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Wit's End

What Wit Is, How It Works, and Why We Need It


James Geary (Author)

Our Retail Price:£14.99

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“A witty book about wit that steers an elegant path between waggishness and wisdom.” — Stephen Fry

James Geary explores every facet of wittiness, from its role in innovation to why puns demonstrate the essence of creativity. Geary reasons that wit is both visual and verbal, physical and intellectual: there’s the serendipitous wit of scientists, the crafty wit of inventors, the optical wit of artists and the metaphysical wit of philosophers.

In Wit’s End, Geary embraces wit in every form by adopting a different style for each chapter; he writes the section on verbal repartee as a dramatic dialogue, the neuroscience of wit as a scientific paper, the spirituality of wit as a sermon, and other chapters in jive, rap and the heroic couplets of Alexander Pope. Demonstrating that brevity really is the soul of wit, Geary crafts each chapter from concise sections of 200, 400 or 800 words. Entertaining and illuminating Wit’s End shows how wit is much more than a sense of humour.


Wit's End is delicious.” — Stephen Fry

“Playful, fiercely intelligent, silly, funny and immensely informative - [Wit's End] makes for a breathless read that leaves you feeling enormously enriched. The reinvention from chapter to chapter is a masterstroke and keeps the subject matter joyously buoyant.” — Reece Shearsmith, Actor and Writer

“James Geary has produced a rich cornucopia of wit and its origins in the wittiest literary way possible. A delight.” — Julia Hobsbawm

“... playful, occasionally chaotic road trip through comedy's links to innovation and creativity.” — Discover