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Where have all the good times gone?

I was going to make my first post here a proper review, but due to a heavy week at work I haven't finished the book I'm on at the moment (the Tomalin biography of Samuel Pepys) and I don't think anyone would appreciate a review that went 'good so far'. I will post properly as soon as i finish it.

In the meantime, I thought I would call on all your super powers of recommendation. I've been reading through the recent requests for genres/specific character-types, and I'm incredibly impressed by the breadth of everyone's reading. I was wondering if this would stretch to a slightly unfashionable book type - comedy. I really enjoy books which make me laugh. Or at least chuckle quietly to myself. The good thing about this is that it transcends other genres. I love period classics such as P.G.Wodehouse or Jerome K Jerome, or the contemporary court stories of John Mortimer, as much as modern fantasy such as Terry Pratchett, Stephen Brust and Jasper Fforde. Can anyone add any authors or titles to this list?
Many thanks in advance.


( 40 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 13th, 2009 09:23 am (UTC)
Christopher Moore's Lamb. His other books are good, but that one is really great.

There's also Jim Hines's goblin trilogy (Goblin Quest, Goblin Hero, and Goblin War).
Nov. 13th, 2009 09:34 am (UTC)
Ooh, two I've genuinely _never_ come accross. Excellent, thank you.
*starts shopping list*
Nov. 13th, 2009 09:42 am (UTC)
You can't go wrong with Douglas Adams, from the Hitchhikers Guide series to his Dirk Gently series, it's all fun. Of course if you want something a bit quicker and don't mind reading something geared toward a younger audience than Norma Howe has her Blue Avenger series, which is like Douglas Adams light.
Nov. 13th, 2009 09:46 am (UTC)
Ah, I was weened on Douglas Adams (stupidly forgot to include him in my original list), and the only sad thing about that is that I can't read them all again now for the first time. I haven't tried the new 'sequel' by Eion Colfer yet, so I'm looking forward to that. I will definitely try Norma Howe though, I hadn't heard of her and I'm very happy with YA recommendations as well as adult.
Nov. 13th, 2009 10:41 am (UTC)
Nothing makes me chuckle like The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, even though that might not be what you are looking for. It's a surprisingly light read for such an old book!
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
I'll definitely give it ago. I last tried when i was about 17 and found it quite hard going, but that was probably age-related (mine, not its) rather than a comment on the book.
(no subject) - count_fenring - Nov. 13th, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 13th, 2009 11:23 am (UTC)
Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Philips was excellent. :)
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
*going on the list*
Nov. 13th, 2009 11:55 am (UTC)
I'd reccomend anything by Philip Ardagh (especially the Eddie Dickens trilogy). It's probably considered a children's book but I swear it is very funny!
Then there's Slam by Nick Hornby which I thought was pretty funny in a lot of parts and Demonkeeper by Royce Buckingham which had its amusing parts.
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
*adds all three to the list*
I had ummed and arred about getting the Hornby when it first came out, but heard some reviews that were less than complementary. If you think its worth it I'll definitely read.
(no subject) - neon_spades - Nov. 14th, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 13th, 2009 01:21 pm (UTC)
Roddy Doyle's Barrytown books made me laugh out loud--The Commitments was my particular favorite.
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
The only one I ever read of his was Paddy Clarke HaHaHa which was inescapable for a bit after it one the prize - not exactly a barrel of laughs, but he is a good writer and I'm looking forward to trying something a bit lighter of his.
Nov. 13th, 2009 02:09 pm (UTC)
Christopher Moore, definitely. He almost never fails to make me LOL. I highly recommend "A Dirty Job" and "You Suck!", and if you can listen to "You Suck!" on CD, do it. The woman who reads it is phenomenal, and her Abby Normal voice is the funniest damn thing ever.

Joe Keenan also writes a delightful series of books about a couple of very funny gay bon vivants that you might like..."Blue Heaven", "Putting on the Ritz", and "My Lucky Star". In fact, I'm offering a copy of "Putting on the Ritz" for trade over at booksswamp, if you're interested.

And continuing with frothy gay comedy, Orland Outland's Doan and Binky books are also a delight..."Death Wore a Smart Little Outfit", "Death Wore a Fabulous New Fragrance", "Death Wore the Emperor's New Clothes".

Edited at 2009-11-13 02:11 pm (UTC)
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
ooh, audiobooks, lovely. good idea. will try and track that down. He's one of those people I've been eyeing up in the book shop for a while, but never known whether it was worth buying.

