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.
Overall very interesting story and well read. Learned much about lexicographer, a field that I did not know of prior to reading this book. Recommend for any that enjoy historical suspense.
José M. Batista
Revealing that a well-known politician from yesteryear had murdered someone and was insane would not be amaze a lot of people. That a person fitting that description would contribute voluminously to one of the most well-known reference works of all time is truly astonishing. A truly excellent book.
Great performance. Interesting enough story about an academic with mild schizophrenia that spends years compiling contributions for the oed. Interesting tidbits about lexicography. Worth the listen!
The book is OK, the story minorly interesting and the writing, though too academic and humorless, makes an easy listen. However I found absolutely infuriating the fact that the audible version includes over an hour of absolutely useless and boring extras - "acknowledgments", "suggested reading" and an interview with the author! So, instead of buying a 7 hour book, you are actually buying a 5 hour book and 2 hour "fillers". What a ripoff!