THE HEIGHT OF YOUR LIFE by Ralph Keyes

THE HEIGHT OF YOUR LIFE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This might have made an innocuous diversion as a well-edited magazine article; but as nearly three hundred pages of hype about height, it doesn't make it at all. For one thing, Keyes (Is There Life After High School?, 1976) sees something wrong with every height: tall people are constantly pestered and challenged, then made to feel the bully (""Pick on somebody your own size""); short people are made to feel inadequate (men feel unmanly, women feel patronized by pats on the head); average people, alas, feel ""invisible""--perhaps because they're neither patronized nor picked on. It's a rotten-size world any way you look at it, though Keyes (himself an undersized 5'8"") clearly feels that ""heightism"" is hardest on the shorties: tall means power, baby, with plenty of extra income to go with it (according to one study, eight percent higher salary for men over six feet). And, what's more, salespeople are apt to wait on giants before shrimps. So if you combine all this nonsense with entire chapters on (honest to gosh) the ploys that politicians like Carter use to add a few inches; or the headaches of finding actresses to play opposite Dustin Hoffman; or, speculatively, how the ""natural selection"" process spurred the gap in average height between men and women--you have concentric circles of small talk, without beginning, end, or exit.

Pub Date: April 17th, 1980
Publisher: Little, Brown