What's the funniest book you've read lately?
July 15, 2010 2:40 PM   Subscribe

Please recommend funny books for me to read.

I'm having a really crappy week and need some entertainment. I'm also going to be visiting the world's greatest bookstore tomorrow.

I love (and have read) Douglas Adams, David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell, Tim Cahill. and Bill Bryson. I tend to read far more non-fiction than fiction lately, but don't let that constrain you. Short story/anecdote format is great for my short-attention span. I want something I can read over a cup of coffee or a beer that will make me feel better, or at least distract me. Black humor is fine, as long as it's not full of bad things happening to people.

I've read through this and this and have a short list going. What else can you suggest?
posted by gingerbeer to Writing & Language (98 answers total) 141 users marked this as a favorite
 
Do you like The Princes Bride? Because the movie looks like a giant pile of poop next to the book.

Also, Not Always Right has a book. The site is great.
posted by theichibun at 2:43 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am Loling just thinking of some of these. "A Confederacy of Dunces," -John Kennedy Toole, "The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian" -Sherman Alexie, and if you like historical + dry humor anything by P.G. Wodehouse, and "The Brief, Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao" by Junot Diaz.
posted by ShadePlant at 2:44 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bob and Ray. Yes, they're transcripts of short radio skits that often make no sense, but you'll die laughing anyway.
posted by Madamina at 2:46 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


It is a crime that Missing Links has not yet been made into a movie.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:47 PM on July 15, 2010


The funniest books I've listened to lately are the three in The Bartamaeus Trilogy, The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye, and Ptolemy's Gate (in that order). Simon Jones' narration is simply killer. They'd probably be a very fun traditional read too.
posted by bearwife at 2:49 PM on July 15, 2010


Also very, very funny for listening: The Bickersons, an old radio show I discovered on CD at my library. (No print version for that, I think.)
posted by bearwife at 2:51 PM on July 15, 2010


Good Omens
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:52 PM on July 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Election or Little Children by Tom Perrotta.

Travels with my Aunt and Our Man in Havanna by Graham Greene.

Most anything by Armistead Maupin.

Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen.

Citizen Vince by Jess Walters.

Drop City or The Road to Wellville by T.C. Boyle (though some bad things happen).
posted by brookeb at 2:54 PM on July 15, 2010


Seconding Good Omens!
posted by puritycontrol at 2:55 PM on July 15, 2010


The Color of Magic, if you don't mind some satiric, but well-written fantasy.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy is consistently laugh-out-loud funny.
posted by griphus at 2:56 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


It sounds like you're looking for more hey-look-at-me-I'm-funny stuff, but I think Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley is really, understatedly funny. Also, it's pretty short.
posted by phunniemee at 2:57 PM on July 15, 2010


I strongly recommend The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, the first in his entertaining Thursday Next detective series. That series, and his Nursery Crime series have kept me happily giggling and amused for hours.

It was not exactly something I expected to do, but I laughed out loud several times while reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Larsson put some funny things in that book regarding how smart the main character is. The Millenium Trilogy, while not exactly funny, was quite a satisfying diversion.

On my short list is Mortified: Real People. Real Words. Real Pathethic. People share their embarrassing writings from when they were young.
posted by rw at 2:58 PM on July 15, 2010


Only you will know whether this is at all appealing to you, but I found Elif Batuman's The Possessed quite amusing. It's a loosely structured memoir/journalism collection revolving around being a Russian lit grad student at Stanford. A wry tone combined with literature nerdiness and a nice window into things I knew little about (there are several pieces set in Uzbekistan). It's substantial enough to immerse yourself in but episodic enough to work for short-attention span mode.
posted by yarrow at 2:59 PM on July 15, 2010


There's a story near the beginning of the Sedaris-esque collection of memoirs I Love You More Than You Know by Johnathan Ames that gets me giggling even thinking about it.

Oh pardon!
posted by carsonb at 2:59 PM on July 15, 2010


The Phantom Tollbooth is full of awesome (and smart) humor. It's billed as a children's book but adored by adults everywhere. Definitely ranks up with the Hitchhiker's Guide stories on my list. You should be able to enjoy one chapter at a time if you're not looking to pore through the whole novel at once.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:06 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Richard Russo's Straight Man is one of the few works of fiction that has made me literally laugh out loud.

