Monday, April 25, 2011

Julia Reviews the Pun Also Rises + Giveaway!

The Pun Also RisesTitle/Author: The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics by John Pollack
Publisher/Year Published: 2010 by Gotham
How I got this book: It was provided to me by the publishers through TLC Book Tours
Why I read this book: I love words and languages and how they evolve. Puns never really interested me until I read the title of this book and thought “That’s a good queston”
Rating: 4 stars

Summary What do the following have in common: Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream, Disney’s recent movie Gnomeo & Juliet, London wine bar “Planet of the Grapes”?
They are all puns…which usually elicit either a quick chuckle or a loud groan. We are surrounded by puns. Be it the name of a store or movie, a headline in a newspaper, and advertisement on a billboard or characters in books and TV shows, puns show up every day. In some ways, we are experiencing a pun renaissance. The Pun Also Rises is the definitive account of the humble pun, its history, and why punning still matters.

Author, John Pollack – a former Presidential Speechwriter and winner of the O. Henry world pun championship – will lead you on a remarkable journey through time, culture and language. Rich with anecdotes, history, pop culture, neuroscience, literature, anthropology and humor, this book will inspire every reader to reconsider what they think they know about puns.

When I was contacted by TLC Book Tours about reading a book about language, I jumped at the chance. I love language. Everything about it intrigues me, including puns. I’m not going to lie. Before I started reading this book, when someone said “pun”, I would think of the jokes that come on popsicle sticks. And yes, I would be one of groaners sometimes. But the interesting thing about this book is it leads you more into the depths of puns.

I learned a lot reading this book. A good number of the words I would not immediately recognize as puns are actually puns. Pollack does a good job at explaining in an interesting way why a pun is what it is. Each chapter highlights a different aspect with the biggest chunk being on the history. There were a few parts that I kind of glossed over as slightly repetitive and sometimes the order of how things were presented gave me a puzzled look, but overall I spent many a plane flight learning about puns.

The funny thing is, after reading this book, I have started using puns more. Sometimes I get the groans from others, but I don’t care to much as they amuse me a great deal. (Though now that I have said that I am trying to think of a good pun to put in this review, but after about 5 minutes of staring I have come up empty. Sad. I would not win the O. Henry championship.)
So here is my recommendation. If you like language, like learning about little known facts about words or speech in general then you will really like this book. It doesn’t read too academic, so no need to be put off there.

The Best Part: The publisher is offering one lucky winner a free copy of the book! If this book interests you, just leave a comment with your email address. The winner will be drawn Monday, May 2nd. I will contact you for a mailing address. The book will come directly from the publisher. US/Canada only please.


  1. How fun! I'd love to read it!


  2. Sounds like a great read!

  3. This sounds like a book I would love!

    kate_e_jones (at) yahoo (dot) ca

  4. I love books like this and I am forever spitting out puns by accident. Hahaha! hlindskold [at] btweenthecovers [dot] com.

  5. LOVE this idea!

  6. It sounds really neat! I would definitely like to read it!

    h3ll0z0mbi3 [at] gmail [dot] com

  7. Looks really interesting!

  8. This seems right up my alley!


  9. I would love to read this book!

  10. Ooh, I just read a language/grammar book and I'd love this one! My dad is the master of groan-inducing puns.

  11. This sounds like a really fun and interesting book -- I'm also really into learning about language. Thanks for the chance to win a copy! :)

    jmartinez0415 [at] gmail [dot] com

  12. I love reading origin of words books and never thought there would be a book about puns. My favorite ones are those that happen by accident. Please enter me in this contest.


  13. I love books like these! Language is fascinating :)


  14. This sounds fun, :)


  15. I'm further afield so won't enter. Just wanted to say this looks like an interesting book I read I Is An Other a while ago, which is a similar book about metaphors (review on my blog), which I found very interesting to.

  16. Sounds so interesting! One of my best friends loves puns and even enters a national pun competition every year. I'd love to read it!


  17. I would love to read it and use it in my English classroom!

  18. I do a lesson on puns each year when I teach Romeo and Juliet to my freshmen students... I think this book could be a great help for that lesson!

    tiasbook AT gmail DOT com

  19. This book sounds really interesting. I love reading books about language too.

  20. I love books on language, and would love a book on puns!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  21. I totally fail at puns but I do appreciate them when others use them! Great review, thanks so much for being on the tour!

  22. i LOVE coworkers and i have contests to see who can come up with the best (worst)...
    penandpaperie (@)

  23. That sounds like a fun read! I love learning about language too!

  24. I am a real wordie. I would love to read this book. Jessy

    hootowl1978 at gmail dot com

  25. My husband is a HUGE fan of puns, and would love to read this!

    patchworkjackie (at) gmail (dot) com

  26. I love puns - my boyfriend is the king of puns. I hope I win. Please enter me.

  27. Sounds awesome!!

    *New Follower*

    inklingsread (at) hotmail (dot) com

    Inklings Read

  28. I would love to read this book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  29. This sounds really cool! I'd love to learn more about puns and perhaps find new ways to use them in my own language.


  30. I love puns! Thanks for the giveaway.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  31. Oh my gosh, I *love* puns, and I'd love to read this book.

    (My favorite pun is the one about the guy who submitted ten puns to a contest, hoping that at least *one* of them would win... unfortunately, no pun in ten did.)



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