BOOK REVIEW: The Pun Also Rises by John Pollack

We all make puns. I’m a big fan of the cheesiest puns, in fact, and I always follow it up with a proud declaration of: “I’m PUN-ny!”

John Pollack wrote a whole book about puns: The Pun Also Rises. He wrote about his own relationship with punning and he delved into its very interesting history. You didn’t think puns had that much backstory, did you?

Pollack opens up the book with his account on entering a pun competition. I know… I didn’t know they existed either but they really do sound intense. His retelling of his experience in the contest is a great way to introduce his ultimate thesis — that the pun should be considered a high form of wit and humor. You have to be really intelligent and sharp in order to come up with the greatest puns under pressure. You have to have a wide enough knowledge and vocabulary to even be able to play with words. It takes skills!

The book teaches the reader to appreciate puns and its relationship with different languages. Even its influence on the evolution of languages and literature. Puns did not quite start out as cheesy, knock-knock jokes (orange you glad?)! These days, it is considered the “lowest form of humor” but that wasn’t always the case. In the history of language and literature, puns played a very important role.

The Pun Also Rises is very informative. The author is informative and thorough with his research without ever boring the reader. It is a very well-written and entertaining book.

I recommend it to people who wants to appreciate the art of pun and learn more about the history of language and wordplay.

You can follow the Space Pirate Queen on twitter @punkagogo.

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