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Eats, Shoots and Leaves

UK Publisher: HarperCollins

A panda walked into a cafe. He ordered a sandwich, ate it, then pulled out a gun and shot the waiter. ‘Why?’ groaned the injured man. The panda shrugged, tossed him a badly punctuated wildlife manual and walked out. And sure enough, when the waiter consulted the book, he found an explanation. ‘Panda,’ read the entry for his assailant. ‘Large black and white mammal native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.’

We see signs in shops every day for ‘Banana’s’ and even ‘Gateaux’s’. Competition rules remind us: ‘The judges decision is final.’ Now, many punctuation guides already exist explaining the principles of the apostrophe; the comma; the semi-colon. But people who can’t punctuate don’t read those books! Of course they don’t! They laugh at books like those!

Eats, Shoots and Leaves adopts a more militant approach and attempts to recruit an army of punctuation vigilantes: send letters back with the punctuation corrected; do not accept sloppy emails; climb ladders at dead of night with a pot of paint to remove the redundant apostrophe in ‘Video’s sold here.’

Sticklers unite! You have nothing to lose but your sense of proportion.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves makes the history of punctuation a subject at once urgent, sexy and hilarious…’ – John Walsh, The Independent

‘This is more than a witty, elegant and passionate book that should be on every writer’s shelf’ – Nigel Williams, The Observer Review

‘Lynne Truss deserves to be piled high with honours’ – John Humphrys, Sunday Times

‘A wonderful little treatise on the uses and misuses of punctuation… Witty and entertaining as well as informative’ – Terry Eagleton, Irish Times

Lynne Truss began her writing life as a literary journalist, editing the books section of the Listener magazine between 1986...