Best books on being witty

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best books on being witty

How To Be Effortlessly Witty In 4 Effortful Steps | HuffPost

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Published 19.01.2019

Humorous Fantasy Recommendations!

The secret to being witty, revealed

A genuinely funny book is one of life's simplest pleasures, but finding the real stand-outs is never as easy. Back in , we asked some leading lights of comedy and literature to nominate the books that make them laugh out loud. Here we revisit the results, and add some extras from the Esquire team. It's strange how this novel has become a by-word for doomy, nihilistic introspection; I blame Mark Chapman. It's actually a very funny book, right from its perfect opening sentence. No one has ever captured the adolescent voice with such accuracy; the pretension, the self-importance, the heart-breaking sincerity and misguided passion. The narrator's voice is perfect - slangy and wise-cracking - and there are some wonderful set-pieces too, including an excruciating encounter with a prostitute, wonderful rants about acting and the cinema and 'phoniness'.

When you're not witty, life is garbage. It was a fucking nightmare, I tell you. Apparently Benjamin Errett doesn't suffer from this problem. Apparently Errett can knock socks off feet with nothing but a glass of bourbon and a copy of Good Housekeeping. Apparently he's known throughout the National Post as the Grandmaster Flash of the pithy remark. In his new book Elements of Wit: Mastering the Art of Being Interesting , Errett collects the sharpest people of all time—your Wildes, your Louis CKs, your Rebecca Northans—in order to help people like me figure out how to seduce women. Er, I mean, make my friends laugh so hard they piss themselves.

Wit is to life what salt is to food: The spice that makes it not only tolerable but delicious. You can buy salt in a box at the corner store, but where do you find wit? It's in just about every work of art that's worth your time: the plays of Tom Stoppard, the poems of Patricia Lockwood, the songs of Jay-Z, the persona of Fran Lebowitz and the essays of Christopher Hitchens, for starters. But what is wit, exactly? An ineffable quality, perhaps, one that's easy to spot but impossible to define?

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1 COMMENTS

  1. Torscontgeber says:

    You can practice being wittier, improving your reaction times and ability to land a jab or joke at just the right moment.

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