Monday, October 4, 2010

Which Books Made You Laugh?


I thought I'd throw another bookish question out there because my Which Books Made You Cry? post got a lot of responses. One Day by David Nicholls was truly unique because it made me cry but it also made me laugh in parts. I imagine it's not easy for a writer to elicit a physical reaction from a reader and to manage to draw out both emotions is indeed an admirable feat.

I was wondering which books have made you laugh? Not just a snicker or a smile but really laugh out loud. P.G.Wodehouse always makes me laugh and so does Nick Hornby sometimes especially with his book A Long Way Down. John Kennedy Toole's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, A Confederacy of Dunces almost made me laugh but not quite. Still, it was definitely amusing. So, let's have it....I'm curious to hear your responses and add some new books to my wish-list.

I love the picture above which is of Paul Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward sharing a laugh at home.

22 comments:

  1. I would have to second P.G. Wodehouse (The Code of the Woosters being a particular favorite), and pretty much anything by Bill Bryson has me snorting unattractively with mirth.

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  2. I laughed out loud at parts of the mystery, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

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  3. Douglas Adams's books make me laugh. Most of Christopher Moore's books do too (the exceptions being the Gospel According to Biff and Fool).

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  4. Hi, Mrs. B! I actually have a list of books that made me really laugh!

    1. Bridget Jones' Diary
    2. The Most of P.G. Wodehouse
    3. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
    4. Scoop (Evelyn Waugh)
    5. The Loved One (Evelyn Waugh)
    6. Solar (Ian McEwan)

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  5. @Karen - I think I haven't read The Code of the Woosters. I'll have to look for it.

    @Book Bird Dog - I enjoyed that one too. Can't wait to read the second book in the series. Flavia is such a character!

    @pussreboots - I haven't read Adams or Moore. I'll look it up.

    @Peter S.- Great list! I love Waugh but haven't read those two. I must have laughed with Bridget Jones as well but I don't really remember...loved the film though. A McEwan novel that's funny? Interesting...

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  6. The most memorable was The Eyre Affair. Literary in-jokes and play on words (the character Jack Schitt - it took me a few seconds to get it before I snorted out loud on the train!). It's fantastic read if you haven't gotten around to it.

    Also, probably not the most obvious choice but American Psycho did make me laugh. It's very tongue in cheek and satirical if we take away all the gross and tortorous things that happens in the book.

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  7. American psycho i'll second when your not reading it at arms length with one eye closed during the gross bits. On a simarly dark note I laughed during the wasp factory. My fave which is non fiction is yes man by Danny Wallace. Never saw the film as it looked like they changed it too much but I cracked up on the bus. Got him to sign it for me too! happy days.

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  8. In recent memory, Bill Bryson's The Life & Times of the Thunderbolt Kid made me laugh. As did Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job.

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  9. I LOL'd at No Hope for Gomez by Graham Parke.

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  10. Oh, I agree that Wodehouse is just the thing when you're in the mood for a giggle! In a similar vein, Jerome K. Jerome is wonderfully funny as well in that wry, British way.

    I also love Jasper Fforde because his work is so clever and full of puns. And I love Jane Austen because she makes me snicker...

    So I think what I'm saying is I turn to the Brits when I want to laugh!

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  11. Jasper Fforde, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman and Evelyn Waugh.

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  12. Hi, Mrs. B.

    I echo the Jasper Fforde recommendations. The one that made me laugh most often, though, was Something Rotten, the fourth book in the Thursday Next series--Hamlet in the real world, wondering why people think he's indecisive.

    Other books that really made me laugh are Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman, Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, and A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore.

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  13. I laughed out loud at parts of Haven Kimmel's two memoirs -- A Girl Named Zippy and She Got Up Off the Couch. And I get too tickled to speak without cracking up when I'm even telling someone else about Bridget Jones's Diary

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  14. Fantastic question - even more so because I can get ideas from the responses!

    One Day is an excellent example of a book that made me laugh out loud. But for books that should not be read in public unless you don't care to embarrass yourself - I'd have to say anything by David Sedaris - Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, When You Are Engulfed in Flames.

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  15. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer! A twofer with both cries and laughs!

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  16. The first book that comes to mind is "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" by Bill Bryson. It made me smile and laugh a lot.

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  17. D. E. Stevenson's Mrs. Tim books, R. M. Dashford's Proviincial Daughter, and Delafield's Provinical Lady books.

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  18. D. E. Stevenson's Mrs. Tim books, R. M. Dashford's Proviincial Daughter, and Delafield's Provinical Lady books.

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  19. Nick Hornby's High Fidelity. Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate. I have great admiration for comic novelists because it is so hard to do well.

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  20. Diary of a nobody is the book that has made me laugh the most and out loud!

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  21. Different books and different times have made me laugh out loud. I love Wodehouse's Jeeves series, JK Rowling has a wonderfully dry wit and Anne of Green Gables made me laugh quite a lot as a kid. Also Stardust by Neil Gaiman and Eva Ibbotson.

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  22. I very rarely laugh out loud while reading--guess I just need some higher level of visual stimuli or something. But there are a few books that had my roaring.
    The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter
    This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
    Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles
    The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby

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