Also: The Brothers K, by David James Duncan. It's a big, sprawling family saga, but don't let the doorstoppiness scare you.

and Lamb by Christopher Moore if you don't mind a little religious disrespect. His other books are also funny, but are even sillier.

For bonus points, there's no way at least 2/3 won't be cheaply found used in paperback form at Powell's. :) Feel better.
posted by charmedimsure at 3:07 PM on July 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Stephen Fry, The Liar.
posted by No-sword at 3:10 PM on July 15, 2010


Terry Pratchett has a sense of humor similar to that of Douglas Adams, and he's been a bit more prolific. I really liked Thief of Time.

There is the hilariously dark Happy Cruelty Day! by Bob Powers with a number of page-long stories about horrible days people are having.
posted by jander03 at 3:10 PM on July 15, 2010


Dorothy Parker, Donald Westlake, and Dorothy L. Sayers (and lots of stuff I like is already on the list).
posted by Nabubrush at 3:12 PM on July 15, 2010


Let me add...

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
Trying to Save Piggy Sneed [short stories] by John Irving

both are funny, sad, and full-on novels.

Egger's has an interesting meta thing going on where sometimes the characters discuss being in the novel.

Owen Meany is probably the funniest Irving novel, and his short stories are really funny and engaging.
posted by jander03 at 3:15 PM on July 15, 2010


How to Live with a Neurotic Dog by Stephen Baker is a classic. So is Letters to My Son by Eric Nicol, but it's harder to find - right now there's only one copy on eBay and one on AbeBooks. Both are worth it.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 3:18 PM on July 15, 2010


Three Men in a Boat (to say nothing of the dog), by Jerome K. Jerome.
posted by titus n. owl at 3:18 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Check out The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. It's a short, easy read but I have haven't laughed aloud reading a book so much since The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
posted by geoffr at 3:20 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Two authors both hilarious and good:

Robertson Davies. The middle book of his Salterton Trilogy won the 1955 Leacock Award for "best work of humorous literature in English by a Canadian writer"; the middle book of the Cornish Trilogy was shortlisted for the 1986 Booker Prize for "best full-length novel in English by a Commonwealth, Irish, or Zimbabwean author".

Rick Riordan's Tres Navarre novels. Perhaps best known now for his Percy Jackson series of young-adult fantasy novels, Riordan also has a series of smart-ass--private investigator novels featuring Tres Navarre, medieval studies PhD, unlicensed private eye, tai chi master, and son of a former San Antonio sheriff. His first book won both the Shamus for best first PI novel and the Anthony for best paperback original; his second book also won the Edgar for best paperback original.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 3:20 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't believe no one has said Vonnegut!
posted by wayland at 3:22 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and the poetry of Billy Collins, and Nicholas Baker's The Mezzanine. For YA novels, Diana Wynne Jones has written some great, usually very funny magical fluff; Howl's Moving Castle is particularly nice.

On the non-fiction end, Tony Horowitz's Confederates in the Attic and Blue Latitudes (about the Civil War and Captain Cook, respectively) are not only informative but also pretty hysterical at times.
posted by charmedimsure at 3:23 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like Christopher Moore, too. Funny horror stuff (and Neal Gaiman has a lot of that, to build off of Good Omens, above).

I found this link of lists of lists of mysteries of various genres and foci while looking for a funny mystery series that I like (just remembered it's Lawrence Sanders).
posted by Nabubrush at 3:23 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Onion - Our Dumb Century
posted by Jaltcoh at 3:37 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fraud by David Rakoff.
posted by NikitaNikita at 3:37 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien takes some beating.
posted by Abiezer at 3:47 PM on July 15, 2010


Did I hear MetaWodehouse? You want Wake Up, Sir! by Jonathan Ames, as mentioned upthread by carsonb. A good light summer read with a comedic tone that is hard to beat.

