Kacey, December 23, 2013 (view all comments by Kacey)
In the current day and age where we have endless amounts of knowledge available on our mobile devices it's hard to imagine a time without a dictionary. "The Professor and the Madman" can be somewhat pretentious in it's purposeful use of sesquipedalian (long) words, but the story was fascinating! I know the history of the dictionary sounds like a snoozefest, but it gets so crazy it's almost hard to believe! Worth checking out. Very interesting.
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SandyCee, September 4, 2011 (view all comments by SandyCee)
I wondered how a book about the making of the Oxford English Dictionary could keep my interest, but from the beginning (the title drew me in), it proved to be an engaging read. The true life tale centers on the lives of the two principals, an American and an Englishman, who had totally different experiences and circumstances but managed to intersect at the time when the dictionary was being created. A fascinating story!
S Settje, October 22, 2010 (view all comments by S Settje)
This book made me stop and ponder what has been lost by the advances in modern medicine and technology. DR Minor, the central figure of this story would not be able to do today what he did then. Medicine, the justice system and the need to fix everyone would have stifled the man.
Winchester weaves this compelling narrative in a way that makes an obscure piece of literary history accessible to a more general audience. I could not quite give this book a 5 because there were a couple points where the story dragged and got repetetive. I would recommend it to anyone interested in knowing more about the foundation of the modern English dictionary.
by Publishers Weekly,
"Winchester celebrates a gloomy life brightened by devotion to a quietly noble, nearly anonymous task."
"Winchester, investigating an odd bit of background trivia about the making of one of the world's great books, has the courage of his own curiosity. The elegant curio he has created is as enthralling as a good story can be and as informative as any history aspires to be."
by San Francisco Chronicle,
"Engaging, especially for readers who love words."
by Boston Globe,
"A fascinating tale of madness...a compelling slice of social and intellectual history."
by USA Today,
"Winchester, a British journalist who's written 12 other books, combines a reporter's eye for detail with a historian's sense of scale. His writing is droll and eloquent."
Hailed by the New York Times as "a fascinating, spicy, learned tale," this runaway national bestseller takes an extraordinary look into literary genius, madness, and the making of the Oxford English Dictionary.
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