Books that make you laugh

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
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

Shub-Niggurath, Please
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.
 

nomadthethird

more issues than Time mag
Russians are funny

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

Darned cockwombles.
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

sou'wester
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

Darned cockwombles.
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

IdleRich
"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

Well-known member
Master and Margarita by Bulgakov was a hilarious read. I'll always remember the cat telling a band to 'hack out a march'.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
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

IdleRich
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

Well-known member
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

Well-known member
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

Tight but Polite
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

bandwagon house
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.
 

adruu

This Is It
"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

Darned cockwombles.
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

Active member
OK, laugh out loud - big and countless times: Bombardiers 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.
 
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