Simile Dictionary / by Elyse Sommer. 1.29.2014

Visible Ink Press ISBN 9781578594337
HS Grades 10-12 Rating: 4

The second edition of the Similes Dictionary by Elyse Sommer is a collection of quotations and colloquialisms that combines dissimilar objects and ideas to form fresh visual perspectives. Examples of quotes include:

Beauty – beautiful and freckled as a tiger lily – O. Henry, ‘The Voice of the City’ (The Complete Works of O. Henry), 1926. (p. 82); she walks in beauty like the night – Lord Byron (p. 83)

Problems and Solutions – as rust eats iron, so care eats the heart – Auguste Ricard (p. 408); The problem stayed in front of his mind like a sheer cliff he could not begin to climb – Ken Follett (p. 409)

Sources cited include the Bible, ancient philosophies, writers, musicians, and lines from popular movie and television shows. Organized by subject headings, the comprehensive table of thematic contents assists readers in quickly locating topics that range from abandonment to God, pensiveness to zeal, and everything in-between. “See” and “See also” references direct readers to alternate supporting topics. For example, the topical listing for “God” includes “See: Forgiveness, Religion.” The listing for “Landscapes” includes “See Also: Mountains; Nature; Ponds, rivers and streams; Road scenes; Trees.” A comprehensive author’s index includes famous names spanning Aesop to Woodrow Wilson, Plato to Paul Newman, and Joyce Carol Oates to Emile Zola.

Although the introduction contains minor typographical errors, they do not detract from the overall work. Subjects like “Bigotry,” “Lust,” “Sexual Interaction,” and “Vulgarity” are handled with dignity, but remind the reader that this resource is best utilized by older students to adults. This could be a useful tool for writers, public speakers, and those who just need an occasional creative communication spark.

Kim Harris, CLJ

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