Jump to content

  • Home
  • Help
  • Contact
  •  

Photo

Humorous Novels


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 westmost

westmost

    Friendly

  • Members
  • 99 posts

Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:47 PM

I used to read a lot of humour when I was a teen, modern (at the time) stuff like Douglas Adams, Tom Robbins and the Adrian Mole books, and older authors like P.G. Wodehouse. 

 

But either I fell out of the habit, or there are fewer funny books around. I mainly read in SF, Fantasy, and Horror, so I know that's part of the problem. There's Pratchett whom I can take or leave, and Christopher Moore... and .... I can't really think of many others.

 

Then in the mainstream lit, I'm a bit lost. There were the Bridget Jones books, and I guess Jasper Fforde... but then I'm drawing a blank.

 

Does anyone have any recommendations? Ideally current authors, but even older ones would be welcome.


  • 0

#2 jayant102

jayant102

    Friendly

  • Members
  • 157 posts

Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:08 PM

I was going to suggest Pratchett and Adams but see that you already read those. These two are pretty much the only humor novelists because most of these leave me only mildly amused. Pratchett has such a large body of work that there are bound to be a few clunkers there but most of the time he hits all the right notes. His Night Watch novels are all pretty incredible.

 

People like Adams and Wodehouse are anyways legends.

 

I always had a feeling that Neil Gaiman can be a great humor novelist if he tried. I mean Good Omens is brilliant although I don't know how much of the humor is down to Pratchett, but even his articles and interviews make him come across as someone who can at least put a smile on your face if he tried.


  • 0

#3 pipergale

pipergale

    Friendly

  • Members
  • 1,450 posts

Posted 16 November 2013 - 07:52 AM

All of the humorous novels that I have ever read have been teenage ones. My English teacher once told me that it was pretty difficult to write humour, and I believed him until I grew older and began to write fanfiction, which had me and everybody who read it in absolute stitches. The book that had me laughing the most was a book called Angus, Thongs, and Snogging, I have forgotten who wrote it because I read this book back in primary school.


  • 0

#4 BWR

BWR

    Cordial

  • Members
  • 53 posts

Posted 16 November 2013 - 02:12 PM

Terry Pratchett's work is adorable and I really loved Good Omens too! I still count it as one of my all-time favorite novels.

 

If you like the witty but old-fashioned banter in Downton Abbey, one book that I can recommend is 'A College of Magics" by Caroline Stevermer. The book uses excellent Edwardian-style humour to great comedic effect.


  • 0

#5 pipergale

pipergale

    Friendly

  • Members
  • 1,450 posts

Posted 17 November 2013 - 07:26 AM

I have never heard of Terry Pratchett's work. I have never head of anybody called Terry pratchette. But then again I have never been a massive fan of reading when it comes to going to libraries and taking books. I am more of a read fanfiction online type, and I am more likely to pen the humor than read it.


  • 0

#6 westmost

westmost

    Friendly

  • Members
  • 99 posts

Posted 19 November 2013 - 07:40 PM

I always had a feeling that Neil Gaiman can be a great humor novelist if he tried. I mean Good Omens is brilliant although I don't know how much of the humor is down to Pratchett, but even his articles and interviews make him come across as someone who can at least put a smile on your face if he tried.

 

That's a good point. I don't think of Gaiman as a humorist, but now that you mention it her has written some humorous stories that I enjoyed. More in the satire vein than anything else, but it would be interesting to see him explore it further.


  • 0

#7 jayant102

jayant102

    Friendly

  • Members
  • 157 posts

Posted 20 November 2013 - 06:43 AM

I always had a feeling that Neil Gaiman can be a great humor novelist if he tried. I mean Good Omens is brilliant although I don't know how much of the humor is down to Pratchett, but even his articles and interviews make him come across as someone who can at least put a smile on your face if he tried.

 

That's a good point. I don't think of Gaiman as a humorist, but now that you mention it her has written some humorous stories that I enjoyed. More in the satire vein than anything else, but it would be interesting to see him explore it further.

Its funny that apart from Good Omens nothing with Gaiman's name has felt even remotely humorous to me but his interviews always leave me smiling. Maybe its just that he is a guy with a good sense of humor who can't write humor as well and probably that's why he doesn't do it more often. But I am pretty sure that's not the case.


  • 0

#8 westmost

westmost

    Friendly

  • Members
  • 99 posts

Posted 21 November 2013 - 08:23 PM

 

I always had a feeling that Neil Gaiman can be a great humor novelist if he tried. I mean Good Omens is brilliant although I don't know how much of the humor is down to Pratchett, but even his articles and interviews make him come across as someone who can at least put a smile on your face if he tried.

 

That's a good point. I don't think of Gaiman as a humorist, but now that you mention it her has written some humorous stories that I enjoyed. More in the satire vein than anything else, but it would be interesting to see him explore it further.

Its funny that apart from Good Omens nothing with Gaiman's name has felt even remotely humorous to me but his interviews always leave me smiling. Maybe its just that he is a guy with a good sense of humor who can't write humor as well and probably that's why he doesn't do it more often. But I am pretty sure that's not the case.

 

Mostly I think you can sense a playfulness, and while most of his books aren't funny as a whole, a lot of them contain a fair bit of humour, imo. 

 

His children's books might count, 'Chu's Day' is more cute than funny, but it definitely makes you smile.

 

Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Nameless House of the Night of Dread Desire is the only story offhand that I can think of as a straight up humorous one. It's a parody of the gothic style, though, so maybe a bit subtle. His reading it in the audiobook also adds something.


