THE CHAIRS ARE WHERE THE PEOPLE GO by Misha Glouberman

THE CHAIRS ARE WHERE THE PEOPLE GO

How to Live, Work, and Play in the City

KIRKUS REVIEW

A bounty of short, sound advice and commentary from a Canadian improvisational-theatre instructor.

Together with good friend Heti, Glouberman, a former manners columnist, facilitates the popular Trampoline Hall spoken-word series, where amateur lecturers take center stage. Heti, consistently awestruck by her co-collaborator’s vast knowledge base, decided to team up with Glouberman on a book elucidating “everything he knows.” Transcribing the author’s words verbatim produces fresh, pithy perspectives on a wide range of diverse subjects, issues, pleasures and irritants. With a collective slant toward the younger reader, Glouberman’s sage, instructional and often unintentionally hilarious commentary addresses how to navigate urban Toronto life while respecting others’ personal space (“A city is a place where you can be alone in public, and where you have that right”), how to make friends (“You’ll have to spend time with people who seem initially interesting but then turn out not to be”), acquiesce leadership roles, learn manners and some unconventional chatter on what he believes energizes cocktail parties (“people’s fear of being seen not talking to anyone”). While some of his advice borders on whimsy, the author shines when he shares personal anecdotes and revelations—e.g., his civic involvement in the development of a local neighborhood Resident’s Association advocating against the proliferation of noisy nightclubs in residential areas. He saves his greatest revelation for last in describing how he quit a heavy smoking habit using a self-rewarding method and the development of a conscious, steely decisiveness that continues to fortify his life today.

Perceptive musings ready-made for artistically inspired readers and those with short attention spans.

Pub Date: July 12th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-86547-945-6
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2011




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