On the more serious "literary" tip, I can't help but recommend the collected stories of Amy Hempel. She has a way with bad jokes ("Did you know I have an Irishman living in my backyard? His name is Paddy O'Furniture") that can turn a wistful tale of loss into something more than the sum of its parts.
posted by Chichibio at 3:49 PM on July 15, 2010


It's a little older, but I have never laughed so hard: Sleeping with Your Gynecologist.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:53 PM on July 15, 2010


1066 And All That
posted by nestor_makhno at 3:59 PM on July 15, 2010


Why Girls are Weird is a largely autobiographical novel, and both funny and sad. Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood is my favorite book for a quick pick-me-up.
posted by karminai at 4:01 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Side Effects. From before Woody Allen was kind of a self-repeating perv. Side splitting. Haven't thought of it in years. It's mostly comic essays that were in the New Yorker, etc.
posted by littlerobothead at 4:04 PM on July 15, 2010


The Bear Went Over the Mountain, by Wm Kotzwinkle — probably the funniest book I've ever read.
posted by nicwolff at 4:09 PM on July 15, 2010




Anything by Patrick McManus, for the outdoors-minded.
posted by megatherium at 4:22 PM on July 15, 2010


Try Roger Hall's memoir of his days in the OSS during World War II: You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger.
posted by bryon at 4:33 PM on July 15, 2010


Stephen Leacock's Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is really quite delightful. It's kind of the opposite of black humour though.
posted by Go Banana at 4:38 PM on July 15, 2010


I'm glad to see someone mentioned Vonnegut, but Catch-22 was still missing! Read the first page. If you laugh out loud, you will love it. If not, don't bother with the rest.
posted by chatongriffes at 4:41 PM on July 15, 2010


At Powell's you'll probably be able to find Side Effects in a single volume with Getting Even and Without Feathers, which are also worthy.
posted by Nabubrush at 4:53 PM on July 15, 2010


If you like rather highbrow humor -- if, for example, Tom Lehrer's songs appeal to you -- you will find anything by Richard Armour terribly amusing. His versions of "textbooks", like The Classics Reclassified or It All Started With Columbus are like a cross between Monty Python and Cliff's Notes.
posted by DrGail at 5:25 PM on July 15, 2010


Seconding Stephen Fry's The Liar. It is glorious beyond words.
posted by elizardbits at 5:29 PM on July 15, 2010


Nthing Confederacy of Dunces. My ALL TIME FAVOURITE funny book has to be Gringos. I snorted coffee all over myself more than once reading it. Also, anything by William Sutcliffe - New Boy and Are you Experienced? are both hilarious, easy reads without being stupid. They are also short enought to devour in one reading.
posted by Wantok at 6:12 PM on July 15, 2010


Donald Barthelme's 40 Stories are both brief (3-10 pages) and humorous.
posted by Hume at 6:18 PM on July 15, 2010


I'm glad to see someone mentioned Vonnegut, but Catch-22 was still missing! Read the first page. If you laugh out loud, you will love it. If not, don't bother with the rest.

Very well said. I laughed my ass off reading Catch-22, and I'm amazed when people give me puzzled looks when I tell them this. It's a very weird and very funny novel.
posted by zardoz at 6:20 PM on July 15, 2010


I LOL'd reading Christopher by Allison Burnett.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 6:32 PM on July 15, 2010


P.G Wodehouse, most definitely. Kurt Vonnegut, most definitely.

Also, Mark Twain.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:34 PM on July 15, 2010


Lucky Jim deserves a mention here.
posted by .kobayashi. at 6:40 PM on July 15, 2010


OMG I LOVE POWELL'S SO MUCH BEST BOOKSTORE EVAR KISS IT ON THE MOUTH FOR ME! And then buy Once Upon A Blue Moose by D. Pinkwater. It's hilariowesome!
posted by goblinbox at 6:50 PM on July 15, 2010


Thomas Berger's Neighbors is funny, unpredictable, and disorienting. The film features John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. Avoid it.
posted by belvidere at 6:52 PM on July 15, 2010


