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baboon2004
13-04-2005, 12:31 AM
While I love a good read, I frequently find 400 page novels with nary a joke to be seen (apart perhaps, from halfhearted and rubbish ones) quite a trial, and quite contrary to the spirit of real life.

So, here's the beginnings of a list of books (be they specifically 'comic' or not) that make me laugh. Some may be obvious, but this is just off the top of my head:

Woody Allen - the Complete Prose
Joseph Heller - Catch 22
Bret Easton Ellis - American Psycho (bits of this are hysterical, other bits less so)
The Framley Examiner
The Henry Root Letters
(Klaus) Kinski Uncut
Charlie Brooker - Screen Burn

Any other recommendations for me?

Helen
13-04-2005, 02:16 AM
The Re:Search book of Pranks makes me laugh out loud.

francesco
13-04-2005, 04:37 AM
Rabelais - Gargantua and Pantagruel
Swift - Gulliver's Adventures

labrat
13-04-2005, 01:50 PM
despite his media whoredom Will Self's My Idea Of Fun is an absolute hoot
Re-Search Pranks seconded also a few yocks in their Angry Women too..
Stuart Home's 69 Things to do with a Dead Princess & Down and out in Shorditch and Hoxton are v.amusing (ignore the haters)
for yer Surrealists et al Jaques Vache War Letters is great and profound (on the sly).
(and Tristran Tzar 6 Dada Manifestos is both hilarious and preticent.)

Rambler
13-04-2005, 02:05 PM
I've recently laughed out loud to:

Aldous Huxley - Antic Hay (he's practically Wodehouse for the first 3 quarters)
Kate Atkinson - Behind the Scenes at the Museum (some very funny set pieces)
Neil Gaiman - American Gods (as you'd expect)

carlos
13-04-2005, 04:52 PM
the only books that have ever made me laugh out loud were all written by Hunter Thompson: "Hell's Angels", "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72"

martin
14-04-2005, 12:23 PM
Read "Fairytale of New York" by JP Donleavy

hamarplazt
14-04-2005, 02:01 PM
Stanislaw Lem: Mortal Engines + Memoirs found in a Bathtub
Hermann Ebeling: Daisy Day
James Morrow: Continent of Lies
Ilf and Petrov: 12 Chairs
Gogol
A H Kohl: Mikrobernes Palas (don't think this one exist in english though)

stelfox
14-04-2005, 02:18 PM
Read "Fairytale of New York" by JP Donleavy

word! this is a GREAT read. see also confederacy of dunces by john kennedy toole - without doubt the funniest book i've ever read.

martin
14-04-2005, 02:23 PM
see also confederacy of dunces by john kennedy toole - without doubt the funniest book i've ever read.

Absolute class.

rewch
14-04-2005, 02:34 PM
the good soldier svejk by jaroslav hasek

second gogol & confederacy of dunces

also by donleavy the ginger man

baboon2004
14-04-2005, 03:21 PM
While undoubtedly a good read, Confederacy of Dunces left me a bit cold humour-wise.

But will add 'Cold Comfort Farm' to the list.

LRJP!
14-04-2005, 07:57 PM
Dreaming Of Babylon by Richard Brautigan was the last book to make me laugh out loud, a couple of weeks ago, and on public transport too...

robin
17-04-2005, 11:51 PM
anything by pg wodehouse usually has me in stitches

Helen
18-04-2005, 12:29 PM
The Complete Works of Saki

jenks
18-04-2005, 03:15 PM
after some consideration ( as opposed to just flippantly replying, something sneered upon in another strand) :rolleyes: here are a few that spring to my mind:
early waugh
beckett's pricks
alexander baron
early jon coe
chaucer
dfw
the cafe scenes in white teeth
sterne
anthony powell
nancy mitford
the baby in london fields
j robert lennon
simon raven
julien rathbone
john irving
he died with a felafal in his hands
early narayan
dickens dickens dickens

agree with framley examiner i am not allowed to read it in bed as my wife is so annoyed with my helpless laughter followed by explanations of jokes she doesn't find funny in the least - i see there is a new framley book out.

