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The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault
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The Broken Teaglass

by Emily Arsenault

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4504535,023 (3.47)52
  1. 10
    The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester (chazzard)
  2. 00
    The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (P.S.) by Simon Winchester (upstairsgirl)
    upstairsgirl: Readers intrigued by the mechanics of dictionary-writing may enjoy The Professor and the Madman, which is a non-fiction account of the writing of the first Oxford English Dictionary.
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» See also 52 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
An interesting story, I enjoyed the way the author revealed unexpected details of the character's lives as the story went along. Also enjoyed the peek into the way a dictionary publishing house works. This was something of a mystery, something of suspense, not very compelling, and yet I always wanted to go back to it to read some more. ( )
  MrsLee | Aug 20, 2018 |
For my review please visit my blog: Martin's View: the Broken Teaglass. ( )
  Martin_Maenza | Apr 14, 2017 |
I liked it, but I didn't love it--as I thought I would. Still and all, worth reading. ( )
  AntT | Jan 24, 2015 |
I liked it, but I didn't love it--as I thought I would. Still and all, worth reading. ( )
  AntT | Jan 24, 2015 |
I wasn't expecting THAT much from this book. It's about young editors, and the title includes the word "Teaglass," so naturally I couldn't help but read it and at least want to like it. It's a first novel, and I tend to be a hard grader. I put it just north of bad. Something kept me reading through to the end, and that's more than I can say for some more highly praised and hyped books. But many of the criticisms of this book that are already out there are completely valid. The dialogue is unnatural and just terrible. Not that much happens. The characters never feel entirely real to me, and I don't have a clear sense of why the two main characters would be friendly or attracted to each other. Secondary characters are often ill-defined as well. I found what I think is supposed to be the book's climax a bit boring. While I am not a lexicographer, I am an editor, and the editorial world this book was supposed to reflect didn't seem true to life. Sigh. I want to like it! Someone take this basic idea and write a different and better book, please. ( )
  tercat | Nov 19, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
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I lifted my head when I heard her knocking.
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Book description
The dusty files of a venerable dictionary publisher... a hidden cache of coded clues... a story written by a phantom author... an unsolved murder in a gritty urban park — all collide memorably in Emily Arsenault's magnificent debut, at once a teasing literary puzzle, an ingenious suspense novel, and an exploration of definitions: of words, of who we are, and of the stories we choose to define us.

In the maze of cubicles at Samuelson Company, editors toil away in silence, studying the English language, poring over new expressions and freshly coined words — all in preparation for the next new edition of the Samuelson Dictionary. Among them is editorial assistant Billy Webb, just out of college, struggling to stay awake and appear competent. But there are a few distractions. His intriguing coworker Mona Minot may or may not be flirting with him. And he's starting to sense something suspicious going on beneath this company's academic facade.

Mona has just made a startling discovery: a trove of puzzling citations, all taken from the same book, The Broken Teaglass. Billy and Mona soon learn that no such book exists. And the quotations from it are far too long, twisting, and bizarre for any dictionary. They read like a confessional, coyly hinting at a hidden identity, a secret liaison, a crime. As Billy and Mona ransack the office files, a chilling story begins to emerge: a story about a lonely young woman, a long-unsolved mystery, a moment of shattering violence. And as they piece together its fragments, the puzzle begins to take on bigger personal meaning for both of them, compelling them to redefine their notions of themselves and each other.

Charged with wit and intelligence, set against a sweetly cautious love story, The Broken Teaglass is a tale that will delight lovers of words, lovers of mysteries, and fans of smart, funny, brilliantly inventive fiction.

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While flirting with each other to ease the boredom of working as dictionary updaters, Billy Webb and Mona Minot discover that someone has been lacing their dictionary files with clues to an unsolved murder.

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