The funniest book I've read recently would be The Fur Hat by Vladimir Voinovich, a short satirical novel set in the latter days of the Soviet Union about a hack writer of adventure novels named Yefim Semyonovich Rakhlin who discovers what low esteem he's actually held in by the leadership of the Soviet Writers Union, and his subsequent quest to get the recognition he feels he deserves. Much absurdity ensues, during which Voinovich very humorously skewers the Soviet system, Soviet literature (the descriptions of Yefim's novels, which have titles like "Avalanche!" and "Ore!", make for some of the funniest parts of the book), and anti-semitism, and also paints a very vivid picture of everyday life in the declining USSR. The book is very far from the usual stereotype of Russian literature as dark and heavy- it's an easy, very funny read. Voinovich is a bit like a Russian Kurt Vonnegut, and has a spare, effective writing style and a particular talent for characterization. (Yefim himself is an especially well-realized character- both thoroughly ridiculous and thoroughly sympathetic.) The humor of it is (unsurprisingly, considering the subject matter) somewhat black at times, but it's not of the "lots of bad things happen to people" sort, and the ending is both sad and happy. Very highly recommended.

(Voinovich's other books are also very good, but I'd start with The Fur Hat as it's both his funniest and his most accessible work, IMO. The Life and Extrordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, which the Soviet authorities reacted to by banishing Voinovich from the Soviet Union, is his most famous and acclaimed novel, but though it's also quite funny, it's a much darker, heavier, more "literary" work than The Fur Hat- as might be expected, considering it's set during the Stalinist era at the beginning of the Nazi invasion.)
posted by a louis wain cat at 6:52 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


George Saunders writes great dark humor which will resonate if you have ever worked a dead end job. I like Pastoralia and Civilwarland in Bad Decline.
You ever been in the grave? It sucks so bad! You regret all the things you never did. You little bitches are going to have a very bad time in the grave unless you get on the stick, believe me!
Ian Frazier's Coyote vs. Acme has some short funny stories.
posted by benzenedream at 6:58 PM on July 15, 2010


Two books that have recently had me laughing out loud, and trying to read bits out loud to my partner and failing because I'm laughing so hard I'm in tears: Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever and What Ended up Happening Instead, by Joel Derfner, and House of Cards, a memoir about working at Hallmark, by David Ellis Dickerson.

Also, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen. Very uneven but the funny parts were OMG funny.
posted by not that girl at 7:04 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't be surprised if you've already read this, as it's a real classic, but I found The Catcher in the Rye to be a hilarious book.
posted by Ryogen at 7:06 PM on July 15, 2010


Vonnegut, Vonnegut, Vonnegut!
posted by glaucon at 7:20 PM on July 15, 2010


Modern Manners, or for that matter any of his stuff but especially the older ones.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:35 PM on July 15, 2010


Home Land by Sam Lypsite is hilarious.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:47 PM on July 15, 2010


Thanks for all of the suggestions! More are welcome.

I've read lots of Vonnegut and have read Catch-22 and Catcher in the Rye. I'm mostly looking for newer works that I might not have heard of. And not looking for things on tape/to be listened to.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:01 PM on July 15, 2010


This is probably the funniest book I've ever read: Consenting Adults or The Duchess Will Be Furious by Peter De Vries. Well worth tracking down.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:18 PM on July 15, 2010


Looking at my bookshelves, things that haven't already been suggested are...

The Hills of Tuscany by Ferenc Mate is a lovely memoir about making a home in a foreign country. I thought it was smart, funny and full of whimsy.

I find Bill Bryson hysterically funny at times although your mileage may vary.

I also recommend you read anything by Gerald Durrell, preferable starting with his life on Corfu as a small boy prior to WW2 - My Family and Other Animals. It has me in tears and his writing is not particularly polished but very powerful at times.

I also recommend The Travelling Cat in Ireland, which is an odd travelogue that had me in tears at times. Also, cats!!
posted by ninazer0 at 8:19 PM on July 15, 2010


Also, Who? Me?? by Yoram Matmor is pretty funny. Amazon has some buying options (used) between $1.15 and $8.00.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:26 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Scott Adams is always good. I particularly enjoyed Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!
posted by pyro979 at 8:38 PM on July 15, 2010


Not recent, but you may easily have missed it: Holidays in Hell, by P. J. O'Rourke. Given your other likes, I bet you'll like this one, too.
posted by jeri at 8:38 PM on July 15, 2010


The Fan Man by William Kotzwinkle is a short and easy but hilarious read. To this day, I can't even think of the main character's name ("Horse Badorties"), without chuckling just a little bit.
posted by Gilbert at 10:40 PM on July 15, 2010


