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Download Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages, by Ammon Shea Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (849 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ammon Shea Narrator: William Dufris Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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"I'm reading the OED so you don't have to. If you are interested in vocabulary that is both spectacularly useful and beautifully useless, read on..."

So reports Ammon Shea, the tireless, word-obsessed, and more than slightly masochistic author of Reading the OED. The word lover's Mount Everest, the OED has enthralled logophiles since its initial publication 80 years ago. Weighing in at 137 pounds, it is the dictionary to end all dictionaries.

In 26 chapters filled with sharp wit, sheer delight, and a documentarian's keen eye, Shea shares his year inside the OED, delivering a hair-pulling, eye-crossing account of reading every word, and revealing the most obscure, hilarious, and wonderful gems he discovers along the way.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Oddly inspiring…Shea has walked the wildwood of our gnarled, ancient speech and returned singing incomprehensible sounds in a language that turns out to be our own.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Delicious…a lively lexicon.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Readworthy.”

    New York Times Magazine

  • “Shea describes his experiences reading in his local library as well as the reactions of his friends to his yearlong project. Best of all, Dufris reads every word with enthusiasm, tempting the listener to delve into a dictionary just for the fun of it.”


  • An AudioFile Earphones Award winner
  • AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Dominique | 2/17/2014

    " It's sucked me in so far, i'm about 8 pages in. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Bob Lake | 2/11/2014

    " some what entertaining, but best for dedicated word mavens "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Margo | 2/2/2014

    " Similar to A J Jacobs book about reading the Encyclopedia Britannica, Shea spends a year reading the 22 or so volumes of the OED. Not much to hang a book on although full of interesting word histories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ellen Brown | 1/29/2014

    " A fascinating and entertaining overview of the Oxford English Dictionary and some of its most obscure entries. "

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