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Hemingway Didn't Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations
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Hemingway Didn't Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations

2.9  ·  Rating details ·  1,402 Ratings  ·  189 Reviews
“Extensive and brilliant investigations…a tour de force of detective work…Mr. O’Toole is a beacon of accuracy who should inspire all readers who prefer their facts real rather than phony.” —Wall Street Journal

Everywhere you look, you’ll find viral quotable wisdom attributed to icons ranging from Abraham Lincoln to Mark Twain, from Cicero to Woody Allen. But more often than
Hardcover, 396 pages
Published April 1st 2017 by Little A
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Remember that kid, (Jared?), in Miss Willoughby's sixth grade class who kept raising his hand to let the rest of the class know how smart he was? Whether it was the name of Alexander's horse or special uses of the semi-colon, he couldn't wait to share.

If you can't get over that, you won't be able to enjoy Garson O'Toole's book.

There is a tremedous amount of reasearch that went into hunting down the origins ... the true origins ... of a bushel of familiar quotations. I found it eddifying is small
Jody McGrath
DNF at 78%

I really tried.
PinkAmy loves  💕 books📖, cats😻 and naps🛏
I like quotes. The wisdom of great writers and thinkers can often serve as time honored lessons about life, people and relationships.

I do not like learning that people I've been quoting did not actually coin the phrases they're famous for saying, but knowing is better than not knowing.

HEMINGWAY DIDN'T SAY THAT is a Snopes for some famous quotes. I found reading it on Kindle to be cumbersome, because of the layout. Quotes had links to the information dispelling the most common origin belief, whic
Ellen Trautner
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I got this for free on my Kindle First program through Amazon. I like using that program to read books I may otherwise not.

This is an easy read, divided into categories like a real quote assigned to the wrong person, a summary of a sentiment, just plain wrong, etc (I'm paraphrasing). This guy does his research and you can tell he loves it, as evidenced by his lengthy citations at the end of each chapter. It's overall really interesting to learn the history of famous quotes, but it's presented i
Sue Watson
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I love quotations

This is not a book for a person who just casually likes quotes. You need to want to know the origins, the details, the history of the usage to enjoy the book. The author often gives the earliest usage at the beginning of each chapter, so if you only want to know that you can skip to the next. The research is well documented so you can delve further if you like.
Joyce A. Wendeln
Mar 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
College Reference Book

The best thing I can say for this book is that it could be used as a reference book for a VERY boring college course.
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nowadays, quotes attributed to famous persons, have spread far and wide on an everyday basis due to the internet. People attach quotes as a signature to their emails. Others, email a quote everyday to their hundreds of contacts. As a result, all of us get to know wise everyday sayings, aphorisms or quotes by eminent people. But, we hardly pause to think about the origins of these familiar quotations and how correct our assumptions are, regarding the correctness of their attributions. This book’s ...more
James Kennedy
Hey! A free Kindle First book that's not a sappy romance novel!! This book is moderately interesting, but I think part of the problem is although falsely attributed quotes on facebook bother me, I didn't find the chronological excerpting of these quotes as they wound up in their current form very interesting.

Another problem is that many of the initial misattributions are just so clearly WRONG, that it doesn't seem worth the effort to point it out. Two examples from about midway through the book
Daria Marshall
2.5 stars

I don't really know what I was expecting from this book, but what I got definitely wasn't close to it.

It was clear that O'Toole did his research when it came to the quotes that were presented in this book. But there were times where it felt like it just dragged on. And for the most part, it was just boring. It was kind of interesting to read about the history of each quote, but overall, it wasn't that enjoyable or anything that I'll remember any time soon.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it liked it
What a disappointment this book was, although since I got it from Amazon for free as part of my Prime membership, I shouldn't complain too much. As a librarian, I love the art of research, especially as it pertains to language. In this collection, the author sets the stage by explaining how he came to track down the derivation of familiar quotes, often debunking accepted wisdom, occasionally unable to get a definitive answer. I started the first case “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” wit ...more
Jes Caruss
Mar 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry I picked this book

The title is extremely misleading. I thought I would be reading about quotes that are attributed to Hemingway.
This book is filled with "verbal diarrhea" and each misattributed quote is actually more like an APA style research paper. And within each essay there are other quotes people have said that honestly I don't give two shits about.
This book would be much better as a supplement material for a literary major.
If you are looking some research mater, then this is yo
Joy H.
Added 3/1/17. (Expected publication: April 1st 2017 by Little A)

I downloaded this Kindle edition FREE, as a "Kindle First" from Amazon. (Amazon Prime members can choose one featured book for FREE every month.)

Since one of my hobbies is collecting quotations, I thought this would be an important addition to my Kindle collection.
Mike Barker
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Amazon Prime selection. I got this mostly for my wife, but I couldn't let it sit in my carousel without reading it myself. I enjoyed it, but could only manage small doses of it. A little went a long way. We both enjoy language, especially the quirkier aspects of English. This appealed to us both, and I was introduced to a whole realm of a study and conjecture. I suppose I intuitively knew people study this sort of thing, but this was my first foray into it. I enjoyed the brief introduction to va ...more
Sarah Jamison
I must not have read the jacket copy closely enough, because I wanted this to be far more narrative than it is. There is almost no narrative whatsoever. But in Kindle format, it's very well put together in that you can choose any given popular quote, move immediately to it and see all the sources used by O'Toole to put together its provenance. Most quotes aren't really what we think they are and most of the people we thought were not the ones who said them. Strange and interesting.
M. Sarki
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
For the most part a pretty boring book. Perhaps interesting for some, but certainly not me. I learned nothing of any importance and there was little of interest to want to seek any further knowledge regarding any of the subjects investigated. All in all a disappointment.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A little bit interesting

This was somewhat interesting at times. I had never heard of some of the quotes, so the backstories were not fun. I would not recommend this.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: others, for-fun
The research conducted is impressively extensive, but the book is very boring, hard to finish.