Florence King's Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady.
posted by brujita at 11:13 PM on July 15, 2010


Seconding Straight Man and Three Men in a Boat. I never LOL, and I LOLed at those. You might like To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, which is a contemporary science fiction riff on Three Men. I also always enjoy Lorrie Moore.
posted by expialidocious at 11:32 PM on July 15, 2010


Lots of great, seriously funny stuff up there. And in your guideline authors, too, so maybe some of these things I found funny might tickle you:

Barry Hughart, Bridge of Birds - somewhat inappropriate but still funny; his writing reminded me of a Bryson/Pratchett mash-up.
Peter David, Sir Apropros of Nothing (and the rest of the series) - black, broken-edged humour, still capable of communicating the adventure; you've got to enjoy goofing off with language, as the pun-tastic title indicates.
Connie Willis, To Say Nothing of the Dog...

...there are so many more, but I keep getting distracted thinking about Powell's and how much I miss wandering that place!

I'm sure you'll make some terrific finds with all of the recs received. I hope you post an update on what you ultimately get & what you think.
posted by batmonkey at 12:39 AM on July 16, 2010


Daniel Handler (more commonly known as Lemony Snicket) has an adult book called The Basic Eight. If you liked the movie Heathers, you would like this book.

I n-th The Eyre Affair. Jasper Fforde started something awesome there.
posted by bibliogrrl at 1:01 AM on July 16, 2010


I will second "1066 and All That" and the books by Woody Allen.

I'll add "The Cyberiad", by Stanislaw Lem. And "The Star Diaries", by the same author.
posted by kyrademon at 1:44 AM on July 16, 2010


I also suggest Three Men in a Boat by JK Jerome as a good choice as well as PG Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster series
posted by Bwithh at 2:07 AM on July 16, 2010


I didn't read it myself, but my husband laughed out loud several times while reading Ian McEwan's Solar, and that's unusual for him, so you might give that a shot. Personally, I must absolutely agree with and recommend anything by Terry Prachett and the Jeeves series by Wodehouse.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 8:02 AM on July 16, 2010


I like Things My Girlfriend and I have Argued About, by Mil Millington. It's a novel, but you can get a taste of some of the humor and decide if you'd like to know more by checking out some of the real arguments he's had with his girlfriend here.
posted by IanMorr at 8:09 AM on July 16, 2010


If you don't mind a little alcohol and misogyny with your humor, Charles Bukowski is very funny.

A very different kettle of fish, but also mighty funny: Spalding Gray.
posted by Paris Elk at 8:16 AM on July 16, 2010


Bonk is fascinating, hilarious and cringe-inducing. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it last summer.
posted by amanda at 8:19 AM on July 16, 2010


I read this a few years ago, but The Wishbones by Tom Perrotta had me laughing out loud. Link contains the first chapter online.

Also, Bridget Jones's Diary is an old favorite that always makes me laugh, no matter how many times I read it.

And, of course, anything by Chelsea Handler, but especially Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.
posted by HeKilledKennedy at 8:46 AM on July 16, 2010


Apathy and Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan is one of the few books (like most things written by Douglas Adams) that has me laughing out loud whenever I read it. The plot is a bit thin, but it's genuinely hilarious.
posted by Bukvoed at 9:57 AM on July 16, 2010


Handling Sin by Michael Malone is the funniest laugh-out-loud book of all time.
posted by daneflute at 4:14 PM on July 16, 2010


The Flashman series had me laughing out loud and learning a little about history at the same time.
posted by Nameless at 5:54 PM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dave Barry! His books are laugh-out-loud funny.

The Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich are really funny as well.
posted by SisterHavana at 6:07 PM on July 16, 2010


I too read mostly non-fiction, but my favorite funny novels are by David Carkeet. The Full Catastrophe, Double Negative, and The Error of Our Ways. Thanks to your question, I did a search on Amazon and see that these are all back in print (were out of print for a few years), and that he has a brand new book which I can't wait to read - From Away. Even though these are novels and not really episodic, they're light and quick reads.
posted by daikon at 9:03 AM on July 17, 2010


I just ran across this last night: Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern. Based on his Twitter posts. The most entertaining philosophy I've ever read.
posted by mmagnu at 11:55 AM on July 17, 2010


i have to recommend Why Not A Spider Monkey Jesus? by MetaFilter's own Fuzzy Monster. i read it this week on my commute to/from work, and i laughed out loud so often i started to feel awkward on the train. it is wonderful.
posted by gursky at 3:31 PM on July 17, 2010


I can't believe this page isn't filled with recommendations for Tom Robbins. My favorites are Skinny Legs and All and Jitterbug Perfume but they're all great, the earlier works especially.