grosun
20-04-2005, 04:02 PM
Recently, anything by Spalding Grey (why isn't he better known? his books are like a good friend talking really openly... love him, but really hard to find in the UK), and I always find PJ O'Rourke funny, even if I disagree with him 1/2 the time.

jenks
20-04-2005, 04:22 PM
yeah spalding - remember reading swimming to cambodia many years ago - funny stuff about trying to kill his sibling and scurrilous anecdotes about athol fugard. came as a surprise to find he went and killed himself about a year ago.
used to find pj funny now find him repellent - i think it was a very sneery piece on pakistan and jute production that did it for me.
also i forgot to mention robertson davies in my previous post.

owen
20-04-2005, 06:25 PM
i've been reading an anthology of futurist manifestos lately which are absolutely hilarious.

(i've also gone right off pj o'rourke, who i used to be keen on, perhaps because what he's defending is so much more obviously malevolent than it seemed 6 years ago when i was a fan....or maybe i just don't find him funny anymore. marinetti's politics were pretty dubious too though)

ok, off the top of my head....will self and kennedy toole seconded, early wyndham lewis, isherwood can be surprisingly funny (just read 'christopher and his kind' which had a fair few belly laughs), some angela carter things, thurber, dorothy parker, MOLESWORTH, the orton diaries....kenneth tynan's diaries as well while we're at it, the 'cannibal dada' thing by (i think?) tristan tzara, b.s johnson, oh and zizek!

baboon2004
21-04-2005, 11:18 PM
Loads of stuff to check out - thanks for everyone's recommendations....

Must add Anthony Boudain's books, if only for the hilarious dismissal of "vegetarians and their Hizbollah-like splinter faction: vegans"

Used to love PJ O'rourke too.. 'Holidays in Hell' still stands up tremendously well

ripley
22-04-2005, 07:24 AM
Definitely Beckett's "More Pricks than Kicks" - especially Dante and the Lobster.

I hooted at the opening sentence of "Notes from Underground" by Dostoevsky, though I suspect that would depend on the translation. The same with "Master and Margarita" actually. And I think Gogol and especially Daniil Kharms are really really funny, but I don't laugh out loud, somehow. Is it too populist to say that the Danny Kaye film of "The Inspector General" is one of the funniest movies I've seen?

And, Moby Dick. Seriously there is some funny funny shit in that book. just don't expect it to be about a whale.

Tweak Head
01-05-2005, 08:44 PM
Most of Hunter S Thompson but especially Fear and Loathing.

PJ O'Rourke - Republican Party Reptile, especially the one about driving. His other books are OK (except the CEO of the sofa which is shite) but this was his peak IMHO. The title of the driving story is "How to Drive Fast On Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wangs Sqeezed and Not Spill Your Drink". This gives you a flavour of what it's like. I remember a few years ago PJ was interviewed by Clive James on UK television and in his introduction James referred to the story as "How to Drive Fast and Not Spill Your Drink", which kind of missed the point ...

Most stuff by Flann O'Brien especially The Third Policeman.

Also that first Bill Bryson book, Notes from a Small Island. I know I will be reviled for this.

Father Ted - the scripts.

Catch 22, as someone mentioned above. This is one of those books that uses humour to catch you unawares then hits you with the message.

michael
02-05-2005, 12:36 AM
Melchior loaned me Paul Beatty's 'The White Boy Shuffle' and 'Tuffy', both of which cracked me up on multiple occasions. The latter's probably the better book, but the former's the funnier. IMO.

h-crimm
02-05-2005, 07:46 AM
Definitely Beckett's "More Pricks than Kicks" - especially Dante and the Lobster.
I hooted at the opening sentence of "Notes from Underground" by Dostoevsky, though I suspect that would depend on the translation.



we have a similar sense of humour... everyone was totally incredulous when i was going after the jokes in the 'slagging off beckett' thread.

when i read that dostoevsky i must have read the first page ten times before i could get any furthur. its a total billious ejaculation in the face. i had this edwardian (maybe?) everyman edition and the translation was very florid, which i think added to the ridiculous effect.
i once fished it out in a bookstore cos i was in need of a quick hit of comedy but the 'penguin classic' version left me cold.

