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Publisher's Summary

Do you wake up feeling rough? Then you’re philogrobolized. Find yourself pretending to work? That’s fudgelling. And this could lead to rizzling, if you feel sleepy after lunch. Though you are sure to become a sparkling deipnosopbist by dinner. Just don’t get too vinomadefied; a drunk dinner companion is never appreciated. The Horologicon (or book of hours) contains the most extraordinary words in the English language, arranged according to what hour of the day you might need them. From Mark Forsyth, the author of the number-one international best seller The Etymologicon comes an audiobook of weird words for familiar situations. From ante-jentacular to snudge by way of quafftide and wamblecropt, at last you can say, with utter accuracy, exactly what you mean.

©2013 Mark Forsyth (P)2014 Gildan Media LLC

Critic Reviews

"A breezy, amusing stroll through the uncommon histories of some common English words… Snack-food style blends with health-food substance for a most satisfying meal." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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If only there were words to describe Mark Forsyth

Would you consider the audio edition of The Horologican to be better than the print version?

I think WhisperSync would be great for this so you can see and hear the words for better retention.

Would you recommend The Horologican to your friends? Why or why not?

My friends aren't interested in these topics but if I found anyone who was I'd definitely bring Mark Forsyth and his books into the conversation.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Unlike his book on entomology I did need a break from this one but only once. Still a great listen.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Funny funny fun fun.

Love all the books by this author. The humor is wonderful. You will love this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Nerd comedy!

What did you love best about The Horologican?

Like his other books, Forsyth's layers fact with fun. The narrator delivers everything in a brilliant 'matter of fact' fashion which makes the comedic elements even more enjoyable.

For me Forsyth is a MUST LISTEN!

In order of preference I would rate The Horologicon 3rd/last out of his other 3 audiobooks, but that is not a knock against this volume. Happy listening!

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Reference

As entertaining this audio book is, the author calls it a reference book. Audio books are poor reference books. I wish I had it in print and may in fact buy a print version to use as a source. The humor is dry and British which might be redundant. Anyway, I greatly enjoyed it. The reader is perfect.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Carrie
  • Dallas, TX, United States
  • 04-02-17

So nerdy!

Great book. I just wish it had an English narrator--Don Hagen does fine (except when reading poetry), but this book has an English author and English sensibility. It doesn't quite work with an American reader.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Writer and narrator dynamic duo

I really like this author, but Don Hagen is the icing on the cake. This is the second book by Mark Forsyth that I've listened. I'm relieved there is someone else who wonders about random trivia, and furthermore consolidates it into one book for those of us who don't have the resources or time to do it ourselves. Don Hagen's relaxed narration is natural and at times comical. I intend to collect all of these books. Others read by Don Hagen were by author David McRaney, which are also very entertaining.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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excellent book, loved it

great book and excellent narration. if you love words and their etymology this is it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Needed to see the words, not just hear them

I love words & thought this would be enjoyable, but my mind kept wandering. I had a hard time understanding the recording, not because of any lack on the narrator's part, but because the words weren't familiar. IMO, this book would be best left to a visual format.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Eh

Some gems in here but the format doesn't really lend itself to the subject matter as well as some of his other works.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dubi
  • New York, NY
  • 08-04-17

Listen to It Start to Finish

Mark Forsyth warns us in his Preambulation (archaic form of Foreword) not to read this book cover to cover. As he follows that with a couple of jokes about what will happen to you if you read it cover to cover, one assumes he doesn't really mean it. Either way, in audio, you really have no choice, you have to listen to it from start to finish. And do finish it. As with his prior book, Eloquence, I wanted to bail after one chapter. As with Eloquence, the first chapter is the worst -- if you persevere, the rest is loads of fun.

The idea here is to tell the story of lost, archaic, obsolete words. The story unfolds as a book of hours, each hour of the day suggesting groups of words that follow the activities a normal working stiff would undertake during a typical day. For example, 8 AM is for dressing and breakfast, 9 PM is for drinking, 11 PM is for stumbling home after drinking. That is Forsyth's genius idea -- these lost words are not always that interesting, but the format (after the first chapter) keeps it interesting.

For me, the best categories are those that include recognizable words (e.g. elf-locks for bedhead), are euphemistic (e.g. a list of two hundred euphemisms for drunkenness compiled by none other than Benjamin Franklin, and lots of others for bodily functions and romance), or are onomatopoeic (e.g. zwodder, the stupefied state you are in just after you wake up). For some, only occasionally for me, lost words with recognizable Greek or Latin roots are of some interest.

Best of all are more recent words that have passed into obscurity or obsolescence but are still recognizable (at least to someone of my age) through pop culture, like old movies and music -- 1950s slang, WWII army slang, Runyonesque slang, and Cab Calloway's Hepster Dictionary. Unfortunately, there is too little of this, and way too much from the distant past that is virtually impossible to appreciate in audio where you don't really know what is being said).

Overall, I'm giving Forsyth four stars for the way he has crafted this into a storyline, but I'm only going three stars overall because of the dreary first chapter and successive sections that are equally opaque. The narration is excellent in conveying the sense of humor that makes this effort worthwhile in the first place. The only caveat is that Forsyth's sense of humor relies heavily on puns and groaners, which is fine by me, but may not be for others.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful