no more. With What to Talk About you'll learn to speak—fluently, intelligently, charmingly—to family, friends, coworkers, lovers, future lovers, horse trainers, children, even yourself. This hilarious manual, written by two award-winning authors and illustrated by legendary cartoonist Tony Millionaire, is tailor-made for anyone who might one day attend a dinner party, start a job, celebrate a birthday, graduate from school, date a human, or otherwise use words.
What to Talk About is not rocket science, but it is a lot like brain surgery, in the sense that is terrifying, risky—and could change you forever.
About the Author
Chris Colin is an author and journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times
, and McSweeney's Quarterly
. He lives in San Francisco.
Rob Baedeker is a writer, performer, and co-founder of the Kasper Hauser comedy group. He lives in Oakland, California.
Tony Millionaire is best known for the Sock Monkey series of comics and the syndicated comic strip Maakies. He lives in Pasadena, California.