Jose Saramago - Blindness
[QUOTE=Shirley UjestHoliday’s In Hell PJ ORourke. Travel writing from the political hot spots of the world at the time ( I think about 1988ish), brilliant observations and sarcasm. What more does one need?[/QUOTE]
That’s a f’kin brilliant read. Also try Age and Guile beats Youth, Inexperience and a Bad Haircut where P.J. reflects back (and cringes at) his early journalistic career.
If you’re into black comedy, try Martin Amis’ The Information - the protagonist is a bit of a sad case, but it’s side-splittingly funny.
There’s a reason this has been mentioned twice before - it is very different and very, very funny. Best of all, it has throw-away oneliners mixed in with some very subtle humour - something for everyone!
(yes, I did open the thread just to mention it, and found that not one but two people had got there before me!)
Yet another recommendation for Good Omens.
And I always recommend Roy Blount, Jr., as he’s my favorite writer. Now, Where Were We (Getting Back to Basic Truths We Have Lost Sight of Through No Fault of My Own) is my favorite of his books. Camels are Easy, Comedy’s Hard is also good. They’re collections of essays.
I’m not a huge fan of David Sedaris, but I will say that “You Can’t Kill the Rooster” from Me Talk Pretty One Day is probably the single best essay ever written.
Okay, I’ll get on that bandwagon, too. Good Omens is a great read.
(Traffic problems always make me think of the Satanic M25 sigil, cranking out evil energy and bad vibes as hapless commuters trundle along it. Brilliant.)
A quick Thank You to all who have replied so far.
I have read some of those mentioned, but certainly not all. I have the newest by Redmond O’hanlon, Trawler , but haven’t started it yet. I’m putting lots in this thread in my summer “to read” list.
Hypocrite in a pouffy white dress : tales of growing up groovy and clueless
Gilman, Susan Jane.
I laughed out loud a couple of times, which is really out of character for me. Besides being funny, she really has had some interesting experiences.
I’d have to recommend Lamb by Christopher Moore. It’s basically the story of Christ, as told by his best friend, Biff. It gives a really offbeat and somewhat irreverent perspective to a lot of traditional tales from the Bible, good stuff for the open minded who enjoy darker humor.
My favorite funny books, which still make me laugh out loud:
Bored on the Rings by Doug Kenney and Henry Beard of the Barvard Lampoon
Just about any Dave Barry Book (except his novels), especially Dave Barry’s Book of Bad Songs
James Lileks’ Gallery of Regrettable Food and Interior Desecrations (which I just picked up this weekend)
Mike Nelson’s Movie Megacheese (but not his other books)
Tom Weller’s Science Made Stupid and Cvltvre Made Stupid (both regrettably out of print)
A. Whitney Brown’s The Big Picture – getting dated, but still funny
Doon by The National Lampoon – tries too hard, but has its moments. Out-of-print send-up of Frank Herbert’s Dune.
I second David Sedaris and Christopher Moore…
I’m puzzled by Nighttime’s suggestion of Blindness - funny?
I came here to suggest that book but since you beat me to it, I will add that anything by Christopher Moore will make you laugh. Lamb is still my favorite by him but I also enjoyed The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove and Bloodsucking Fiends.
Richard Brautigan is another author you might enjoy. The title story in Revenge of the Lawn made me laugh 'til I cried.
And after you’re done reading Three Men in a Boat, read Connie Willis’ book To Say Nothing of the Dog, in which a historian goes back in time to the Victorian age to recover a hideous looking piece of sculpture.
Also, check out some of Donald Harrington’s Stay More novels, especially “The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks”, “The Cockroaches of Stay More” and “Thirteen Albatrosses”.
I’ll add to the Christopher Moore contingent. I’m just upset that I was too busy (a) working and (b) posting about The Shield and Deadwood to be the first.
The Last Coin by James P. Blaylock
There’s a scene in Dress your Family In Courduroy and Denim with the Rooster and some “God! Damn! Fucking! Chicken wings!” that made me laugh so hard I started to black out.
I second Steve Martin, although I think Cruel Shoes is his best prose. ("Soon we will be able to ask this strange tribe of boneless women the important scientific questions such as “What time is it?” and “How come no bones?”) OOP, I think, but pretty ubiquitous at used book stores.
I’m just finishing Evelyn Waugh’s “The Loved One,” which is very funny, although not exactly recent (1948). Speaking of hilarious British authors, this thread is much too long to have not mentioned P.G. Wodehouse, author of the side-splitting Jeeves & Wooster stories.
Speaking of “hot off the presses,” have you read much Mark Twain? He can be hilariously funny, or viciously depressing, or both.
Second the Last Chance to See. A great book; I loved the non-preachy sense of awe that he displayed in the book. He didn’t come across as a newly-converted conservation fanatic trying to get the rest of us to see how evil we all are. His sense of wonder came across beautifully, and his trademark humor was ever-present without seeming obligatory.
And I especially liked the bit where he started referring to the Germans as Latvians (because they were so stereotypically German that no one would believe that they were real if he actually referred to them as Germans).
Absolutely love this book.
Hopefully much better than the movie based on it, Tune In Tomorrow, starring Keanu Reeves, Barbara Hershey, and Peter Falk. Falk is fantastic, but not worth watching the whole movie for.
I’m a big fan of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next books, starting with The Eyre Affair. Also, just about anything by Peter David, especially Sir Apropos of Nothing and its sequel, The Woad to Wuin, both of which poke a great deal of fun at the standard fantasy genre. He also has two books called Knight Life and One Knight Only, about King Arthur emerging from his enchanted cave and running for mayor of New York City. Very, very funny. And Morgan Le Fay is exiled to the town I live in, which makes it much funnier to me.
I think that was joke. Well, I should hope so.
My own recommendation is A White Merc with Fins by James Hawes.
Add to that the works of Tim Dorsey. His crime novels, set in Florida, are laugh-out-loud funny! Better than Haissen, IMHO.