The Professor and The Madman
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
A few things I liked about this book:
1. One will assuredly learn a thing or two about the English language, in reading it. You will learn some obsolete words, the origin of some words, and just get a refresher of other, more common words. Each chapter begins with a dictionary entry of a particular word, some very normal words, some more exotic words.
2. The parallel lives of the two main characters are interesting to follow. One feels real emotions for both. There are a few shocking moments in the book, which stand out quite a bit in front of the otherwise fairly tame narrative.
3. I grew up with the Oxford English Dictionary, and I always wondered how they compiled all the words. It was great learning about how they did that.
4. The book covers an array of themes and topics, and a fairly diverse geography. Mental illness, civil war, sexual propriety, crime and punishment, one can learn a little bit about a lot of issues in the reading of Simon Winchester's book.
I wouldn't recommend the book to just anyone, though. It can be kind of slow, and sometimes one simply grows tired of bouncing back and forth between the two main characters. It is also fairly short; one sort of wishes for more detail on certain events. In some places, the book reads like a crime/detective novel from the 19th century, in others it is more like a biography. It sort of skips around from one style to the next, almost as if different parts were written at very different times by an author in very different states of mind. Overall, though, this book is a nice, quick read, a good plot, and you will learn a thing or two from it.
The two main characters definitely left a lasting legacy! Who would have thought that, the creation of the Oxford Dictionary would involve such people of different backgrounds and, personal history.
This book stands out as one one should read!
This book taught me so much. Without computers and modern technology these people were able to bring forth one of the most important books, one that is relevant still today. Would we be able to find this kind of dedication now?
I am trilingual and never appreciated this until now. With three languages, two Latin based and also having learnt Latin in school I was able to decipher a lot of the words at the top of each chapter. So the lesson here is to learn to speak as many languages as you can thereby enriching you world.
Thank you Mr. Winchester.
On the whole, I preferred this book (which actually was written earlier than the other, as I learned to my surprise). It is much lighter in tone than the later work and I found my sympathies engaged by the tragic history of the poor Doctor more so than I did the treatment of Murray (who, admittedly, is really only a subordinate 'character' to the dictionary itself). Having said that, though, I have to acknowledge that I probably would not have enjoyed reading about Minor's story quite as much had I not read 'The Meaning Everything' first. I think it would be much harder to appreciate Minor's contribution to the OED without the much more detailed account of just how the dictionary was compiled that the later book provides.
It is, just possibly, a bit of a shame that Winchester could not have written the history of the three characters (the OED, Murray and Minor) in one comprehensive volume.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
A great story told with wonderful detail and insight into the characters involved. A great read for anyone interested in our crazy past.Published 1 month ago by Christopher Knapp
Simon Winchester is a gift to all who read his most marvellous books! Subjects we sometimes overlook, question and search.....but here in The Professor and the Madman.... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Robin Lee Bown
When you think, you read it all something new pops up.
The book is well balanced between the history of the OED and the life and times of Dr. Read more
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 on Oct. 25 2013 by Bernie
Interesting story, unfortunately mishandled by the author. A book on the makings of the OED deserves better. Read morePublished on July 21 2013 by CFB
Enjoyed reading this book. Well written, and very interesting. Certainly proves that the truth can be stranger than fiction. Will be reading more from this author.Published on Feb. 7 2013 by John A.
The Professor & the Madman is both captivating and informative. The conception of the Oxford English Dictionary is an unparalleled testament of hardship and one man's redemption... Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2012 by JSB