Rules
Terms of Use

Page 1 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >
Topic Options
#42365 - Tue May 21 2002 08:59 PM Funniest Book Ever?
Vanyar Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Thu Feb 21 2002
Posts: 117
Loc: Canada
Okay people, here's a tough question. I find that there aren't enough books in the world that really make you laugh. Sure there are books that give you the occasional chuckle now and then, but what about books thet make you howl out with laughter? There aren't enough books like that. So, how about it? What do you think is the all-time funniest book out there?

There are a few that stand out for me. The Princess Bride is quite good, but not quite 'the one' if you ask me. Also, Shakespeare and Tom Stoppard have some funny ones as well. Yet, neither have works that truly stand out for me. My choice would have to be one of the books from Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy trilogy (which took up five books).

I'll go out on a limb and choose So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard at a book in all my life.
_________________________
There are two things I always forget, they are . . . there are three things I always forget . . .

Top
#42366 - Tue May 21 2002 09:20 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
Anything by Bill Bryson! Not the sort of books that you can read on a bus [Big Grin] . If I had to choose one of his it would be "Neither Here Nor There" from his travels around Europe.

I would second your pick, Vanyar, at any of the Hitchhikers Guide too ... they're great [Big Grin] . Also Spike Milligan ... his War Memoirs, somehow Spike could always make you laugh even when reading about tough times.

Top
#42367 - Tue May 21 2002 09:24 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
PurpleFan Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Fri Oct 22 1999
Posts: 2249
Loc: New Westminster BC Canada
Anything by Erma Bombeck! She was the funniest lady I ever read or watched on TV! Her stories were about normal everyday life and she didn't have to use profanity to make people laugh!
PF
_________________________
All Things Purple Are Relative!

Top
#42368 - Tue May 21 2002 09:30 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
Dobrov Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Dec 02 2001
Posts: 265
Loc: Hradec Kralove Czech Republic
I don't know. For absolutely hysterical laughter it's got to be the One, the Only P. G. Wodehouse. They aren't consistent, but every one of them makes you sick with laughter at least three times. Flashman books are wonderful too. But the single funniest book I have ever read is called 'The Henry Root Letters' (I think). Some genius posing as Henry Root of the Henry Root Wet Fish Company wrote letters to a lot of politicians, film actors, the royal family, etc. and published the letters and the responses he received. Does anyone else know it? It was published in the early '80s, I think. Shoot, my copy is in Canada and now I really feel like reading it again.

Top
#42369 - Tue May 21 2002 09:50 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
MsBatt Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sun Dec 16 2001
Posts: 883
Loc: Alabama USA
I'll have to go with the Hitchhiker's Guide books, but I don't think I can choose among them. I first read the first one over 20 years ago, and have re-read them all over and over---and I still laugh out loud. I have a few friends who have also read them over and over, and we find ourselves quoting lines from time to time. But members of the general public tend to step away from you when you turn to your friends and ask, "Would you like a weasel, lightly toasted, on a bun?"
_________________________
Some days are easy, like licking frosting off a spoon: today was like stapling Jell-o to a brick.

Top
#42370 - Wed May 22 2002 01:52 AM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
Laguz Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sat May 18 2002
Posts: 285
Loc: Lithuania
It's hard to choose. But surely Hitchhiker's Guide, some of Terry Pratchett's Discworld boks.
Also Jerome K. Jerome's Three men in a boat.
[Big Grin]

Top
#42371 - Wed May 22 2002 12:43 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
Flapjack44 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun May 05 2002
Posts: 453
Loc: London UK
Wodehouse and Bryson (my second favourite Iowan!) both get my vote for general funny books. [Big Grin]

Re a more specific work: I loved Gerald Durrell's My Family and other Animals but come to think of it, that is more factual so I will obviously have to think again re fiction.... hmmm, I will get back to you...

[Roll Eyes] [Confused] [Roll Eyes]
_________________________
This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.

Top
#42372 - Wed May 22 2002 01:09 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
LilSpikey Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sun Dec 02 2001
Posts: 581
Loc: North Carolina USA
The Hank the Cowdog books by John Ericson are so funny! I think one of the funniest is The Wounded Buzzard on Christmas Eve.

I also think that Politically Correct Bedtime Stories and its sequels, by James Finn Garner are funny in a crude way.

[ May 27, 2002, 08:42 AM: Message edited by: LilSpikey ]
_________________________
"But maybe it's not too late...to learn how to love, and forget how to hate."

Top
#42373 - Wed May 22 2002 01:59 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
Ahhhhhgg. Laguz mentioned Terry Pratchett, how could I forget him? The Discworld ones are funny but my favourite one is "Good Omens" that he co wrote with Neil Gaiman. [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

Top
#42374 - Wed May 22 2002 02:47 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
sue943 Offline
Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 36673
Loc: Jersey
Channel Islands     ...
All time funniest has to be Puckoon by Spike Milligan, then I agree with Jillian, Bryson tickles the spot, most of them are funny.
_________________________
Many a child has been spoiled because you can't spank a Grandma!