D84
02-05-2005, 01:12 PM
I find George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/tg/listmania/list-browse/-/1VJOIL18JZBID/qid=1115033656/sr=5-1/ref=sr_5_11_1/026-2413245-4747612) series hilarious and entertaining. They're about the continuing adventures of Harry Flashman, the cowardly bully of Tom Brown's Schooldays fame. Not only are they funny but also educational as he gets to meet all the leading men and women of the 19th C as well as tries to escape from every shocking battle and filthy dungeon of same. Some of them are eye-openers esp. when you connect them with present day stuff, such as Afghanistan, slavery, colonialism etc (if you're as ignorant as me, that is).

No-one's mentioned JG Ballard. I found "Crash" pretty funny on 2nd reading once I got over the gore and semen and realised that like most of his novels it's a domestic comedy riff about an estranged couple who are trying to reignite their romance through erm ingenious methods. And his short stories are often full of his dry black humour ("Sound Sweep", "The Enormous Space", "Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan" etc).

I'm currently reading "Tristram Shandy" which isn't hilarious but I'm enjoying the easy going flow of it and the endless digressions etc.

I have to put in a "me too" for Spalding Grey - a couple of the set-pieces in "Impossible Holiday" had me in stitches..

ripley
02-05-2005, 11:45 PM
when i read that dostoevsky i must have read the first page ten times before i could get any furthur. its a total billious ejaculation in the face. i had this edwardian (maybe?) everyman edition and the translation was very florid, which i think added to the ridiculous effect.



"I am a sick man, I am an angry man, I am an unattractive man. I think there is something wrong with my liver."

best opening line, ever. bilious indeed.

I'm also down with the futurist manifestos(whee!), and more Russian absurdists - Daniil Kharms, especally "Pushkin and Gogol"

swears
08-06-2007, 09:48 AM
I hooted at the opening sentence of "Notes from Underground" by Dostoevsky, though I suspect that would depend on the translation.

Yes, a very funny book, a suprisingly modern voice, too. The beef he has going on with his servant (who probably doesn't even realise it) always raises a smile. The Double, also very witty, although I do wonder what I'm missing out on in the translation.

Immryr
08-06-2007, 09:54 AM
Dostoevsky can be hilarious at times. Notes From Underground is definitely a very funny book.

IdleRich
08-06-2007, 10:10 AM
Agree with all Wodehouse, Saki, Waugh, Gogol etc but I don't think that anyone has mentioned Jerome K Jerome (Three Men in a Boat is the book I have read more than any other). On the other hand can't say I was that impressed with A Confederacy of Dunces - I mean it was ok and everything but I wasn't laughing out loud. The last book to make me do that was The Crying of Lot 49, the bit where they watch the play had me crying with laughter.

Mr. Tea
08-06-2007, 02:02 PM
The Wild Highway, Bill Drummond and Mark Manning (cheers again for lending me that, IR).
Harry Hill's Flight From Deathrow - highly surreal yet somehow avoids falling into the tired old cliche of being "'random', ergo 'funny'" as it mainly derives its humour from satirising celebrity culture - nearly all its characters are in fact real people (Deng Xiaoping, Alan Ticthmarsh...).
Most of Robert Rankin's stuff.
I might as well be the umpteenth person on here to mention Catch 22.
Rob Grant's Incompetence.
Neil Stephenson's Cryptonomicon has moments of comic genius, despite not being principally a humorous book.
And as a moderately nerdy virginal teenager I suppose I got through a fair number of Discworld books, which aren't exactly hip literature but were quite funny, and Good Omens (Pratchett and Neil Gaiman) was still very funny when I re-read it a few years ago.

STN
08-06-2007, 02:10 PM
Asterix.

Bits of Lolita made me laugh, as do Saki and Wodehouse.

'Christie Malry's Own Double Entry' is good for a giggle, and not just for the title either.

Not a novel but 'The Meaning of Liff' by Douglas Adams cracks me up.

mos dan
08-06-2007, 03:28 PM
Wodehouse will always win for me on this score. My ex had an English tutor at uni who maintained that Wodehouse was the greatest writer in the history of the English language after Shakespeare. I've rinsed all the J&W books to death, can anyone tell me if his other books are half as good?

