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4.8 out of 5 stars13
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 29 July 2007
Its very size is comforting: my old one was becoming dog-eared so I invested in a new one. I find it difficult to believe there aren't more reviews of this because I would have thought it almost essential for anyone writing a book, screenplay, article, short story or speech, especially for material out of copyright.

Yes, the internet can be useful but is rarely authoritative. This is. If you're serious about the creation of literary works in whatever form, avoid this at your peril...
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on 1 January 2006
This is the most amazing collection of quotations I have got my hands on. Look up quotes by keywords, by the authors or partial phrase if you only sort of know how it goes but want to read the whole quote.
Worth every penny and it will be a long time getting through it!
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I would not be without this reference book, and enjoy an occasional "flick through" it to read the erudite, profound or witty sayings or writings of men and women from throughout history to the present day, not to mention some anonymous ones, advertising slogans and catchphrases. The first quoted may be Homer, from the 8th Century BC, although some verses from the bible are probably the oldest expressions listed.

I find it less successful when I am trying to identify who it was who first used an expression or saying, but this must inevitably be the case. While biased towards the English language - there are 50 pages of Shakespeare's alone - there are quotations from the whole world, and even in 850 pages or so (the index occupies another 300 pages) no one can realistically include more than a small proportion.

I do wonder, therefore, why the editors include the Latin as well as the English translations of those quotations that originated in that language, but not, generally, the French, German or other foreign langauges of others.

While Wikipedia and the internet is a valuable resource as well, this is not a book that you will ever regret buying.
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on 23 October 2013
Earlier editions, having less of the ephemeral, are of more intrinsic historical interest, but this one does have *fortyfour* misquotations, up from thirty squeezed in as an afterthought at the back of the revised 4th (1996). They should have included 'What's good for General Motors..', with a cross reference to Defence Secretary Charles E Wilson, and the persistent, protean, pseudo-Chestertonian 'When man ceases to believe in God he does not believe in nothing; he believes in anything'. GK wrote in The Oracle of the Dog, 'It's the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense', which Emile Cammaerts paraphrased amongst other Father Brown quotes (The Laughing Prophet, 1937) as follows '"It's drowning all your old rationalism and scepticism, it's coming in like a sea; and the name of it is superstition." The first effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything: "And a dog is an omen and a cat is a mystery" (The Laughing Prophet, 1937, p211 - note that the relevant passage is *not* a direct quotation!!) which gave it legs at a time hungry for certainties. Darwinism in action! Eleven classic cartoon captions are also included - surely the way forward for quotation dictionaries PG (post Google)
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VINE VOICEon 4 August 2008
A wonderfully engrossing tome. Time zips by as you turn page after page of the witty, the profound and the historical soundbites uttered by the great, the good and the infamous. A book for both pastime and education.
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on 23 November 2015
Not exactly the version shown ~ but it cost a whole 1p!!An ex American-library book that was/is in as near perfect-a-condition as possible.

I really cannot fault it in any way at all ~ even if it had been full price I couldn't fault it...but at 1p!! Quite possibly the best value-for-money item I shall ever buy.
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on 28 November 2013
It hasn't let me down yet when looking for infomation via the Listener, EV, Inquisitor crossword.
Worth every penny!

Very happy!
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on 6 January 2016
Excellent. If you enjoy quotes you will want this book. In fact every home should have one. It is a very good edition.
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on 13 January 2015
Excellent condition hardback although print a little small for me. Great for dipping in and out.
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on 7 February 2009
Resistance is futile. Or is it? Because that quote is not in this dictionary of quotes. In fact, there's a distinct lacking in modern quotations. There are alot of quotes in this book, don't get me wrong, and I understand that one day I might want to know Robert South who died in 1716 said "An Aristotle was but the rubbish of an Adam, and Athens but the rudiments of Paradise" but I'm wondering why the 20th and 21st centuries are so ignored.

Perhaps ignored is too strong a word. Perhaps the people that put together this book just don't think much of these people, the people that we, in real life, actually hear and actually quote. There are quotes from a thousand old poems, but few quotes from our soulful songwriters.

I've been left wanting. But, the good bits of this book is that the odd quote you vaguely know might just be in here, and the reference by keyword at the back is thoughtfully done. It has Shakespeare, Dr King, Dickens, Swift and alot of proverbs. I never knew that "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" was a mid 17th century quote, just thought it was Stephen King (who only has one quote in here).

It's nice to flick through, but it'll never beat a search engine on the internet if your looking for specifics. If you're looking for inspiration, then you'll probably be just fine with this.
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