The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary - Simon Winchester Simon Winchester gave us a lot of information in this unusual tale of the making of the Oxford English Dictionary. So why do I feel it was stretched out even at 200+ pages. Well, it really is a bit of a thin story . Aside from the story of Dr. Minor's crime and his resulting mental incarceration, not much happens. Surely, I found the history of the English dictionary entertaining but I couldn't help thinking that Winchester may have exaggerated the importance of Minor's contributions. After all, there were hundred of volunteers working on the project.

But perhaps I'm just being trite. For The Professor and the Madman is an entertaining look at dictionaries and the development of the English language. And how many linguistic tales involve a murder? So I'm giving this three and a half stars for being vastly entertaining and for Winchester's usual meticulous research.