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The Tall Book: A Celebration of Life from on High Hardcover – June 9, 2009

64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Though it may in part revere the tall, essayist Cohen proclaims, clearly "society is not built for us." Six-foot-three Cohen (Confessions of a High School Word Nerd) covers many taken-for-granted challenges facing "talls," including public toilets, exercise bikes, doorways, couches and airplanes. Especially complicated is dating; some tall women would never "date down"-that is, a man shorter than they are-while other talls (i.e. men) refuse to date anyone but the short. Being tall costs more, due to expenses like "double-price clothes," "high ceilinged homes," and "the food," but it also pays better: tall people earn approximately 2.5% more per inch. Height also helps get presidents elected; 26 out of the last 30 presidential contests went to the taller candidate. Cohen has been frustrated, ever since she was a 5'3" eight-year-old that no one has written a book about tall people ("The Dewey Decimal index didn't even assign a classification number to tall people. Surely the world kidded"). She fixes that problem handily with a guide both practical and proud, and with enough self-deprecating humor to charm readers of any height; an ideal gift for talls, their loved ones, and (perhaps) their jealous detractors.
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Review

Given her smarts, inquisitiveness, and warm wit, I'd follow Ms. Cohen up any learning curve. With The Tall Book her assignment is personal, and richer for it. The result is a real resource for giants of all ages (and those who love them) so that we can fully appreciate the advantages and navigate the downfalls of our standing. Not since Randy Newman's "Short People" have those of us of a certain stature had a better rallying cry. (Brad Wieners, 6'7", Editor, Men's Journal)

This is a funny and lively book that belongs -- quite literally -- on the top shelf of American literature. One of us 'talls' will be happy to get it down for you. (Steve Rushin, 6'5", Sports Illustrated columnist and author of Road Swing)

As a 12-year-old, told to act my age and not my shoe size, I could honestly say, 'They're the same.' Arianne Cohen has written a book for everyone, like me, who grew up (and up) to be proud of their height. (Rebecca Lobo, 6'4", Olympic gold medalist basketball player and ESPN Commentator)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1st edition (June 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596913088
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596913080
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #958,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Merl on June 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is fabulous. I am a 6'4" female, age 36. I have hated every inch of my height, until I read this book. WOW, amazing what a little bit of well written reseach can do to flip my world upside down. I couldn't be happier. THANK YOU for writing this. Words cannot describe the positive perspective you have given me. What a gift. This book is well written, well organized, and has great information. LOVE IT! I am the lucky one!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra on June 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Extremely well-researched with eye-opening analysis ranging from the economics, evolutionary psychology, and anthropology of being tall; then goes on to detail Cohen's gallivants around the globe chronicling tall issues and tipping the iceberg of what it means to see over crowds and be an instant attention-grabber...Cohen has written a first for tall body-image, and has imbued a sense of pride in me that, even after 22 years of emotional support from my own over 6-feet-tall parents and extended family, has not been validated until this, The Tall Book.

Ari- Thank you for starting, what I believe, will be a fabulous revolution of tall pride, confidence and celebration.

-Alexandra, 6'0"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Beth Ehmke Bluman on June 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Thank you, thank you for this book - I am a 6'2" 48 year old with two older sisters just as towering tall. Their birthdays are in July, and before I had the pleasure of reading this wonderful book, ordered three books - one for each of us! And I have no regrets, as I devoured this book in no time at all - sure my sisters will feel the same way - I think I have found their best birthday present ever.

This was such a self-esteem booster - growing up I had many of the same experiences as Ms. Cohen, and it was refreshing to feel not so "alone" in the feelings, situations and awkwardness that can come along with tallness.

A great read, to go back to again and again to pick you up and make you smile.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover on July 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Arianne Cohen's book should be required reading for tall girls. Growing up I was very self conscious about being tall and this book would have really helped my self esteem if it had existed. I can completely relate to her comments about trying to find properly fitting clothes and scrunching into airline seats. But on the other hand, I can always see above the crowd and take what I need from the top shelf without needing help. The info about giving hormones to girls to stop their growth was startling and eye-opening. Maybe there needs to be a "tall power" movement!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Wells on May 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a 6'6" guy, I didn't get much out of this book, but there were a couple cool tidbits:

1) Tallness isn't unhealthy, it's not a strain on your heart or your bones as is widely believed. (Phew!)

2) Tall girls lust after tall guys (I thought they were just staring like everybody else!)

3) Tall people sued an airline over their tiny seats a decade ago, but lost.

There's a lot of "when I was a girl, I couldn't fit into nice stuff and at school everyone gawked at me"-type stories that I could have done without (though female readers may find solace in them?), and there's also some tall activism ("if NYC bus seats are too small, call the MTA and tell them, no one ever has before!"), and tons of anecdotes and cute little statistics from all over the world.

But after reading The Tall Book, I don't really feel better informed, and my outlook on life hasn't been altered, so it's kind of like I never read it at all. :(
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Tall Book is absolutely amazing, and Ms. Cohen's humor pulls you through the book; it was so great, that I just couldn't put it down and read it in one night!!

From height statistics to shopping to sports to sitting on an airplane, you totally get the point that being tall is not all that it's cracked up to be (pun intended)!! The lighthearted anecdotes mix in well with immense amount of research that was done for this book. Being someone who is of "average height" (I'm only 5'4") I can sympathize with many of the scenarios given... especially the shopping!! Every woman knows that sizes aren't the same from store to store.

For a great read with lots of fun information, get this book. It'll keep you laughing from start to finish!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kezia C on September 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Considering the sheer scope of subject matter, Cohen has done an amazing job of covering so much in a small book. She weaves facts and statistics in with personal experiences and anecdotes from famous and not famous tall people. Validating for talls and illuminating for the rest of us, this book has something for almost everyone. The main thing I'd change is that I'd rather have two separate volumes dealing with men (where height is an advantage) and women (for whom tallness is often a challenge).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marion E. Malcolm on December 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a Christmas gift for my granddaughter and began reading
it myself. Time to wrap gifts - so I downloaded it onto my Kindle. It's a great book and in the case of my granddaughter I find it a good one for a tall teenager.
I first heard about it in a wonderful interview on NPR with the author.
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