Are there really any genuine funny books out there to read?

Discussion in 'Books & Literature' started by drunkenmaster, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. drunkenmaster

    drunkenmaster
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    After reading a lot of non-fiction and recently more so fiction thrillers, I have decided I want a change in my reading habits.
    In the past I have read A few Bill Bryson's books, Hitchhikers, and tried Nick Hornby.
    I want to laugh out loud, not be mildly amused by pretentious rom-coms.
    As I get older (yes I am one of those!), I find the older TV series such as Fawlty Towers, Dad's Army, and Blackadder, the only things that make me laugh. Don't get me wrong I love Mock the Week QI, and Have I got News... really good. Including, quite a few stand up comedians, but the so called Comedy TV Series of nowadays, are mostly pants.
    Right rant over from the Grumpy Old Man
    So what have you read novel-wise, recently of say the past 5 years that you can genuinely say made you laugh out loud? and made the wife, partner, cat, neighbour startled and think, I gotta get me that!!
    It could be a list and if you can think of anything even a bit older no problem.
    Looking forward to your suggestions - DM
     
  2. FruitBat

    FruitBat
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    Wilt
     
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  3. richardb70

    richardb70
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    Does it have to be fiction? I'd try Spike Milligan's wartime bios for starters.

    If fiction, then yes, Tom Sharpe is a good bet. His South African books are pretty hilarious.

    And for those random bathroom moments, the Viz Profanisaurus is hard to beat, you need a puerile mindset though :)
     
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  4. Cobb

    Cobb
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    It's an old one now but I loved Otis Lee Crenshaw: I Blame Society by Rich Hall. It's an "autobiography" of Rich Halls alto ego. Every paragraph was hilarious.
     
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  5. drunkenmaster

    drunkenmaster
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    Nah it does not have to be fiction, so far all the suggestions sound good.
    richardb70My mindset is so puerile, my kids are more sensible than me!, also its pretty twisted, but got fed up of Frankie Boyle, as he seems to base his humour more on shock value, and hes become pretty predictable.
    Keep them coming, my reading rate averages on one book over three days, unless I have to talk to the family :)
     
  6. EarthRod

    EarthRod
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    Terry Pratchett's discworld novels are very funny IMO. There are quite a few in the series of novels starting with 'The Colour Of Magic'.

    But they are wacky and I recommend them.

    :thumbsup:
     
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  7. Sonic67

    Sonic67
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    Terry Pratchet's Wyrd Sisters books.
     
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  8. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    Of the Pratchett books I much prefer the Witches or the Guards books, and also the more recent Ludwig books (Postal etc)
     
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  9. Sonic67

    Sonic67
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    Frank Skinner - his autobiography. It reads a little like a stand up routine.
     
  10. Billo

    Billo
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    As the first reply said ''Wilt'' or any of Sharp's books will have you laughing out loud. I had to stop reading his novels in public as people were thinking there was something not right with me.
     
  11. Steve N

    Steve N
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    Quite enjoyed Frank Skinners biography a while back
     
  12. Sonic67

    Sonic67
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    Bob Monkhouses were good too but years since I read them.
     
  13. salad1

    salad1
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    Wilt was hilarious...
     
  14. sniffer66

    sniffer66
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    Bill Brysons dry writing style often has me laughing out loud
     
  15. littlesheepy

    littlesheepy
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    Thanks for that, I didn't even know that existed and I love Rich Hall/Otis Lee Crenshaw :)
     
  16. EndlessWaves

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    The first couple of books especially are a different style to the rest of the series and a couple of the early ones are a bit patchy too so I'd avoid Colour of Magic, Light Fantastic, Sorcery and Eric to begin with and grab something like Guards! Guards! instead.

    Lois McMaster Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan series also has it's moments.
     
  17. EarthRod

    EarthRod
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    Every writer grows and develops as he or she goes along and the style of course changes accordingly.

    IMO 'patchy' is a bit strong because the storylines move along very smoothly in his early books. It's just that his later books are deeper and focus more on character development and have less descriptive stuff to do with the adventures of the hero or heroine.
     