  • 0

#9 Franzy

Franzy

    Friendly

  • Members
  • 1,906 posts

Posted 21 November 2013 - 08:33 PM

The Princess Bride. Add that to your list. 


  • 0

#10 jayant102

jayant102

    Friendly

  • Members
  • 157 posts

Posted 22 November 2013 - 02:48 AM

The Princess Bride is probably one of those rare cases where the movie is better than the book. Its still pretty good though.


  • 0

#11 westmost

westmost

    Friendly

  • Members
  • 99 posts

Posted 22 November 2013 - 07:56 PM

The Princess Bride is probably one of those rare cases where the movie is better than the book. Its still pretty good though.

 

Agreed, Goldman is a brilliant screenwriter, though. 

 

Personally, the tone of the book never really sat right with me. I read it twice, the second time to see if I could get past that, but I found the narrator too ... well, unpleasant isn't exactly the right word, but unhappy isn't quite right either. In any case, it has amazing parts but I don't think it works nearly as well as the film.


  • 0

#12 jayant102

jayant102

    Friendly

  • Members
  • 157 posts

Posted 23 November 2013 - 01:28 AM

The Princess Bride is probably one of those rare cases where the movie is better than the book. Its still pretty good though.

 

Agreed, Goldman is a brilliant screenwriter, though. 

 

Personally, the tone of the book never really sat right with me. I read it twice, the second time to see if I could get past that, but I found the narrator too ... well, unpleasant isn't exactly the right word, but unhappy isn't quite right either. In any case, it has amazing parts but I don't think it works nearly as well as the film.

 

The sarcastic tone that the narration was going for in parts  is lost in the book. So, it just seems like the narrtor's either bored or just unhappy with the events. The story in itself is quite good but the execution was where the trouble was.


  • 0

#13 irrelephant

irrelephant

    Noob

  • Newbie
  • 4 posts

Posted 11 December 2013 - 03:04 PM

Ooh, I've got some good recommendations for you!

 

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple is a really surprisingly funny book. Semple is a former writer for Arrested Development and Ellen, so if you are a fan of the humor in the books I think you'd like Bernadette. It was one of the hottest books of the summer.

 

Carl Haissan is also very funny and very popular. His books are particularly great on audio, so I recommend checking that out if you get a chance.

 

Finally The Rosie Project by Graeme Simpson is also supposed to be one of the funniest books of 2013. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it's on my Christmas list!


  • 1

#14 westmost

westmost

    Friendly

  • Members
  • 99 posts

Posted 03 January 2014 - 01:27 AM

Ooh, I've got some good recommendations for you!

 

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple is a really surprisingly funny book. Semple is a former writer for Arrested Development and Ellen, so if you are a fan of the humor in the books I think you'd like Bernadette. It was one of the hottest books of the summer.

 

Carl Haissan is also very funny and very popular. His books are particularly great on audio, so I recommend checking that out if you get a chance.

 

Finally The Rosie Project by Graeme Simpson is also supposed to be one of the funniest books of 2013. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it's on my Christmas list!

 

Thanks! I've heard of Hiaasen, but never read him, and the other two names are completely new to me but I loved Arrested Development (mostly) and Ellen, so that's promising at least :)


  • 0

#15 Bittersweet

Bittersweet

    Social Butterfly

  • Members
  • 2,856 posts

Posted 03 January 2014 - 02:59 PM

I miss Arrested Development. 

 

The Princess Bribe is dark humor which is not everyone's cup of tea. I read it when I was quite young and I didn't understand why the guy loved the girl. She was quite a little bitch. 


  • 0

#16 AllBuffedUp

AllBuffedUp

    Cordial

  • Members
  • 51 posts

Posted 30 December 2014 - 01:55 PM

All of the humorous novels that I have ever read have been teenage ones. My English teacher once told me that it was pretty difficult to write humour, and I believed him until I grew older and began to write fanfiction, which had me and everybody who read it in absolute stitches. The book that had me laughing the most was a book called Angus, Thongs, and Snogging, I have forgotten who wrote it because I read this book back in primary school.

 

It is difficult to make humor; at least compared with drama. Anything can be dramatic and people will comprehend it as such easily. You can't really miss drama. At worst, if you're a sucky writer, it will seem a bit superficial, but it will still carry the story to interesting places. With humor, everyone has a different taste and different ideas of what is funny; context and timing is very important and can be screwed up very easily. You can go into the 'too much' or the 'too little' or the 'wtf is happening here' very fast. There is nothing more boring than a humorous novel that fails to bring humor.

 

I laughed out loud at many fics; they fell under my domain and they played with continuity/inside jokes and hilarity pretty good.

I did not laugh at many books that were supposed to be funny.

 

I did laugh a lot at Sophie Kinsella's book about Emma's secrets and all. Later on, it was not so funny anymore, though still humorous. Funny books are even harder in the regard that you expect the joke and punchline the next time, so it has to be skillfully crafted to deserve a reread (if you are into rereads, that is)


  • 0

#17 Sefarad

Sefarad

    Friendly

  • Members
  • 152 posts

Posted 13 April 2015 - 09:30 AM

I agree!  Everyone finds different things funny, because as far as I know what a person finds funny depends a lot on the level of education of the person, the environment he/she grew up in and a couple things more.  So it's really hard to cater to all tastes!  Like for example, people in countries like Norway might not laugh at the same things people from Cuba do.  Drama is so universal and everyone can perceive it, but humor?  Oh gosh, there are people who doesn't seem to have the slightest idea what humor is. But drama? Even the most cold.hearted person can tell when something is dramatic.


  • 0