Will get a Joe Keenan and Orland Outland (real name? v.cool) as well - do you recommend any particulr one, or is it just a case of starting at the beginning of the series?
(no subject) - phantomminuet - Nov. 13th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 13th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
For something that made me laugh so hard I scared the other people on the bus, I recommend Agnes and the Hit Man by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer.
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC)
*added to list*
That's exactly the reaction I'm hoping for. Er, in a _good_ way, obviously.
Nov. 13th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
I fully second Gods behaving badly! It made me laugh out loud a few times, and it's an amusing way to spend the time.

Also, you might like Tom Holt and Robert Rankin, who write more or less in the same genre as Pratchett. I personally don't like them much, but you might.

I did like Hiaasen, who writes humourous novels. It's American through and through though, with a lot of violence, sex and, well a lot of US.
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
I have read Tom Holt and Robert Rankin - they both strike me as having flashes of greatness (or at least goodness), but not consistently enough. I'm always left a little disappointed that the book wasn't as good as it was in my head before i started.

Will definitely get a Hiaasen (no problem with sex and violence as long as its in a good cause, although I realise that's a quotation i wouldn't want taken out of context). Do you recommend any particular one?
(no subject) - phantomminuet - Nov. 13th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 13th, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC)
1066 and All That by Sellar and Yeatman
Love and Freindship by Jane Austen (yes, it IS spelled that way)
Rosy is My relative by Gerald Durrell (hilarious and "an almost true story")
The Devils' Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce
A Herd of Yaks by Eric Nicol
In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
All creatures great and Small by James Herriott
Nov. 13th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
Seconding Herriott. And he has three more books too if you like All Creatures Great and Small.

(no subject) - petrichor_1 - Nov. 13th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
off topic - bsix_cent_douze - Nov. 15th, 2009 03:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 13th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
I really liked "The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse" by Robert Rankin. It was pretty cute. =)
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC)
You MUST read Oscar Wilde's plays! They are surprisingly funny critiques of Victorian society - surprising in that they still seem pertinent over 100 years later. Wilde = love. I am completely and unabashedly obsessed.

Also, Catch-22 is probably the funniest book I have read in my life. There are some very serious moments, but the funny parts will have you laughing out loud - no matter where you are, so take caution. :P

One I just finished reading is Anita Loos' Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. It was written in 1925, and mocks an American socialite travelling abroad and seeing how much she can get men to spend for her. It's absolutely hysterical. Lorelei's cultural ignorance is priceless, really, and her narration is so lighthearted.

You can read all of these as purely humorous pieces, but they also hold up really well under careful analysis. There are so many layers of social commentary in all of these pieces. :)
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
i have read Wilde (An Ideal Husband is my favourite), and you're right they're fab. Catch 22 also, and is one of my favourite books. I've never read Loos though, and am really looking forward to that - thanks so much.
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
If you're up for non-fiction, I'd recommend The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs. It's one man's attempt to read the whole Encyclopedia Britanica from A-Z. His observations on all the facts he's read are hilarious.
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
i hadn't even thought of humerous non-fiction - sounds really good, thanks. Quelle horrar of a project though, i'm surprised it didn't send him round the bend.
(no subject) - reign_lake - Nov. 14th, 2009 12:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
Yay, Wodehouse! Let's see, who else.. Nancy Mitford can be quite funny. And if you liked Jerome K. Jerome, read Connie Wilis' To Say Nothing of the Dog. Someone mentioned Jennifer Crusie. She is very funny. Try Welcome to Temptation by Crusie. If you like mysteries, try Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books. His narrator, Archie Goodwin, is the wittiest voice in mysteries.
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:54 pm (UTC)
The Wilis sounds excellent, and I'd never come accross it before - thank you. Have also added Crusie and Mitford to the pile (bought Love in a cold climate ages ago, but never got around to reading it). I'm interested that you say Nero Wolfe are witty - I've never read them because i was put off at an early age by being told they were really bad - is this a case of so bad it's funny? or was i totally mislead?
(no subject) - pblazer - Nov. 13th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - phantomminuet - Nov. 13th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - count_fenring - Nov. 13th, 2009 11:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pblazer - Nov. 14th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 13th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
If you like classics, I recommend Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons - have just read this for my book club, and it is laugh out loud funny.
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