Thank you so much to everyone for participating in the Inaugural First Page Critique, and especially to Michelle, our Inaugural First Pagee. There have been requests afoot for this to be a regular feature, and: consider it done!
Every Monday henceforth we’ll have a page (and occasionally query) critique, and I’ll continue to reward those with fast fingers and critique the first one posted in the comments. I liked the idea of choosing randomly from the comments section to account for time zones, but First Comment ensures randomness, there won’t be delays as I wait for someone to reply, and creates an intriguing element of competition.
This also means we have a nicely symmetrical weekly schedule: Monday page critiques, Tuesday new, Wednesday You Tell Me, Thursday new, and Friday This Week in Publishing.
So be on the lookout Monday for the next Page Critique session! Also, I swear this only partly a shameless plug, but just so that everyone is on level footing: if you Follow the blog it updates almost instantaneously after I’ve posted in feed readers and the like, and I’ll also update my Twitter feed when it’s up as well. Hopefully that will save some people from the refresh button.
Now then! I am lifting this question directly from the Forums, and it was originally posed by Colonel Travis (yes, the real one from the Alamo, check the avatar!!):
What is the funniest book of all time?
Some of my favorites include Roald Dahl’s books, but I’d ultimately have to go with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
What do you think?
I would have to say "Going Bovine" by Libba Bray.
There were some serious parts in it, but the humor was outstanding. I listened to the audio book on my long commute and nearly drove off the road laughing. Good stuff!
Though HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE is up there for me, my hands-down number one is CODE OF THE WOOSTERS by P.G. Wodehouse. I've never laughed so often or so hard as when I read that book.
WHY GIRLS ARE WIERD by Pamela Ribon should come with a case of adult diapers.
jonathan pinnock says
No-one mentioned Flann O'Brien's THE THIRD POLICEMAN yet? OK, I will then. Absolute genius. Weird, wonderful and surprisingly dark.
The Georgia Nicolson series (Angus, Thongs & Full Frontal Snogging, etc.) had me laughing until tears were streaming down my face. I pestered anyone within earshot by reading passages out loud – usually pausing to regain my composure mid-sentence. I'm a sucker for cat antics, and I love Georgia's style.
For those who liked Three Men in a Boat, DO NOT miss Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog. I have to re-read this every year, it's that good.
Dale Estey says
Three Men In A Boat (To Say Nothing Of The Dog)- Jerome K. Jerome
Kathy M says
Patricia Marx's HIM, HER, HIM AGAIN, THE END OF HIM. I don't know if it's the funniest book ever, but I found it hilarious.
CindyLou Foster says
I'm late to this party, but Josin, I agree with Clue. It's in my all time top five favorite movies, and if you have to ask why, you just don't get it.
As for books, no question, THE WEDNESDAY WARS, by Joseph Schmidt. (Across my foot!)
Disgruntled Bear says
HITCHHIKER'S. 'Nuff said.
No way! You're getting Don Quixote USA back in print? Oh man, oh man. You just made my year. I'm honestly going to buy a dozen, if not more. Powell is a raving genius! Awesome!
Simon Haynes says
Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K Jerome, circa 1890. (It's a free download on Gutenberg so you have no excuse not to read it.)
It's like the original buddy road trip except they're stuck in a boat. Cheese, Paraffin and How Not to Put up a Tent – classic.
CANDIDE has stood up to more rereads than I can recall. Seems most I know didn't get it–maybe because they HAD to read it in college–but it's hilarious. As encouragement (Confessions of a Voltaire-Pusher here…)I told my young cousin, "Just read it like it's Seinfeld." Doubt it worked, though. And I just read SLAPSTICK for the first time and would place it alongside. Thanks everyone for the recommendations.
Wild About Words says
CARTER FINALLY GETS IT by Brent Crawford. Laughed so hard while reading it, the person next to me on the plane said, "I'll have to get that book."
Jan Markley says
Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress: Tales of Growing Up Groovy and Clueless by Susan Gilman and just finished Me Talk Pretty one Day by David Sedaris.
Dubliner Hugh Leonard's 'Home Before Night'
Alison Barber says
Definitely Roald Dahl's The Twits. I have modelled my marriage after that book!
Spud, by John van de Ruit. (South African title)
Kate Fall says
Only one mention of Donald Westlake? The Dortmunder series are the funniest books ever written, although I'd start later than Hot Rock. Maybe Nobody's Perfect. And every writer should read Westlake's The Hook, the best fiction book about being a writer ever written.
The Lazlo Toth books by Don Novello. Hilarious.
"My Search for Warren Harding" by Robert Plunket
in YA, Gordon Korman's "Don't Care High."
Craig Shaw Gardner had a four series that were hysterical. Most, if not all, are out of print, but you can find them at the used book shop. There was the Ebenezeum Trilogy, the Wuntvor Trilogy, the Cineverse Trilogy and the Sinbad Trilogy. Each one is funny in its own way.
For example, in the Cineverse Trilogy, there is a mad scientist with a gigantic computer who comments that one day computers will take up entire city blocks and all the power that would mean. With titles like REVENGE OF THE FLUFFY BUNNIES and BRIDE OF THE SLIME MONSTER, you know you're in for something fun.
John Durvin says
My personal favorite, and one that's not widely known, is "English As She Is Spoke", a language book from the 1880's that was the world's first ironic best-seller: it was a Portuguese-English dictionary written by two Portuguese guys that didn't speak English…but they did speak French, and they had a French-English dictionary. For example, they think on a hunting expedition, one might need to cry out, "let aim it! Make fire him!" and the expression "a rolling stone gathers no moss" is rendered as "a roll stone heap up not foam".
Agen pemadam api says
Anything by Nicholas Sparks just cracks me up. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues!