A good reference book to have to hand giving meanings of a number of common phrases, but too much space is taken up with basic dictionary definitions of words. If I wanted a dictionary I would have bought a dictionary!
A book of endless fascination. The type of reference book you use to look up one thing, only to find an hour later you are still reading, and have moved on to a totally different topic. A real treasure trove of a book.
I am flabbergasted that it took me so long to pick up a copy of the brilliant, eclectic and esoteric reference book. It is like a dippy egg with soldiers: fun to play with, but lots of nutritious content when you dive in.
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable is an absolute delight; it's a veritable cornucopia of a reference book, brimming with intriguing and insightful entries on mythology, language, culture, literature, religion and legend. So far it's been able to answer every query (and resolve every argument) that I've put to it, the only problem being that it's just such an interesting book that I never seem to manage to just look up one thing and then put the book back down!
I have used a previous edition for years as a source of information on the sort of subjects that fuel pub quizzes and drunken arguments. Covers everything from Spencer's Fairy Queen to Political Scandals.
It is great for lists like famous last words or anniversary materials and essential reading if you are the sort of person who can lose hours wandering about on Google or Wikipedia because you found something more interesting than the subject you were supposed to be researching..
I bought this edition for my son as he is away at uni and can no longer rely on his decrepit old father to supply this level of background information.
This is my second copy (first one was for me, this one is a gift). If you are one of those people - like me - that can happily waste time flicking through a dictionary or are fascinated with idioms, then this is definitely for you!
While relaxing and reading my evening repertoire of the 1 million best books, I periodically, crossed a person a place or phrase that somehow missed my reading repertoire. When this happens I reach for my copy of "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable."
Finding what I'm looking for, I'm happy to know that I usually got it right. Looking up such phrases as "Cracker Barrel philosophy", I cannot help glance at "cracked pots last the longest." Once in a while I can stomp Brewer"s with such phrases as " cover her face mine eyes dazzle she died young."
For people who suggest that you can find just about anything on the net that is true. However the net does not have a tactile feel and easy index; what's more is having to trust his credibility.
So have hours, days, months, years, looking up your favorite phrase and fable.