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Refrigerator Rights: Creating Connections and Restoring Relationships Hardcover – November 5, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Trade; First Edition edition (November 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039952830X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399528309
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,205,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Therapist Miller and media expert Sparks put another twist on the oft-lamented problem of the impersonal modern world by analyzing how our "isolation culture" affects our relationships with the friends and family who are close enough to have so-called refrigerator rights. This odd-sounding label refers to people who can comfortably open each other's refrigerators, scan the contents and then help themselves, all without breaching etiquette. It's a homey symbol for a relationship that has crossed a critical line of intimacy. The authors explore how unfortunate contemporary realities-frequent relocations, obsessive focus on careers and too much time spent with electronic media-can erode these relationships. They offer guidance on how to reverse this trend and nurture such crucial associations. Though the book is somewhat repetitive and occasionally swerves dangerously close to hokey, Miller and Sparks call attention to an important issue.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Dr. Will Miller is a therapist, ordained minister, corporate speaker, standup comedian and leading cultural analyst. He was the on-air spokesperson for "Nick-At-Nite" for five years and also hosted the NBC show "The Other Side." He is a regular guest lecturer at Purdue University and lives with his wife, Dr. Sally Miller.

Glenn Sparks, Ph.D., is a professor and noted researcher of Mass Communication at Purdue University.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I went to a book signing where the authors were available for questions, and they gave a little presentation based on the ideas presented in "Refrigerator Rights". My first thought, "What a goofy title to a book"! I understand now the reason for the silly title, it makes a difficult and painful topic more palatable to a deadened soul. I never really saw just how far I've gotten from where I should be in this culture. The book does a great job of showing how our culture of silly amusement, me-centered living, and technology have thwarted our ability to relate to others intimately. Basically, I never realized just how much I suck. It gives the reader a clear diagnosis of how messed up he/she is. I realize now why I don't have real lasting peace in my life. I see that I need refrigerator rights. My life has been changed forever.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I don't read self-help books, but I read this one because of an interview with Dr. Miller that I saw in a magazine. It has changed my perspective on my life, my friendships and my family. HIghly recommended.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mark on November 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Everyone will find themselves in this important book. I have watched for years as the self-help "book du jour came" and went. Each would supposedly help people lose weight, save money, have a better marriage, get ahead at work, or achieve any of a number of other personal goals. And we all learned quickly that they NEVER WORK! "Refrigerator Rights" approaches the issues of personal happiness and fulfillment from a completely new angle, proposing convincingly that our contemporary lifestyle and culture has caused us to lose the wide range of extremely close relationships that our ancestors had enjoyed. Whether it is due to relocation for career, busy lifestyle or estrangement from those close to us, we never make the effort to replace those "Refrigerator Rights" relationships when we lose them. This has caused a whole host of problems for us as individuals and as a a society. I won't go into detail here - you need to read this book. It is a quick read, peppered with humor and some of Dr. Miller's personal anecdotes. I have already started to promote more "Refrigerator Rights" relationships in my life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DJ on August 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Some people are happier and better people if they spend more of their time alone. For introverts, being with other people is draining. Too much time with others and not enough alone time will make an introvert exhausted and stressed out. The author never brings this up, despite the fact that introverts make up approximately 40% of the population.

I felt that this book did not apply to me, and if I followed his advice, I would end up stressed out, less happy, with occasional meltdowns where I was not my best self and possible hurtful to myself or others. This issue aside, there was not much substance to the book. I feel the author could have expressed his complete idea in an essay or magazine article, instead of stretching it out into an entire book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tom Hill on August 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
What begins as a thoughtful essay on the roots of our culture's endemic malaise, quickly develops into a compelling call to personal action. Certainly not self-help in the traditional form, but a well-crafted, thought-provoking book that can shake up your self-perspective. I personally don't want too many people rummaging through my refrigerator - but the central premise of the book left me taking stock of my life-relationships, and making practical plans to improve them.
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