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The Pun Also Rises Paperback – 3 May 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: GOTHAM BOOKS; Reprint edition (3 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592406750
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592406753
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 276,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

A funny, erudite, and provocative exploration of puns, the people who make them, and this derided wordplay's remarkable impact on human history. In "The Pun Also Rises," John Pollack-a former World Pun Champion and presidential speechwriter for Bill Clinton-explains why puns matter: They revolutionized language and played a pivotal role in making the modern world possible. Skillfully weaving together stories and evidence from history, brain science, pop culture, literature, anthropology, and humor, "The Pun Also Rises" is an authoritative yet playful exploration of puns.With an engaging narrative, this book answers fundamental questions: Just what are puns? Why do people make them? How did punning impact the development of human language, and how did that drive creativity and progress? And why, after centuries of decline, does the pun still matter?At once entertaining and educational, this engaging book builds a compelling case for the powerful and enduring role of puns in human discourse and innovation, and why they'll always be more than just some antics.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dear Reader on 28 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting and entertaining addition to my bookshelf. All you need to know about puns - a learned skill or simply a gift - entertaining, amusing an enlightening. Excellent.
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By AP Corfield on 28 Jun. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book for those who value the scope of the English language
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 57 reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
A fabulous flight of fact and fun! 18 April 2011
By lisa - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not merely another fly-by-night volume listing a series of groaners, but the story of how puns came to be immersed in every plane of our lives - from classic literature to gourmet ice cream flavors. John Pollack pilots through a fast-paced lesson in the evolution of verbal communication, shooting down those nay-sayers who would claim that puns are the lowest form of humor. Lovers of language will cruise through this book with pleasure.

The author maneuvers skillfully through history, displaying his maverick skills with wordplay. A jester to the end, he leaves us with stingers at the turn of every page. Simultaneously a skilled professional in repartee and a scholar of the intricacies of language, John proves why he has earned the title of Top Pun.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A punderful read 21 April 2011
By Mr. Picky - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I read "The Pun Also Rises" and truly enjoyed it. Pollack has certainly done his research and he presents his ideas cogently and entertainingly...his intelligent book treats its often maligned subject with the respect and wit it deserves. If you have any interest in puns, words, and humor, this is the book to read. And, as one who also read the author's excellent "Cork Boat," I can say that he has certainly "groan" as a writer.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
From a Cork Boat to a Corking Good Treatise on the Pun 30 April 2011
By Stan - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read John Pollack's book about his part in the design and assembly of a cork boat in America, and the unexpected transport of the boat to Portugal where he, his family, and friends sailed it down a partially tamed river. That captivating story was largely about the people involved and their relationships, travails, and courage. I didn't know what to expect from him in a book about puns. Pages and pages of funny stuff? No, this is not a book of puns, it is about puns. The introduction to the book was about his personal experience in managing to gain entry into a punning contest and unexpectedly winning it. I like puns, but before I read the book I classified puns into two categories:true works of art and boring nonsense. In the introduction I learned a little about what would be allowed in a punning contest and now I feel a little more tolerant towards all types of puns. The book delves into the history, psychology,and science of punning. There are puns throughout, but they're part of the writing and not blatant attempts at punnery. You have to pay attention to find them all. The book could have fallen into the genre of "the paper clip and how it saved the world" but it is an enjoyable speculation of how the pun may be part of what makes us human, how it may have helped to shape our language, and what the latest science of the brain has to say about this. I preordered the book and when it shipped, I got an email that said that in keeping with Amazon's price protection policy, I was getting a 14 cent reduction in the price. So not only did I get a very enjopyable book about puns, but it made cents too!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Very smart, very funny exegesis by a true pun-master 30 April 2011
By Ann Marsh - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'm funnier - and smarter - for having read The Pun Also Rises by John Pollack. From this exegesis by a true pun-master, I now possess a new repertoire of jokes and witticisms with which I've been entertaining family and friends unaccustomed to side-splitting humor coming from my side of the dinner table. So, thank you, John. But I've also learned about some of the earliest known roots of humor - from an ancient Athenian comedy club called the Group of Sixty to the prevalence of double meanings in Polynesian chants. Most revealing is Pollack's description of the role that puns have played in the development of abstract thought. If you find your sister's incessant punning groan-worthy, think again. She's displaying one of the highest orders of human intelligence. Proof of this is the difficulty researchers in Artificial Intelligence are having getting robots or computers to simulate anything like humor or satire. Take that, Watson. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it highly. It's a perfect combination of vacation reading for the summer: smart and edifying while distractingly silly and laugh-out-loud funny.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A great, eye-opening read 22 April 2011
By Language Lover in NYC - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book isn't simply about puns. It's about language, history, and culture, and it's filled with fascinating material about everything from the way our brain processes the sound of words to the origins of the alphabet. The tone might be funny and conversational, but Pollack has a lot of interesting things to say (and he says it all economically; the book is a brief, approachable read, not some ten-pound volume you're going to get bogged down in for months). The bottom line: If you're looking for a fun book to give anyone who lingers over the meanings of words, loves Scrabble, or can't resist a good pun, this is it.
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