The Meaning of Liff is a hoot deffo. Also all The Onion books.

My favourite PJ O'Rourke is 'Parliament of Whores'. I am apparently alone in not having recently gone off him - still think he's wonderfully educational, as well as funny and admirably contrarian.

What's the deal with the compilation of Futurist Manifestos? I thought there was only one? As an aside, I got a line from Marinetti in an NS headline recently: http://www.newstatesman.com/200705280020

STN
08-06-2007, 04:02 PM
[QUOTE=mos dan;90461]Wodehouse will always win for me on this score. My ex had an English tutor at uni who maintained that Wodehouse was the greatest writer in the history of the English language after Shakespeare. I've rinsed all the J&W books to death, can anyone tell me if his other books are half as good?


QUOTE]

I really like Piccadilly Jim, in which the protagonist has to pretend to be himself. It's top farce. I've heard the 'greatest writer since Shakespeare' thing before, as it happens. Maybe from someone who had the same tutor...

mixed_biscuits
08-06-2007, 08:09 PM
Stephen Potter - Gamesmanship, Lifesmanship, Supermanship etc - the philosophy to base your life on.

At school, the literary craze was Piers Anthony and his Xanth series (puntastic US sci-fi).

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors is the least amusing thing I have ever read (or seen).

Mr. Tea
08-06-2007, 08:17 PM
Oh, should have added The Hippopotamus and The Liar by Stephen Fry.
Awesomely funny.

jenks
08-06-2007, 09:46 PM
It'll sound desperately twee but I've just finished readin Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire which had both of the junior jenks and me in hysterics.

petergunn
09-06-2007, 05:22 AM
i already repped him in another book thread, but Mordecai Richler makes me laugh outloud consistantly...

barney's version
duddy kravitz
joshua then and now

are funny as hell...

Noah Baby Food
10-06-2007, 01:39 PM
Anything by Guy N Smith, and Richard Allen is pretty hilarious too...as are a lot of the 1970s NEL paperbacks.

choice Guy Smith quotes:

Gordon would you … take me away from here? Take me with you, where there aren’t such things as wolves, Black Dogs and people cutting their heads off with saws. – from Werewolf by Moonlight

She needed a man. A real man. Not the boyish Chris Latimer. Someone who would dominate her. Take her as a woman should be taken. – From The Sucking Pit

Why shouldn't a child's corpse turn into a pike? No reason at all...Maybe he was a fish and hadn't realised it up until now. – From The Undead

Also, some of you fellows may enjoy the writings on my new blog:

http://www.notmyrealdad.blogspot.com/

gek-opel
10-06-2007, 02:18 PM
"Atomised" by Michel Houellebecq cracked me up.

And yeah- seconding "The Atrocity Exhibition" era Ballard, just very funny raw absurd sick juxtapositions...

benjybars
10-06-2007, 11:13 PM
Wodehouse will always win for me on this score. My ex had an English tutor at uni who maintained that Wodehouse was the greatest writer in the history of the English language after Shakespeare. I've rinsed all the J&W books to death, can anyone tell me if his other books are half as good?



practically EVERY wodehouse is jokes... his consistency is amazing. I remember being particularly impressed with the Psmith books.. 'Psmith in the city' etc.

i'm reading anna karenina at the moment and i've laughed out loud twice, which is not something i expected when i picked it up!

Mr. Tea
11-06-2007, 01:16 PM
Oh, I forgot: these are great, too:

Crap Towns: the 50 Worst Places to live in Britain (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crap-Towns-Worst-Places-Live/dp/0752215825/ref=pd_bowtega_1/026-0344966-9857243?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181567557&sr=1-1)

The Law Of The Playground (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Law-Playground-Puerile-Disturbing-Dictionary/dp/0091900301/ref=sr_1_1/026-0344966-9857243?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181567581&sr=1-1)

And this could be the funniest book I've ever read:
Real Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja Book (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Real-Ultimate-Power-Official-Ninja/dp/080652569X/ref=sr_1_1/026-0344966-9857243?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181567713&sr=1-1)

From here: http://www.realultimatepower.net/
http://www.realultimatepower.net/ninja/ninjaparty.jpg

h-crimm
12-06-2007, 12:11 AM
"I am a sick man, I am an angry man, I am an unattractive man. I think there is something wrong with my liver."

