Books 2: What’s The Funniest Book You’ve Read?

Reading & Writing

512qDJJk1kL._SL160_AA160_ Comic novels get a bad rap; they’re passed over for awards and hard to sell to the public. They’re also very hard to write. When a writer pulls off such a book, though, the results can be joyous. Discounting PG Wodehouse and Evelyn Waugh simply because they steal the top spots again and again, who else has made you really laugh?
I’d pick these as my tops;
The Ascent Of The Rum Doodle (WE Bowman)
Squire Haggard’s Journal (Michael Green)
Down With Skool (Geoffrey Willans)
Diary Of A Provincial Lady (EM Delafield)
The Complete Pratt (David Nobbs)
Big Babies (Michael Bywater)
Other suggestions?

11 comments on “Books 2: What’s The Funniest Book You’ve Read?”

  1. Nicola says:

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson – hilarious!

  2. Helen Martin says:

    Never Sleep Three in a Bed, Owls in the Family, and for some reason, Three Men in a Boat. The first two are extremely Canadian and the third is Edwardian English. We really respond to books that reflect our lives back to us, so they are often very time and place specific. If you don’t have a connection you often don’t get the humour. So how come those three goofs and their dog in a punt on the river are so funny? I have gone camping and understand the desire to take advantage of a chance to sleep dry, but otherwise I don’t know. Of course there were a number of Wodehouse books on our shelves when I was growing up and that might have facilitated the Jerome book

  3. I.A.M. says:

    And Now, Here’s Max by Max Ferguson, a national CBC Radio announcer and host, all about his career with the Mother Corp. Very funny events can happen in a radio booth if your voice doesn’t start giving you away, and sometimes even complete mistakes can be aired without anyone being the wiser. Hardly a ‘bloopers reel’ of a biography, it gives insight into the people as well. Tough to find a copy now.

    The Boat That Wouldn’t Float by Farley Mowat (another Canadian writer) about a sailing vessel he bought in an out-port Newfoundland location and eventually sailed to Expo ’67 in Montréal is also excellent. Again, the characters and events make it sing.

    And finally, because no-one’s mentioned it yet, the all-time classic 1066 & All That… by Sellars and Yeatman. History (British) has never been the same since, thankfully.

  4. BangBang!! says:

    I was beaten to it for Three Men in a Boat. I don’t recall reading too many comic novels besides Pratchett’s stuff. Though I do remember laughing out loud at Puckoon when I was a teenager. Haven’t read that for years. I wonder if I’d still find it as amusing?

  5. Karin says:

    Has no one read P.S. Your Cat is Dead by James Kirkwood? Whenever anyone I know is going through crap that just keeps getting crappier I have to give them this book!
    I always have at least 2 copies in case I lose one (which I invariably do)
    First saw it as a superb play in Toronto one New Years Eve(significance of date known if you have read it) in the ’80’s. Been smitten ever since and I have the framed theatre poster to prove it!

  6. martin says:

    I would have to include the novels of Tom Sharpe. The throwback is one of those (thankfully) rare books that made me laugh so hard I got an athsma attack. I also enjoyed Gods behaving badly by Marie Phillips. For American authors, some of James Thurber.

  7. martin says:

    Oops- Almost forgot Alan Bennett The Uncommon reader.

  8. admin says:

    PS Your Cat Is Dead was made into a movie by Steve (‘Police Academy’) Guttenberg!

  9. Iain says:

    The Information by Martin Amis.

  10. Dan says:

    Can’t believe this is nine replied old and no one has mentioned A Confederacy Of Dunces – wonderful, very funny book

  11. Bal says:

    What about the fantastic A Confederacy of Dunces by the doomed John Kennedy Toole, the rather bizarre but delightful My Talks With Dean Spanley by Lord Dunsany (recently filmed, but I haven’t seen it yet)and
    any of George MacDonald Fraser Flashman books.

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