Jasper Fforde's Tuesday Next series is funnier the more other books you've read. Nthing anything by Wodehouse, though I liked the Blandings books much more than Jeeves and Wooster. And The Princess Bride is a wondrous book in every way.

I hated Confederacy of Dunces. I can't remember a book ever being so highly recommended as hilarious and falling so completely and disgustingly flat. Your mileage will vary, as I've never found anyone who agrees with me. That book was just gross.
posted by kostia at 5:52 PM on July 17, 2010


Well, kostia, now you've found me. I sure wanted to like it, but it turns out everyone is wrong (well, save you and I).
posted by Nabubrush at 9:00 PM on July 17, 2010


My go-to books for a good chuckle:

Candide by Voltaire
The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien
Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
nthing A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Also The Onion books are good toilet rading.
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:23 AM on July 18, 2010


UK non-fiction.....

Simon Armitage's two memoirs are good for a chuckle. (An appreciation of the North of England might be helpful). All Points North and Gig
Gig

Charlie Brooker TV Go Home, or The Hell of it All

Alain de Botton's How Proust can change your Life is very readable and light hearted

Nick Hornby's columns for the believer: The Polysyllabic Spree: Stuff I've Been Reading
posted by hiho at 10:38 AM on July 18, 2010


Free-Range Chickens by Simon Rich.
posted by martinrebas at 6:29 AM on July 19, 2010


If you liked Fight Club, then Chuck Palahniuk does great twisted humor - Lullaby was a lot of fun, for one.
posted by hypersloth at 7:39 AM on July 19, 2010


At Swim-Two-Birds is hysterically insane. Pretty much anything by Flann O'Brien, actually.
posted by Ndwright at 8:20 AM on July 19, 2010


Mark Leyner's The Tetherballs of Bougainville is the one I always recommend. Anything Mark Leyner really.
posted by joey! at 7:44 PM on July 19, 2010


If you like Bill Bryson, chances are you'll enjoy J. Maarten Troost. His travelogues are often laugh-out-loud hilarious.
posted by codger at 11:29 PM on July 19, 2010


I don't know why but I found the Glass Castle to be very funny and one book that is totally hilarious is Fashion Babylon- Its all about fashion and what goes on behind the scenes: a true account of a designer. I remember when her gay assistant went home with a gay guy he met at a club where he said, he is hot I am going to reel him in. He came in the office late the next day and the designer asked why. He commented and said you are not going to believe this, that hot guy I went home with last night! Is a complete waste! What gay guy does not have shampoo in his home. I had to go home so as to avoid a complete hair disaster! Thats the last I ever see of him, I don't care how hot his arse is. It's so funny how he is so dramatic and explains his drama in the most funny ways when he is so serious in his own mind.
posted by ClueHut at 12:57 AM on July 20, 2010


Like benzenedream, I also recommend George Saunders. One of the few writers who can actually make me laugh out loud. Here's "I CAN SPEAK!", the first story in the collection In Persuasion Nation. If you like it, consider picking up the book.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:16 PM on July 21, 2010


It's often not noted for being funny but Wallace's "Infinite Jest" is the funniest book ever written. Period.
posted by delilablu at 12:24 PM on July 22, 2010


Seconding Abiezer; The Third Policeman has perhaps one of the most sublime fart jokes ever written in English and is all around very funny, considering its ultimate revelation. By the way, if you do decide to read The Third Policeman, skip the introduction.
posted by cog_nate at 1:42 PM on July 23, 2010


Mama Makes Up Her Mind by Bailey White.

Stories by a woman who lives in the South with her eccentric mother. I think if you like Bill Bryson you will like this.
posted by exceptinsects at 12:54 AM on July 26, 2010


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