If the "notes from a rathole" fans are still around.
You need to go back to the 1913 version, trust me.



"I am ill. I am full of spleen and repellent. I conceive there to be something wrong with my liver, for I cannot even think for the aching of my head. Yet what my complaint is I do not know...."

petergunn
12-06-2007, 09:45 AM
If the "notes from a rathole" fans are still around.
You need to go back to the 1913 version, trust me.

funny how translations make so much difference... i've read a few versions of Celine's "journey to the end of the night" and some are so vanilla compared to others...

rewch
07-02-2010, 02:18 AM
rabelais seconded... just in to book iv of gargantua & pantagruel...

tristram shandy definitely but i hadn't realised until reading gargantua & pantagruel quite how large sterne's rabelaisian debt was...

three cheers for three men in a boat

Sick Boy
07-02-2010, 02:32 AM
Nietzsche: any book really.
His rhetorical questions and grandiloquent vitriol are hilarious.

"I fall unawares into an Anacreontic mood. Nature, which gave the bull his horns and the lion his chasm of teeth, why did nature give me my foot? ... To kick, Holy Anacreon! and not only for running away; for kicking to pieces these rotten armchairs, this cowardly contemplativeness, this lascivious historical eunuchism, this flirting with ascetic ideals, this justice-tartuffery of impotence!"

Justice-tartuffery of impotence. Bars.

luka
07-02-2010, 04:06 AM
i was about to say nobody but then i saw what sickboy said and remembered the chapter headings of nietzsches autoiography
'why i am such a genius' etc i dont hold it in contmept. i sort of relate to it, its knowing and very funny, and also at least half serious.

craner
07-02-2010, 09:40 AM
http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/bestselling-comics-2006/2039-1.jpg

Classic.

slim jenkins
07-02-2010, 02:06 PM
Read "Fairytale of New York" by JP Donleavy

Yes to that.
And 'The Pickwick Papers'.

I don't buy 'comic' novels but Donleavy had me laughing out loud, really.

hucks
07-02-2010, 02:20 PM
And I think Gogol and especially Daniil Kharms are really really funny, but I don't laugh out loud, somehow. .

I really like Kharms, but yeah, it's more smiling than laughing out loud

The Best of Miles by Flann O'Brien (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Myles-Selection-Cruiskeen-Lawn/dp/0586089500/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265555888&sr=8-10)made me laugh so hard it hurt, though. And I probably only got about a third of the jokes, cos I don't speak gaelic. And wasn't living in Ireland in the 1940s. Or any time since, for that matter.

Kate Mossad
10-02-2010, 02:41 PM
Get In The Van - Henry Rollins
The Confessions Of - Aleister Crowley
Take It Like A Man - Boy George

grizzleb
10-02-2010, 05:35 PM
http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/bestselling-comics-2006/2039-1.jpg

Classic.Used to make me cry with laughter. Want to read them again but I'm afraid it might ruin my memories of it.

cobretti
10-02-2010, 06:36 PM
Roger's Profanisaurus.

craner
10-02-2010, 07:32 PM
It really wouldn't: it would enhance them. I think that edition has a good claim to being the greatest Asterix book of all, though this is an endlessly contested subject.

BareBones
11-02-2010, 09:04 AM
That nietzsche quote is amazing. i've never read any nietzsche before, should i?

tao lin's "Eeeee Eee Eeee" consistently made me laugh out loud.

swears
11-02-2010, 01:01 PM
Infinite Jest, particularly Michael Pemulis: "This is like, fucking elegant, man."

