Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blog Tour Review: The Pun Also Rises by John Pollack

Book: The Pun Also Rises by John Pollack
Genre: NF
Rating: B+
For: TLC Blog Tour
From: The publisher (Gotham Books/Penguin)

First let me just fill you in the subtitle, because that basically tells you what this book is all about. How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics.

Who knew the pun was so important!

Yes, I am fascinated with anything having to do with language, the spoken word, the history of words, etc. etc. So I knew I would need to be checking out this fun book! And yes, some of it went over my shallow head. It was a little deep for me. But I enjoyed the stories, and the punny examples, and the history.

Here's some of the things you'll learn if you read this book:

  • What is a pun anyway?
  • When did people start using puns?
  • Who uses puns?
  • Are puns even funny?
  • Why do we also groan after a pun is told? (Do you groan? I do.)
  • What is the purpose of a pun?
  • The history of the phrase "pun not intended." (Okay fess up, have you ever said that?)
  • The history of words, language and how the brain understands them.
  • ....just to name a few things!
Now perhaps that sounds extremely boring to you. Maybe to a lot of you. But really, it's quite interesting. I promise.

But the best part of this whole book? Trying to find the puns scattered throughout! There's tons of them! And I'm sure I only caught just a smattering. It's kinda of like trying to find the mouse in Goodnight Moon. Quite the game. And boy do I wish I could have filled this review with pun after pun after pun. But my brain is barely functioning enough to write anything remotely coherent at all, so we'll not worry about that part, okay?

There's a lengthy introduction that tells the story about why the author, John Pollack, is qualified to write this book... namely he won the big world "pun off" championship. It's fun to see how one of those works. Other info about him: he is a journalist and former Special Assistant and Presidential Speechwriter to Bill Clinton. He has written for publications such as the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Advertising Age, and the Associated Press. He has also written speeches for corporate and public-sector leaders such as Jeffrey Katzenberg, Carly Fiorina, John Glenn, David de Rothschild, and actress Goldie Hawn. He currently works as a speechwriter and consultant for ROI Communication, an internal communication consulting firm.

Bottom line: I enjoyed this book a lot, despite the the "over my head" parts.


  1. This one does sound interesting...sigh! I guess I'll have to check it out.

  2. I want to read this book as I love puns. I'm always stunning my coworkers with the occasional pun.

    Have a Punderful Day

  3. I LOVE puns! I was the only one that laughed at all my AP History teacher's puns ... I bet Melanie would really like this book too! Nice.



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