The Liar's Dictionary by  Eley Williams

The Liar's Dictionary

Eley Williams

If you're a gobbler of words - a synonym lexiphile (I made that up), you'll relish this book. A lot of Eley's delight in words comes through in her bubbling inventiveness, and I just loved the twists and turns of the back story as well.


David rearranged the pencils and notepads on his desk as he went on. The speech felt rehearsed, thesis-like. He explained that factually incorrect words can crop up in any work of reference. While they do undermine any overall sense of a dictionary's objective authority, these entries will not necessarily be considered 'fiction', however. It was crucial to consider, he said, whether there was any intention to disseminate untruths. David was at pains to point out how other, rival dictionaries botched this: for example, early in the history of the Oxford English Dictionary, all of the drafted definitions that began with the letters Pa written up on slips, ready to be edited, were accidentally used for kindling. This error was blamed on an inattentive housemaid.

  • Capital by John Lanchester
  • Scenes from the Life of a Best-Selling Author by Michael Kruger
  • Possession by A S Byatt