BareBones
11-02-2010, 04:55 PM
i was gonna say IJ but i've already gone on about it loads and didn't want to repeat myself. but yeah, definitely. that whole eschaton section is one of the funniest things i've ever read.

empty mirror
13-02-2010, 12:44 AM
Rabelais - Gargantua and Pantagruel
Swift - Gulliver's Adventures
i've loved the bits of rabelais that i've read

i very nearly just started on Gulliver's... but picked up Flannery O'Connor instead




And, Moby Dick. Seriously there is some funny funny shit in that book. just don't expect it to be about a whale.

moby dick was a riot. particularly the first few chapters.

i just read Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer
it was funny and wild

dfw's essays are hilarious

the good soldier svejk is easily the funniest book i've ever read
insanely funny

i want to say i laughed at a lot of vonnegut books but i fear that they haven't held up since i haven't read him since i was a teenager

Corpsey
15-02-2010, 02:00 PM
Woody Allen - Without Feathers
Flaubert - Madame Bovary
Swift - Gulliver's Travels
The Onion - Our Dumb Century
Colemanballs vol 1-2450

Armando Iannucci's book has some great bits in it but is somewhat inconsistent.

luka
16-02-2010, 07:22 AM
do you lot actually laugh when you read these books? out loud? cos ive read a lot of these books and maybe a thin smile played across my lips a couple of times but nothing i'd actually describe as laughter..... moby dick? gulliver? dickens? i hope youre not the sort of people that laugh ostentaiously during peformances of shakespeare

Benny B
16-02-2010, 08:20 AM
I find George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/tg/listmania/list-browse/-/1VJOIL18JZBID/qid=1115033656/sr=5-1/ref=sr_5_11_1/026-2413245-4747612) series hilarious and entertaining. They're about the continuing adventures of Harry Flashman, the cowardly bully of Tom Brown's Schooldays fame. Not only are they funny but also educational as he gets to meet all the leading men and women of the 19th C as well as tries to escape from every shocking battle and filthy dungeon of same. Some of them are eye-openers esp. when you connect them with present day stuff, such as Afghanistan, slavery, colonialism etc (if you're as ignorant as me, that is).

..

My housemate is obsessed with the Flashman books, I'm sure I'll get badgered into reading them at some point. I do find those sort of Victorian-era intrepid explorers and adventurers hilarious. I thought Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was really funny for that sort of thing.

And I always get a good laugh out of a lot of Bukowski's stuff, even if he is a bit of a horrible c**t.

baboon2004
16-02-2010, 09:48 AM
do you lot actually laugh when you read these books? out loud? cos ive read a lot of these books and maybe a thin smile played across my lips a couple of times but nothing i'd actually describe as laughter..... moby dick? gulliver? dickens? i hope youre not the sort of people that laugh ostentaiously during peformances of shakespeare

Generally I'd agree with this. I think, as I remember, I posed the question first time around because so few books do make me laugh, rather than just acknowledge some witticism with a wry smile. I think I find comedy dates very quickly. For example, I read Waugh and Stella Gibbons etc, and...I can see how they would've been funny, definitely, but no longer. Comedy that stands up after 70/80 years is incredibly rare, in my opinion. Which is why, say, Groucho Marx is quite remarkable.

Mr. Tea
16-02-2010, 10:20 AM
do you lot actually laugh when you read these books? out loud? cos ive read a lot of these books and maybe a thin smile played across my lips a couple of times but nothing i'd actually describe as laughter..... moby dick? gulliver? dickens? i hope youre not the sort of people that laugh ostentaiously during peformances of shakespeare

Nah, there are some books that've had me genuinely laughing like a loon. Not loads - thin-smile type humour is more common - but there have been a few. Even Moby in places.

Good point about the Shakespeare goons though, I remember my old English teacher making the same remark, haha.

Corpsey
16-02-2010, 10:32 PM
The funniest bit in Oliver Twist is when Fagin falls through the bar.

nomadthethird
17-02-2010, 03:30 AM
There are some books that are funny enough that they make me push air out of my nose until I make a derisive "that was mildly funny but expected" noise, but then there are all kinds of books that are genuinely hilarious.

I used to love Russians for that. Gorky = funny. Moscow to the End of the Line by Erofeev = hilarious. What was that play called? The Crocodile? The Alligator? = absurdist-funny. Just about everything Dostoevsky ever wrote was pretty funny, even if he didn't mean for it to be. Lermontov. Garshin. Goncharov.

Kleist is funny in parts but he was German. Everyone says that one book by John Kennedy Toole is awesomely hilarious but I've never read it.

baboon2004
17-02-2010, 12:35 PM
Bulgakov was pretty funny in places, I found.

