Books that make you laugh

‘Mostly Harmless’ is pretty good.
‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’ is his best book

I, Lucifer

Which is hysterical, as well as the only book that made a convincing argument for satan (or that god guy). (And is supposed to be a movie at some point.)

I finally got hold of that last fall- it was terrific!

Now, what two Jewish comic actors would you cast as Jesus & Biff? Because I can see it happening.

Pratchett is one of the reasons I got the idea to start this thread. I’ve been hearing about him for years (on this board and elsewhere) and a few weeks ago I finally relented and picked up a copy of “The Color of Magic”.

Now I’ve got lots and lots of catching up to do…

Fulghum’s story of the bride with hiccups had me literally crying with laughter.

I couldn’t care less about hunting and fishing, but I lurves me some McManus. my favorite story of his is the one where he talks about banging a gun against the floor of the garage to get it to come apart. Well, he can’t get it apart and when his gun-loving friend comes over, he (the friend) looks at the gun and says: (paraphrased)

“AUGGGHHH! What have you done!? It looks like you were banging it against a cement floor!”

It killed me, it did.

Yep, that was my contribution too. I read it for the first time when I was in 6th grade. I got some baffled stares when I started cackling in the middle of the classroom during “reading time.” It still never fails for me, to this day.

The Complete Hitchhikers “Trilogy”, to be really obvious.

And “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” can’t be beat for the irony and wit. A caucus race where everyone runs around but nobody ever wins… classic.

Most of my recommendations (Adams, McManus, Pratchett, Bryson) have been taken already. But there are two books left on my list.

Straight Man by Richard Russo, from which I got my username.
The Water Method Man by John Irving, very dark but wonderful.

Both are serious comedies, both have absolutely hysterical moments, both share many accidentals, and both are completely worth the read.

George MacDonald Fraser’s The Pyrates. I’ve been banned from reading this one in bed because it still makes me giggle uncontrollably. Also his “McAuslan” stories, which semi-autographically describe Fraser’s military career: from The General Danced At Dawn, where he’s undergoing an Army Selection Board trial for officer training selection…

“The they showed us pictures, and we had to write a story about each one. The first picture showed a wretch with an expression of petrified horror on his face, clinging to a rope. Well, that was fairly obviously a candidate escaping from a Selection Board and discovering that his flight was being observed by a team of examiners taking copious notes. Then there was a picture of a character with a face straight out of Edgar Allen Poe being apprehended by a policeman. Easy: the miscreant was the former principal of a Selection Board, cashiered for drunkenness and embezzlement, and forced to beg his bread in the gutter, being arrested for vagrancy by a copper who turned out to be a failed candidate.”

I like Pratchett & Adams.

I also like Dave Barry’s Big Trouble, and Carl Hiaasen’s crazy Florida books.

You lucky, lucky guy. Make sure you pace yourself.

I must be the only person in the world who doesn’t find anything even remotely funny about either Wodehouse or Pratchett. I have sampled both quite extensively, having looked forward to their many famed and promised delights, only to be left completely cold. It must be me.

To answer the OP, the complete works of Jerome K. Jerome do it for me, and I also find Joseph Heller reliably laugh-out-loud funny, although I have only read his first three novels. Jay McInerney can do it too, especially ‘Story Of My Life’. Hugh Laurie, currently famous for portraying ‘House’ on television, wrote a rather good thriller called The Gun Seller which works as a perfectly straight thriller but is also laugh-out-loud funny in places.

Most things by:

Bryson
Barry
Twain
Mordecai Richler
Tom Sharpe
Donald Westlake
Carl Hiaasen
Jay Cronley
Joe Keenan of Frazier wrote a series of gay themed kind of modern day Wodehouse.
The Great American Novel by Philip Roth

Women by Charles Bukowski. Very politically uncorrect but funny as hell. Especially good to read after a bad breakup. I remember reading parts of it on a Tokyo subway (ginza line) and pratically crying I was laughing so hard.

Turnabout and A Stray Lamb, both by Thorne Smith.
And several that have already been mentioned…

Naturally, Dave Barry and Bill Bryson have already been mentioned, so I’ll just say my favorite Barry book is The Book of Bad Songs, and the best Bryson so far is the latest one, The Life & Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. I had to keep stopping while reading that one for fear of wetting myself.

A couple more nominees: Paul Feig and Robert Rankin.

Most of Dave Barry’s stuff (but nit Bill Bryson). I’d recommend Christopher Moore;s other books. I first discovered him in The Stupidest Angel. I had to read Pepper Mill aloud something from every other page.

Bored of the Rings still cracks me up.

Tom Weller’s Science Made Stupid and Culture Made Stupid . They’re both out of print, which is a crime. They’re funnier than most things on the humor shelf.
Mike Nelson’s Movie Mania. Reviews of movies and actors by the hwead writer of MST3K. I hate his other books, though.
And it’s online, but the MST3K-ed version of The Eye of Argon really gets me. I just re-read it again last night
http://www.bmsc.washington.edu/people/merritt/books/Eye_of_Argon.html

Another Fulghum fan. His story of the bride’s mother is hysterical. “The bride threw up.”

Kinky, Kinky, Kinky. Friedman that is.

The first time I laughed after 9/11 was while reading Alice Vachss’s book “Sex Crimes.” It is not a funny book, except for one trial she describes with the ADA from hell.

I find him funny but I don’t understand people who say they consistently laugh out loud at his stuff. I’ve read at least 6 or 7 of his books and they give me little chuckles but they’ve never made me laugh out loud the way I have at Adams, Bryson, Heller, etc.

Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates by Tom Robbins.