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Winchester also paints a rich portrait of the OED's leading light, Professor James Murray, who spent more than 40 years of his life on a project he would not see completed in his lifetime. Winchester traces the origins of the drive to create a "Big Dictionary" down through Murray and far back into the past; the result is a fascinating compact history of the English language (albeit admittedly more interesting to linguistics enthusiasts than historians or true crime buffs). That Murray and Minor, whose lives took such wildly disparate turns yet were united in their fierce love of language, were able to view one another as peers and foster a warm friendship is just one of the delicately turned subplots of this compelling book. --Tjames Madison
I enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone interested in a fascinating story.
This makes it very easy for the author write as if he does not care about what happens to the characters, which is what Winchester does.
The full title of this book is The Professor and the Madman, A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary.
The book is well balanced between the history of the OED and the life and times of Dr. William Minor, (a major contributor). Read morePublished 2 days ago by bernie
Anyone who loves words and their varied lives, particularly the OED, will be enthralled.Published 2 days ago by Eileen O Malley Callahan
This is the second time around with this story. The first was an audio tape while driving on vacation. The second, the book reading, was just as fascinating as the first. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Frank & Teresa Kleist
A surprise read. How could a story about the writing be an interesting novel? But...it was.Published 11 days ago by phenombo1
A bit of a long book, but it's very surprising how the author continues to surprise you with new tid bits.Published 15 days ago by Gottfried
I thought the author did a good job at making the content of the book an interesting read. He does seem to blur the line of conjecture and fact though, but that didn't bother me... Read morePublished 20 days ago by PaulHutch
The author has a highly enjoyable writing style and weaves an entertaining narrative out of the historical events. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Matthew W.
A fascinating story illustrating the thin line between genius and insanity, as well as the heroic task of completing the OED. A look at history in the making. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. D. Waller