The Comedy of Error: why evolution made us laugh (Hardback)
  • The Comedy of Error: why evolution made us laugh (Hardback)
zoom

The Comedy of Error: why evolution made us laugh (Hardback)

(author)
£12.99
Hardback 192 Pages
Published: 12/11/2020
  • 5+ in stock

Usually dispatched within 2-3 working days

  • This item has been added to your basket

What is humour? Why do we laugh? And why is the root of a good joke almost always error?

Good jokes, bad jokes, clever jokes, dad jokes — the desire to laugh is universal. But why do we find some gags hilarious, whilst others fall flat? Why does explaining a joke make it less amusing rather than more so? Why is laughter contagious, and why did it evolve in the first place?

Using the oldest jokes and the latest science, in The Comedy of Error, Professor Jonathan Silvertown investigates why we laugh: from laughter’s evolutionary origins, to similarities and differences in humour across cultures, and even why being funny makes us sexier.

As this unique book demonstrates, understanding how humour really works can provide endless entertainment.

Publisher: Scribe Publications
ISBN: 9781913348182
Number of pages: 192
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

‘Analysing a joke, Jonathan Silvertown warns us, is “like using a pin to explain how a balloon works”. Analysing humour in general, then, as he does here, must be like taking a wrecking ball to the balloon factory. Luckily this book is funny. It has something of a jolly lecturer tone and comes larded with old-fashioned jokes offered as examples. Its purpose, though, is serious.’ - James McConnachie, The Sunday Times

‘Fascinating … an awesome read.’ - Giles Coren, Times Radio

‘A succinct and fascinating snapshot of a large body of thought into humour, the author maintains a light, playful tone to be easily accessible to the layperson … a perfect, easily-readable primer to the state of the research into the fascinating science of laughter.’ - Chortle

‘Jonathan Silvertown has written a thoroughly entertaining and erudite extended skit on the evolution of humour.’ - Fiona Capp, Sydney Morning Herald

‘In The Comedy of Error, Professor Silvertown deploys many of the world’s oldest jokes, coupled with some of our latest science, to unravel the similarities and differences in humour across cultures … [A] clever piece of work.’ - Ross Fitzgerald, Spectator Australia

‘Silvertown … mixes scientific analysis and comedy in this jovial exploration of humour’s evolutionary roots … [T]his works as a breezy look at where laughter came from — and that he’s able to make an actually funny joke about Kant is an impressive feat. The result is as fun as it is informative.’ - Publishers Weekly

‘In among the jokes, there is a (sort of) serious pursuit of the evolution of, well, certainly not jokes, and not quite laughter either — maybe wit would be the best word. And what is the point of wit, from a Darwinian perspective? Well, of course it's all about … no, read the book, which I guarantee will provide an hour, maybe two, of both enlightenment and enjoyment, along with the odd chuckle.’ - Dr Ken Thompson, The Niche

Praise for Demons in Eden: ‘Demons in Eden is a grand scientific narrative, full of vivid description, clear analysis, and personal warmth — an enthralling read and an important contribution to our understanding of biodiversity.’ - Oliver Sacks

Praise for 99% Ape: ‘Brief, pithy and delightfully illustrated and will be particularly attractive to secondary school students. It concisely presents the evidence for evolution.’ - The Times Literary Supplement

Praise for Dinner with Darwin: ‘Dinner with Darwin is a wide-ranging natural history of our diet, crafted at a pitch-perfect level for the science buff and the general reader alike. Silvertown is also a wonderful writer: erudite, informative, and thoroughly entertaining.’ - Washington Independent Review of Books

Praise for The Long and the Short of It: ‘An ideal introduction to the science of ageing and mortality. Interwoven with history and poetry, his erudite and eloquent book concisely explains the mechanisms underlying the lifespan of organisms ranging from nematode worms and chickweed to humans and redwoods. Considering their fates in terms of genetics and environment, Silvertown explores the questions that have bedevilled our species for as long as we've had the language to ask: why do we get old and why do we die?’ - New Scientist

You may also be interested in...

Me vs Brain
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
Murdle: Even More Killer Puzzles
Added to basket
£14.99   £12.99
Paperback
Dog Man 8: Fetch-22 (PB)
Added to basket
Abroad in Japan
Added to basket
£16.99
Hardback
Berserker!
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
Cards Against Humanity
Added to basket
Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Guy
Added to basket
Private Eye Annual
Added to basket
£12.99   £9.99
Hardback
My Favourite Mistake
Added to basket
£22.00   £18.99
Hardback
Everything I Know About Love
Added to basket
Unruly
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Added to basket
Lucky Cat
Added to basket
£8.99
Multiple items
Dog Man 12: The Scarlet Shedder
Added to basket
£12.99   £9.99
Hardback
The Mini Bonsai Kit
Added to basket
£5.99
Multiple items
Abroad in Japan
Added to basket
£10.99   £8.99
Paperback

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.

env: aptum
branch: