I would only recommend this story for those who have an interest in words or English. The story is only mildly interesting on its own, but well told. Wish it would tell the stories of all those who worked on the book, like the Sanskrit professor only referenced by the author.
Very good and interesting book about Dr Miner...crazy and brilliance all in one!
You couldn't make up true stories like this...VG
A good read often requires a good dictionary to be near and there is none better than the OED. This is the fascinating story behind the worlds best, and a good read to boot.
How exciting could the story of the development of the dictionary be? Surprisingly not boring! Highly recommend for those who are interested in the English language or just want a good overall story!
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
Although I chose this title out of curiosity about the principle characters, what I ultimately found most fascinating was the process of creating the dictionary itself. I had never given any real thought to the significance of cataloging the entire English language, how it contributes to our understanding of our culture, how in a very literal sense it gives us a common language and therefore common understanding. The undertaking was heroic in scope and Murray and Minor were just two of the many volunteers who worked for decades for the remarkable outcome. Minor's prolific contributions not only advanced the progress of the dictionary, but likely preserved his own mental health as a form of occupational therapy. The stories of the politics and competition as well as the dedication of various player made for a stimulating read. Simon Winchester did an excellent job reading his own work. Well recommended for those who enjoy historical non-fiction.
This is both the story of Dr. Minor, a military doctor suffering from a lifetime of mental illness, and the story of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. It was interesting to find out what a great contribution individuals made to the book (the largest contributions were made by Minor), as well as the how it took almost 70 years to publish completely. I also hadn't realized that is was originally published in stages, from A on through the alphabet, as it was compiled.
I guess so, it would be better for those who have great interest in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Too much book made out of too little story
When the processor and madman meet for the first time.
The books could have easily been padded and stretched out with more trivialities about the OED and the setting of the story, but it was the right length, and struck a balance between providing descriptive details without drowning in prose.
Unusual characters, unusual history, but all true.
The narration adds an air of a historical lecture, perhaps largely due to the pleasant British accent. I listened at 1.5x speed and the distortion was minimal.
The life stories of the main characters.
A retelling of a fascinating true story that manages to balance a historical narrative with telling the personal stories of the two main characters. The book is engaging, well-researched, informative, and doesn't pander to the subject at hand (i.e. dictionary-making). It's just long enough to tell the story in a historical context, and does not wander off on tangents.
No, once was enough.
He's a great narrator and brings life to the book.
How.a madman played such an important role of creating this dictionary.
I really wasn't sure if I'd like this. Being interested in and loving dictionaries, I thought I'd try it. I'm so happy I did! Even if not interested in dictionaries, it's still a great read!
Exceeded expectations. The author reading it himself is wonderful. The story is heartbreaking at certain points but with some redemption that Winchester highlights very well.