Confederacy of Dunces - don't get it. It's alright, but can't hold a candle to Heller or Roth, for example.

Hungarians are funny too. The suicide rate creeps over a certain level and a country starts to be really funny.

STN
17-02-2010, 12:50 PM
I thought confederacy of dunces was ace.

The only book I've read by Joseph Heller other than Catch 22 was God Knows and it was pantaloons.

baboon2004
17-02-2010, 01:04 PM
Yeah, loads of people who like the smae stuff as I do love it. I have a lovely copy given as a present, and it's a pity I don't like it more.

Yeah, God Knows didn't attract me. Picture This and Something Happened were both brilliant though...but actually, come to think of it, not half as funny as Catch 22 (which I adore).

IdleRich
17-02-2010, 02:35 PM
"Moscow to the End of the Line by Erofeev = hilarious"
Yeah that's very funny though also tragic I guess. I could try and cobble together some theory about how the two always come together but it would be bollocks.

I don't see what all the fuss is about with Confederacy of Dunces, I mean it was ok but no better than a million other things.

grizzleb
17-02-2010, 03:56 PM
Master and Margarita by Bulgakov was a hilarious read. I'll always remember the cat telling a band to 'hack out a march'.

nomadthethird
17-02-2010, 04:31 PM
Yeah that's very funny though also tragic I guess. I could try and cobble together some theory about how the two always come together but it would be bollocks.

Christopher Hitchens has a theory like this... it's pretty standard but it includes a "this is why only men and not women are funny" (http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2007/01/hitchens200701) clause, which just makes no sense. Many of the funniest people I've ever met have been women.

IdleRich
17-02-2010, 04:44 PM
That was not a popular article....
But yeah, it's often said that all comedy is tragic but I tend to think that that is probably a bit of a lazy cliche. It's often the case sure but not always, no way.

IdleRich
29-04-2010, 11:37 PM
Weirdly I was talking about that with my mum the other day, she'd forgotten it until I mentioned it, don't know why. It's kind of a poor man's Alice In Wonderland but still fantastic.

grizzleb
30-04-2010, 05:26 PM
The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass is fucking hilarious. Sardonic, dark as fuck deadpan humour. One scene in particular involving hanging as an exercise technique had me in hysterics.

drilla
30-04-2010, 05:53 PM
Lewis Carroll's Alice books make me laugh out loud several times per page.

Adding to the Moby Dick chorus

and to whoever said Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

and many Chekhov short stories

and the absolute master, the funniest writer in the english language: STANLEY ELKIN

Slothrop
11-05-2010, 05:24 PM
Flann O'Brien, definitely.

An Irish friend was trying to convince me the other day that number of amazing Irish writers in the early twentieth century is an expression of the idea that one of the most powerful acts of resistance to colonialism is to speak your occupiers' language better than they can. And using O'Brien as a good example of this.

Sectionfive
11-05-2010, 05:47 PM
I dont know about that tbh. If anything there was alot more effort put in to preserving the Irish language around then. I think its more to with people speaking English the way they used to speak in Gaelic. Irish is very flowery to begin with.

On the same note I just finished this (http://www.amazon.com/Stories-Kerry-Fireside-John-Keane/dp/185635041X).

adruu
12-05-2010, 05:49 PM
"I have good news and bad news. The good news is that there is life (of a kind) after death. The bad news is that MR X is a necrophiliac." Paraphrased from bolano.

I have to say the new pynchon is killing me on my commute also. It reads exactly how a pynchon screenplay for a Big Lebowski sequel should be. read it twice now.

baboon2004
12-05-2010, 10:43 PM
From a 1986 zombie film I can't recall the name of right now:

"Girls, the good news is, your dates for the prom are here.

The bad news is, they're all dead."

chimpybits
27-05-2010, 11:26 AM
OK, laugh out loud - big and countless times: Bombardiers (http://www.amazon.com/Bombardiers-Novel-Po-Bronson/dp/B003A02TIS) by Po Bronson.

Don't know anything about the book or author. Just know it made me silly. I'm not a big re-reader, but I expect to give this another turn.