The Good – While I cannot say a book such as this is great, I can say this book is genuinely very good. Hence, four of five stars overall. This book sat lingering in my wish list for months while I poured through numerous books about various historical, scientific and other nonfiction topics. Then, I took another listen to the sample after being frustrated by a previous book. I was yearning to some learning and this seemed like it would do the job. It did. I finished this book in just over a day and a half. I did not want to put it down.
The Not So Good – It was too short for me although I’m not sure what could or should have been added. So that’s simply me being querulous. I’m also not a big fan of the author interview at the end of the book, but I’ve never been a fan of author interviews in any regard so that is admittedly a biased opinion.
The Bad – Nothing \ pronoun \ not anything; no single thing; \ they found nothing wrong
The Narration – Sublime \ adjective \ of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe.
The Overall - I truly enjoyed this book and didn’t want it to end. I learned many things, but most importantly I gained a new appreciation for the English language and how the original internet worked; paper, pen, envelope, post. We live in such an instant society today that this book made me appreciate the written word again. An ironic epiphany given that I’m listening so I can multitask which I cannot do when I read. If you’re a hardcore book reader/listener or you love learning new things, you need this book in your library. I’m off to try another book by Simon Winchester and to purchase a hardcopy of the OED and stop using Google for word definitions.
I enjoyed it, but best read in big chunks as it is a little to long. It is truly amazing how the dictionary was put together & this book is wonderfully researched. One more for history buffs who want every detail, but in my opinion could have been edited down. Saying that is still very interesting & truly amazing.
Hard to believe coincidences and unique characters that were involved in the making of the famous Oxford English Dictionary. And it is a historical record of the actual events that took place ! I believe that in order to be exceptional you have to be a little bit crazy.
I love to walk and run listening to audiobooks
The title says it all and this book delivers! The narrative is gripping. The protagonist sympathetic. The story of the OED's inception is Wikipedia-esque. The result? A mesmerising tale replete with excellent literary references, wonderful language and most importantly, a great story. This is a very good book for its style and content. Read it and you will enjoy it!
Yes. While this is a narrow aspect of history, I was so taken with the story. Who knew the Oxford English Dictionary had such a wild past.
Yes. This one is the best.
How dictionararies are written.
I've recommended this book to many people and told more the story. Just a great book.
This story had some dull parts, particularly at first, but I am certainly glad that I stayed with it. While the life of Minor in the asylum was interesting for the most part, Murray's biographical information was not. Once the book delved into the making of the Oxford English Dictionary, I was fascinated. The process prior to the existence of computers was fascinating and something I never thought about before. I always took having a dictionary for granted and never dwelled on how it came to be. The process was painstaking and I can see why it is described as a labor of love. The OED took 70 years to compile and only one word was lost during the manual process that included handwritten slips of paper. The author notes that supplements were printed over the years and once computers came to be, another complete edition was published as well as an online version. I have to wonder what Minor and Murray would think if they could look at their creation online!!!!
I was pleasantly surprised with the voice of the author. Sometimes he was a bit too forgiving of Dr. Miner, and sometimes he speculated too much about things he did not know about (eg, psychiatry) for a non fiction work, but interesting and enjoyable.
Great storyline and wonderfully presented. Amazing how 3 lives intertwined to give us the OED. Fascinating listen and wonderfully narrated. I liked how the author would skip to a Scottish accent when reading Murrys notes and letters. Would definitely recommend this book.