It Lives on My Bedside Table, June 27, 2001
My Benet has been a constant companion for 15 years. A few days ago I reluctantly turned in my tattered old copy for the new edition. In my opinion, only Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable and the Oxford Dictionary of Aphorisms can match Benet for sheer browsing pleasure. The most impressive thing about this reference is its amazing range - the literatures of many countries, history, philosophy, language, even science and politics. There are innumerable short biographies, articles on individual literary characters and many handy plot summaries. All in a well bound paperback that can be read lying down! I also have a fatal weakness for the Oxford Companions, but if you are looking for a single volume guide to the literary world, look no further than Benet.
One of the best reference books out there! I bought my own copy in high school and it saw me through high school and college lit classes. I still own and use it all these years later.