  18. stunno

    stunno
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    I know it is not in the "last 5 years" time frame but Clive James' Unreliable Memoirs is one of the funniest book that I have ever read.
     
  19. EarthRod

    EarthRod
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    I've got all three volumes of his memoirs - very good read.

    Same with Spike Milligan's memoirs, starting with "Adolf Hitler - My Part In His Downfall".
     
  20. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    I find a lot of the books by Robert Rankin to be hilarious. Particularly the Brentford Trilogy (which is actually 4 books!).

    They are a bit sci-if and a bit mad but very funny.
     
  21. Westindieman

    Westindieman
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    'Mort' was my introduction to Pratchett and I would prolly list it as my favourite. Tom Sharpe is the once that does have me laughing out loud though.
     
  22. Jim Di Griz

    Jim Di Griz
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    If you like Alan Partridge, the book will make you laugh a lot, pretty cheap too!
     
  23. ukbootlegs

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    Agree with this, and I wasn't a fan of the show actually.


    Also, I would recommend Mrs Fry's Diary by Stephen Fry. A short book, 2-3hours read, but very LOL moments. Even my wife was giggling at it.
     
  24. DPinBucks

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    Probably the funniest writer of short pieces is (the unfortunately late) Alan Coren, eg The Sanity Inspector, Golfing for Cats, The Bulletins of Idi Amin, etc.

    Other good stuff:
    Molesworth
    Adrian Mole (not connected with the above)
    A J Wentworth
    The Art of Coarse ... series by Michael Green

    For longer novels, try PG Wodehouse, whom I love, but is definitely a Marmite author, though.

    The funniest one-off books I have read are Lucky Jim and Billy Liar (both also made into great films).

    Not forgetting Catch-22.

    For humorous SF, try Eric Frank Russell or Fredric Brown.
     
  25. Kailash

    Kailash
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    think its time i read a comedy, this wilt sounds good.
    should i just start at the beginning (1976)
     
  26. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP
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    'Through it all I've always laughed' by Count Arthur Strong is laugh out loud funny.
    I also laugh a lot at Charlie Brooker books.
     
  27. pbryd

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    I enjoyed some lol moments reading:

    Stairlift to Heaven by Terry Ravenscroft

    Stairlift to Heaven (The journal of an OAP.) Don’t miss this one whatever you do! Although Stairlift to Heaven is written by an old age pensioner, non-coffin dodgers should not be put off by this. Everyone will be old someday, if they’re lucky, and there are valuable lessons in coping with old age to be learned here.
     
  28. Eltee

    Eltee
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_(novel)
    This made me laugh out loud when I read it.
    e (originally subtitled The Novel of Liars, Lunch and Lost Knickers) is a comic novel by Matt Beaumont first published in 2000. Written in the epistolary tradition, it consists entirely of e-mails written between the employees of an advertising agency and some of their business partners. Thus, the novel is a multiple-perspective narrative where events are seen through the eyes of various people working for the agency, from temp to CEO. e centres on corporate business structures, leadership, creativity, headhunting for and firing people to keep up appearances, work efficiency, business ethics, and all kinds of human weaknesses which stall progress by having employees waste their time and energy on unimportant things and which eventually prevent success.
    Beaumont worked as a copywriter himself before embarking on a literary career, and e is his debut novel.
     
  29. Billy Goodgun

    Billy Goodgun
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    'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy', anyone (the 'trilogy of four')? Surely?

    Recently, 'Yellow Blue Tibia' by Adam Roberts really made me laugh (the narrator is bone-dry and acerbic, a great protagonist).

    Also, 'Love, Nina' by Nina Stibbe. It's a collection of (real-life) letters written home by a live-in nanny. She lived with Mary-Kay Wilmers (ex-wife of director Stephen Frears) and her two sons, and Alan Bennett lived across the street and popped by for tea most days. Her letters home to her sister are warm, astute, and very, very funny.
     
  30. FishDUDE

    FishDUDE
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