Top
#42375 - Wed May 22 2002 03:11 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
Teallach Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Feb 19 2002
Posts: 261
Loc: Scottish Highlands
Used to read books by an author called Peter Pook(I think this was a nom-de-plume) According to my librarian they are now ,sadly, out of print. His books made me cry with laughter especially the ones where he was a School Teacher. His hints to writing Report Cards are something else.
E.G.for"This child will go far" means" He'll always have the police on his heels"
What happenened to Peter Pook and his wonderful stories? Does anyone in the Book Corner know?

Top
#42376 - Wed May 22 2002 03:25 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
sue943 Offline
Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 36673
Loc: Jersey
Channel Islands     ...
I remember them, I used to get them from the library - yes funny but not in the same class as Puckoon which I read when I was at the hairdressers sitting under the dryer, the tears ran down my face and I hooted with laughter, apparently I had half the clients giggling at my mirth.
_________________________
Many a child has been spoiled because you can't spank a Grandma!

Top
#42377 - Wed May 22 2002 03:38 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
ozzz2002 Offline
Moderator

Registered: Mon Dec 03 2001
Posts: 18572
Loc: Sydney NSW Australia        
Tom Sharpe has written a few hilarious books- Wilt, Wilt on High, Ancestral Vices, Blott on the Landscape, etc. which are all high farce and made me laugh a lot.

Spike Milligans war memoirs are so funny that I was banned from reading them in bed. I would get the giggles and wake the wife...
_________________________
The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not smashing it.

Editor, Hobbies and Sports, and Forum Moderator

Top
#42378 - Fri May 24 2002 04:43 AM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
TabbyTom Offline
Moderator

Registered: Wed Oct 17 2001
Posts: 8325
Loc: Hastings Sussex England UK    
I'd agree with Ozzz about the merits of Tom Sharpe: my own favourites are Porterhouse Blue, Wilt and the two early ones set in South Africa (Riotous Assembly and Indecent Exposure).

1066 And All That by W. C. Sellar and R. J. Yeatman is a great hit at the traditional black-and-white Britannocentric teaching of history and the confused recollections that it leaves in our minds years later.

Keith Waterhouse's Billy Liar is brilliantly funny, and I enjoyed a Scotsman's view of England and the English in England, Their England by A. G. Macdonell.

I'd rate Thackeray's Book of Snobs very highly: it's a lovely dissection of English snobbery, but it's depressing to see how little we've changed in 150 years, especially in our grovelling snivelling worship of royalty.

Like Dobrov, I enjoyed The Henry Root Letters. But the idea wasn't entirely original. Back in 1948 Humphrey Berkeley played a similar joke when he was an undergraduate at Cambridge. He posed as Rochester Sneath, the headmaster of a minor public school and wrote to various people (mainly but not only headmasters) on all sorts of subjects. The only people who saw through the hoax were the Rector of Beaumont (a Roman Catholic school), whom "Sneath" had asked to perform an exorcism, and the Headmaster of Winchester. Berkeley was finally unmasked when he wrote to the Daily Worker (the British Communist Party newspaper) about alleged plans to teach Russian. He was sent down from Cambridge for two years. The letters were published as The Life and Death of Rochester Sneath in 1974. Sad to say, Berkeley went on to become a pompous bore of a politician.
_________________________
Dilige et quod vis fac

Top
#42379 - Sat May 25 2002 12:19 AM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
Dobrov Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Dec 02 2001
Posts: 265
Loc: Hradec Kralove Czech Republic
Thanks for the tip. It looks great (though hard to find..).

Top
#42380 - Mon May 27 2002 04:33 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
Vanyar Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Thu Feb 21 2002
Posts: 117
Loc: Canada
Wow, there's a great list of funny books out there. I'm going to head off to my local bookstore / library soon to pick up some of these books. Now I just have to pick which one to start with, damn. [Smile]
_________________________
There are two things I always forget, they are . . . there are three things I always forget . . .

Top
#42381 - Mon May 27 2002 06:58 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
tanzen Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Tue Oct 02 2001
Posts: 8311
Loc: Melbourne
VIC Australia
Also going with the Hitchhiker series, and would like the Red Dwarf books to the list. [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]
_________________________
I'm a maverick, I don't play by the rules you choose to live by.

Top
#42382 - Mon May 27 2002 09:46 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
Dobrov Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Dec 02 2001
Posts: 265
Loc: Hradec Kralove Czech Republic
Thinking about this reminded me of a trilogy by a Canadian, Donald Jack. The books are 'Three Cheers for Me', 'That's Me in the Middle' and 'It's Me Again'. They chronicle the adventures of Bartholomew Bandy, a young Presyterian from Saskatchewan who (eventually) becomes a flying ace during WWI. They are really, really funny and they are good history as well. Donald Jack might be a problem to find, even for Canadians, but he should be out there somewhere in those used bookstores!