On a side note, I think it would make better contributions by closing each chapter with the original quote, citing the original author.
David Richardson
Not quiet as much fun as I thought it would be, but it is educational. The author must have done some heavy duty research for this book. I have never seen so many reference notes in one book (embedded links in the Kindle edition).
Garrett Zecker
An interesting book that takes a hard look at some of the more popular misattributed maxims of our day, the Quote Investigator is on the case in Hemingway Didn't Say That. Garson O'Toole breaks down the origins of the statement, the possible places in publication and rhetorical execution where the quote became changed or reattributed, and then presents the findings in a quick and perfectly referenced minimalist format. I got this book as a Kindle First selection. While I found it interesting and ...more
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, ebooks
This non-fiction book is a wonderful exploration into how quotations that everyone knows can be attributed to the incorrect persons. I very much enjoyed reading this book.

The author presents himself as "The Internet's Foremost Quote Investigator", and he got into this sideline back in the 1990s, when he got into various forms of electronic media (remember CD-ROMs?), and later was trying to run down the origin of "May you live in interesting times". In 2010 he started the Quote Investigator websi
Roger Smitter
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Many years of teaching public speaking triggered my interest in this book. Because quotations are readily available from a wide range of sources, public speakers need to be careful about whom and what they quote in a speech.

O’Toole’s provides some useful quotations. For example, I can see the potential of the following in speeches (especially in this season of commencement speeches:

• The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give your gift away. Credited to Shakes
Julia V
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free on Net Galley in exchange for a review.

I have to go ahead and defend this book from a lot of the reviews. Many people thought that O'Toole's additions were not very valuable and found the featured content to be much more enriching. While some might label this as a problem, I appreciated his ability to step beck and allow the research to speak for itself. If he had tried to hard to add his own spin on everything this book would have been a drag to read and twice as
***Dave Hill
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: quotation collectors, researchers, speech writers
Shelves: text, non-fiction
O'Toole does yeoman's duty in researching who actually originally said something on his Quote Investigator website. This book, his first, takes a slight twist from that, highlighting some famous quotations that are frequently misattributed, the history behind them, and providing a framework for understanding how such errors happen.

This book probably won't appeal to a mass audience; it's really for quotation wonks, but also for researchers (and speech writers), as a series of object lessons abou
Lyle Blosser
Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I really appreciated the author's attention to detail and to making sure false attributions were revealed. There is a problem with the surfeit of words and text inundating us these days, and I applaud the author's attempt to clarify the origins of numerous well-known sayings. However, I soon found myself tired of wading through the often convoluted histories of pithy sayings, and began skimming down through the essays until I reached the "in conclusion" paragraph. I guess that is "typical" for m ...more
Kevin Anderson
I'm glad I got this for free months ago on my Kindle thanks to having an Amazon Prime subscription. I don't know what they charge for it now, but I hope it's no more than a couple of bucks, because this isn't exactly a fun read. It's page-turning, but not exactly fun.

On the one hand you can tell that O'Toole is very thorough in investigating the origins and potential origins of all the quotes mentioned, but on the other hand, he his very thorough in investigating the origins of the quotes. The w
Aug 09, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This has been sitting in my feed untouched for a while, but I'm finally facing what I've known for a while: I will not be finishing this book.

I was very excited when picking this up. It was an interesting idea with a catchy title, something that I thought would be clever, funny, and informative. It was really only one of these things. Hemingway Didn't Say That is an excellently researched book which provides its readers with all the sources they need to follow the author's journey in tracing bac
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
What is it about? 

Garson O'Toole aims to find out who actually said some of the popular quotations that have been erroneously assigned to popular speakers such as Mark Twain, Yogi Berra, Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, and oh yeah, Hemingway. 

Was it good?

I like good quotations, but this is not the book for me. I felt that the organization and execution took away from the purpose of the book. I couldn't remember any of the names of the errors of attribution, and I certainly can't remember who sa
Martin Hernandez
De este libro me asombraron 3 cosas:
1) La gran cantidad de citas erróneamente atribuidas a personajes famosos (o al menos, a personajes más famosos que quienes realmente las dijeron)...
2) La gran cantidad de información que se puede encontrar en las bibliotecas... y
3) La enorme paciencia y vocación de detective del autor para hacer sus pesquisas!!

Fuera de esto, el libro (y el sitio web que le dio origen) resultan más útiles como consulta, para confirmar alguna cita famosa, en caso de que se quie
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
I expected to enjoy this collection of popular-but-not-quite-right quotes/attributions and their corrections, but the information was presented very academically. One has to dig through pages of dry research to get to "the truth" in each chapter (a summary up front would have been appreciated), and after a few chapters the quotations stopped being so familiar -- which meant the "truths" became less interesting. I'll hang onto this book for reference, but less than halfway through I decided to st ...more
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