Books that make you laugh


Darned cockwombles.
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?


hot on the heels of love
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.)
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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)


manos de piedra
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"


100% No Soul Guaranteed
Stanislaw Lem: Mortal Engines + Memoirs found in a Bathtub
Hermann Ebeling: Daisy Day
James Morrow: Continent of Lies
Ilf and Petrov: 12 Chairs
A H Kohl: Mikrobernes Palas (don't think this one exist in english though)


Beast of Burden
martin said:
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.


Well-known member
the good soldier svejk by jaroslav hasek

second gogol & confederacy of dunces

also by donleavy the ginger man


Darned cockwombles.
While undoubtedly a good read, Confederacy of Dunces left me a bit cold humour-wise.

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


(Between Blank & Boring)
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...


thread death
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
the cafe scenes in white teeth
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.


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.


thread death
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.


Well-known member
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!


Darned cockwombles.
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