©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)
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.
dispite the professor obvious challenges he was able to perform an invaluable service for the world. However I was intrigued and happy that the story of the man who was killed and his family was also told. It gave a profound humanness to the story.
I would not change the tittle.
Dispite the professor obvious challenges he was able to perform an invaluable service for the world. I was intrigued and happy that the story of the man who was killed and his family was also told. It gave a profound humanness to the story. Thanks for including them.
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!
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.
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.
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