This is a book intended to make a splash. It's huge (your arms will ache if you carry it anywhere), containing 25,000 quotes-25 per cent more than The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations
and nearly 50 per cent more than The Times Book of Quotations
. Moreover, in keeping with the cutting-edge Encarta brand name, its compilers claim to have put together "the most up-to-date book of quotations yet published", with 5,000 quotes never published before and 12,500 from the last 100 years. The book follows the usual arrangement by author, with keyword and thematic indexes at the back to give the reader three ways of finding any quote. Quotes about
people are put beneath their names, along with quotes by
them, which is handy. Since it's so up to the minute, it includes more than 1,000 quotations on Business, Money and Management (there's a sign of the times; how many publishers would have bothered to do anything like that 25 years ago?). The book follows the Encarta focus on English as a World Language by including quotes from around the world--more than 1,000 from African, Afro-Caribbean and African American sources, it proudly trumpets.
With all that packed in, there couldn't fail to be much to delight. For anyone who loves quotations, the book is a feast. For anyone who needs them, for essays, speeches, crosswords or other purposes, the multiple indexing makes it generally pretty easy to find what you want. You can discover the timeless--Horace's line that "We are just statistics, born to consume resources" could as easily have come from 2000AD as 20BC--the high tech, the humorous, the tragic. The eclectic delights that such collections provide are to be found here in full measure. Three thousand years' worth of quotations to dip in and out of--who could ask for more? --David Pickering
About the Author
Bill Swainson was born in Lancaster in 1953 and read English Literature at Leeds University. He has worked in publishing for over 25 years.