Top
#42383 - Tue May 28 2002 09:11 AM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
Lupetta Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Jan 22 2002
Posts: 404
Loc: London
England UK
Dobrov and Flapjack have it, Wodehouse makes me laugh more than anyone else ever has. If you haven't read the Mr Mulliner books, please do, they are absolutely wonderful.

I rememeber hunting rould for the book one evening to read out this section to my husband. The hero of one of the stories is being visited during breakfast by Sir Roderick Petherick Soames, who isn't in a very good mood. His mood isn't improved by his being offered a poached egg, he responds "No I wil not have a poached egg!! Poached egg indeed!! Bah!! Tcah!!"

The narrative then states "His demeanour was such that a stranger, had one been present, might have believed him to belong to some League or Society for the suppression of poached eggs". I cried laughing at this and the wonderful thing about Pelham Grenville is there are gems like this on every page. Thank God for him ;-).
_________________________
If Jesus was a carpenter how much did he charge for bookshelves? - Woody Allen

Top
#42384 - Tue May 28 2002 12:02 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
LindaC007 Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sun Dec 02 2001
Posts: 2224
Loc: North Carolina USA
Oh, I love Wodehouse--I've read every one of his books I could find.

I also loved Lewis Grizzards books that were complied from his columns from the Atlanta Journal And Constitution. His books were so very funny. He is one of the best humorists to come from the Southern United States. Jeff Foxworthy's "You Might Be A Red Neck" books crack me up--though it's as much the illustrations as his sayings.

I love James Thurber. His story "The Night The Ghost Got In" was hilarious.

I don't guess Mark Twain is widely read as much anymore--but his Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn was a lot fun to read.

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books--I enjoyed thoroughly. Great stuff.

[Smile] [Smile]
_________________________
I dont think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto

Top
#42385 - Tue May 28 2002 01:38 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
Dobrov Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Dec 02 2001
Posts: 265
Loc: Hradec Kralove Czech Republic
Yeah, Linda, I'm really getting into this now! Mark Twain! For hysterical you have to read his review of Fennimore Cooper and 'Last of the Mohicans'. You'll cry.

Top
#42386 - Tue May 28 2002 02:12 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
Buffy1 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Dec 02 2001
Posts: 336
Loc: England
Not sure about the funniest ever but I read a great one earlier this yera that made me laugh aloud. It was called "Are You Dave Gorman" and it's by a British stand up comic Dave Gorman who is challenged by a friend to find other people who share his name. He travels to many countries in his quest and it's absolutely hilarious especially as his friend starts to regret issuing the challenge.

Top
#42387 - Tue May 28 2002 06:03 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever?
tanzen Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Tue Oct 02 2001
Posts: 8311
Loc: Melbourne
VIC Australia
Buffy, I didn't know that Dave Gorman wrote a book about it! I saw his stand up show last year and laughed til I cried! Will have to check it out! If his book is anything like his routine, that'd be heaps funny! [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]
_________________________
I'm a maverick, I don't play by the rules you choose to live by.

Top
#42388 - Thu Aug 10 2006 07:39 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever? [Re: tanzen]
Cymruambyth Offline
Participant

Registered: Wed Sep 07 2005
Posts: 27
Stuart MacLean's 'Vinyl Cafe' series - it helps if you're a Canadian so that you can understand some of the references, but he is a master story teller.

W. P. Kinsella's wonderful stories about the Ermineskin Band in central Alberta.

Stephen Leacock's books

Richard Gordon's 'Doctor' series ('Doctor in the House', 'Doctor at Sea', etc)

Dylan Thomas' 'Adventures of the Artist as a Young Dog' (I still laugh 'til I cry over his description of getting his finger stuck in the beer bottle) and his 'Under Milk Wood'.

'1066 and All That'

'Three Men in a Boat'

Any and all of P.G. Wodehouse

'How to Be a canadian' by Will and Ian Ferguson

Anything by Mark Twain

Top
#42389 - Thu Aug 10 2006 09:59 PM Re: Funniest Book Ever? [Re: Cymruambyth]
MotherGoose Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Mon Apr 22 2002
Posts: 4603
Loc: Western Australia
I remember reading "1066 and All that" at high school and it's obviously time I re-read it.

I like Bill Bryson's books - I think he gets my vote for funniest ever.

I also find John Mortimer's "Rumpole" series very funny.
_________________________
Don't say "I can't" ... say " I haven't learned how, yet." (Reg Bolton)

Top
Page 1 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >

Moderator:  LeoDaVinci, ren33, TabbyTom