In his "inventive and playful book" (Newsday), James Geary explores every facet of wittiness, from its role in innovation to why puns are the highest form of it. For example, we learn that Adam and Eve were tempted by an apple only after the Bible was translated into the Latin Vulgate, in which "evil" and "apple" are both malum. Adopting a different style appropriate to each subject, Geary balances psychology, folktale, visual art, and literary history with lighthearted humor and acute insight to show how wit and wisdom are really the same thing.
"Readers roaring with laughter at outrageous puns one moment find themselves carefully assessing psychological studies the next…. An exhilarating romp, entertaining and enlightening."—Booklist (starred review)