©1998 Simon Winchester; (P) 1999 HarperCollins Publishers Inc., All Rights Reserved, Harper Audio, A Division of HarperCollins Publishers
"The linguistic detective story of the decade." (New York Times Magazine)
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.
This book would probably rank in the top 1/3 of all audiobooks I've listened to.
Dr. Minor, the "madman" was an interesting and tragic character. His brilliance was undeniable, and his part in the creation of the Oxford Dictionary was critical.
This was not an overly compelling story--there was no hurry to finish it
Always a pleasure to hear Winchester orate. I imagine Mark Twain must have held audiences similarly in thrall when he performed his own material. I love the story of the OED, even without the added touch of melodrama. If you read, you've been enspelled by the magic of language already, and this is a book for anyone who loves written and spoken words.
Simply that it was unlike anything I ever read or really would think to read.
I'd have to say, this is a pretty unique book. I can't compare it to anything else.
I always love it when the author read their own books. They usually give so much more emotion to their characters.
the second half, yes!
I can honestly say when I started this book I thought it was boring. I was wondering why I even purchased it. But towards about the middle I was glued to it. Hang in there, its a good book, just dry in the beginning.
The story itself is intriguing: both the madman's life and the compilation of the OED. Yet the author provided too much distantly related information (out of despair of the shortness of the book?) which diminished it overall quality.
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