Tuesday, April 1, 2014

(APRIL FOOLS!) 5 Star Review - Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

Title: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
Series: Webster's Dictionary Series - 11th Edition
Author: Noah Webster
Release Date: 2003
Pages: 1623
Goodreads Rating: 4.24 Stars
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
My Content Rating: Mature YA/NA (Some sexual content, though not explicit; Some violence)

Summary from Goodreads: A new edition of America's best-selling dictionary! Setting the standard with: 
- Fully revised print edition featuring more than 225,000 definitions
- More than 10,000 new words and meanings
- Special sections including a Handbook of Style

***NOTE: This review may contain spoilers for the first ten editions of this book.***

I know what you're thinking.  This book was released in 2003.  What took me so long to review it?  I know, you're totally right.  I have to confess that I've had this book sitting on my shelf for quite some time and while I've occasionally rifled through it and read bits and pieces, I've just never been able to work up to reading the whole thing.  I mean, let's face it, at 1623 pages this book is daunting.  And it covers some really heavy subject matter - suicide, terrorism, infanticide, drugs - it's all in there.  

But, I don't know why I waited so long.  This book was FANTASTIC!!

The negatives:
  • Hard to follow sometimes.  I have to admit that there were occasionally times when I had a hard time following the plot.  There were so many twists and turns that I sometimes had a hard time keeping it all straight.
  • Odd structure.  I found it a bit odd that both the climax and the cliffhanger were fairly early in the book.  Not what I was expecting at all, but somehow it worked!
What I loved:
  • The writing style.  Noah Webster has a way with words.  I'll just leave it at that.
  • Eclectic characters.  There were so many amazing characters in this book!!  From the aristocrat who shows up toward the beginning of the book to the xenophobe who pops up at the end, every character has his or her own distinctive personality! I guarantee you've never seen a more eclectic menagerie of characters!
  • The twists.  Honestly, there were so many twists and turns in this book - I was incredibly surprised at the detour on page 341 and then that deviation that happened on page 342.  Then there was a total turnabout on page 1350 and a huge twist on page 1353.  I couldn't believe how the story veered on page 1386, and then, just when I thought I knew exactly where the plot was going, there was a total zigzag at the end!!  Honestly, I just never knew what was coming next.  It was fascinating!!
This was a riveting read, full of drama (pg. 378), heartbreak (pg. 575), hilarity (pg. 587) and passion (pg. 905)!   Honestly, you would be hard pressed to find a book more jam-packed with almost every emotion that you can imagine.  If you haven't picked this one up, you need to do it! Absolutely amazing! 5/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

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About the Author
Noah Webster was born on October 16, 1758, in West Hartford, Connecticut. He graduated from Yale University in 1778. He studied law and taught in New York where he recognized a need for American English textbooks. Passionate about grammar, spelling and usage, he went on to publish the famous “Blue-Backed Speller” and later An American Dictionary of the English Language. He died on May 28, 1843.

Author Links:
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Admit it, I got you at first!